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5 Fab Watches to Stock (and Sell!) for Mother’s Day




As one who’s spent her fair share of years a.) being a mother, b.) being a watch enthusiast and c.) working in retail around the Mother’s Day holiday, I’m going to state for the record that I’m pretty familiar with the things I’ll be talking about in this article.

Mother’s Day is that time of year when folks come into your store – usually at the last minute – desperate for an inexpensive gift that can be purchased, packaged and gift-wrapped while they run across the street to Hallmark for whatever cards are left. Envelope optional. And if you’re a retailer who still does well with sterling silver beads, then good on ya (I think?), but if you’re not, then maybe think about offering your customers something they won’t expect. Like a Swiss watch, for example.

Now, before you get all freaked out and close your browser thinking there’s no way these customers are going to dish out money for a last-minute Swiss-made watch, hear me out. Yes. They can.

And yes, they will, if you play your cards right and stock the right types of watches. Something classic in appearance can be presented to your customer as a gift of time that’s more or less timeless, so think of stocking pieces that go for elegance over extravagance. Pieces that are (or maybe look) a lot like these:

The Boulton by Hamilton

While not technically labeled as a “ladies” watch (a title from which more and more brands are moving away), the Hamilton Boulton watch (small version) and its uniquely shaped case measure only 16mm across for those moms who aren’t into the “big watch” trend for women.

The version pictured here contains a quartz movement (battery operated), is accompanied by a dark blue leather strap, has an art-deco-inspired design and sells for a MERE $595 retail. That’s a price that’s tough to beat.


Frederique Constant’s Classics Quartz Ladies

For women who prefer a slightly larger case size, Frederique Constant offers a watch that’s big enough to make a statement without looking like she borrowed her husband’s timepiece (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

The Classics Quartz Ladies watch is available in either a stainless steel or rose gold-toned case (pictured here) which measures 36mm in diameter, a far cry from some of the smaller case sizes shown above.

The watch has a beautiful dial design that is decorated with eight symmetrically placed diamonds at various hour markers. This is a lot of watch for a little money: $895 to be exact.

Baroncelli Lady Day & Night by MIDO

Swiss watch brand MIDO was founded 101 years ago and yet many of us here in the U.S. may not be familiar with the brand, but thankfully, with the help of social media, that’s starting to change.

This Baroncelli Lady Day & Night in stainless steel is shown with a high-gloss red leather strap and contains an automatic (self-winding) movement offering up to 80 hours of power reserve (just in case your customer’s mom decides to take it off for that long overdue bath she’s been wanting and forgets to put it back on for a couple of days). Also worth noting: The watch is decorated with three diamonds and has a sapphire crystal and a mother-of-pearl dial, all for only $1,090.

The Classima by Baume et Mercier

I love it when a watch collection is available in a variety of metals, diameter sizes, dial styles and strap materials, and also when it’s suitable for any gender to wear. That’s what you get when you stock Baume et Mercier’s watches, and to be even more specific, when you invest in a style like the Classima.


Shown here in the stainless-steel version measuring 31mm in diameter, this Classima hits all the right notes. The satin-finished blue dial is an eye-catchingly stark contrast against the silver-toned case and bracelet, and the size of the date window is subtle enough to not be obnoxious but practical enough that it might help remind the mom in your customer’s life that Father’s Day is up next (and that Dad might just want one of these Classima watches for himself). Price: $1,190.

La Grande Classique by Longines

Another Swiss watch brand with a deep, rich history (we’re talking over 175 years here!), Longines is a brand that mothers and even grandmothers should recognize, but that doesn’t mean that their styles are outdated or worn out. On the contrary, Longines has kept their brand fresh and relevant through strong ad campaigns, ambassadors and sporting partnerships.

Longines’ La Grande Classique in the 24mm size is elegant and affordable, which is likely what your customers are looking for. Shown here with a rose-tinted PVD coating (giving the appearance of rose gold without the rose gold price), this Swiss timepiece contains a quartz movement, has a sapphire crystal, and is water resistant to 30 meters. Oh, and the price tag for this baby is $1300. Not bad at all.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!

Barbara Palumbo is a watch and jewelry industry writer, journalist and speaker. She manages the blogging websites and



Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler Gets Kicked Out of the Studio

In the latest episode (#42) of Gene the Jeweler, Gene is going about his business, recording a new episode. But that doesn’t last long. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl leading rusher Ahman Green walks in, and Gene finds that his time in the studio is over — whether he likes it or not. (See more Gene the Jeweler episodes at

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Hot Sellers

What Were the Hottest Jewelry Brands for June? Here’s What Our Brain Squad Says

Stuller, Allison-Kaufman and Gabriel & Co. led the way.




Royal Chain is single-handedly creating an interest in men’s jewelry, a category that’s been dead since Saturday Night Fever. — Frank Intorcia, Frank Anson Jewelers, Staten Island, NY

Top-selling vision brands in June

Stuller (7), Allison-Kaufman (5), Gabriel & Co. (5), Rolex (4), Breitling (3), Lafonn (3), Pandora (3), ArtCarved (2), ASHI (2), Carla (2), Hamilton (2), Hearts On Fire (2), Lashbrook (2), Les Georgettes (2), Maple Leaf Diamonds (2), Sylvie Collection (2)

* Brands mentioned by at least two of 134 Brain Squad members when asked what they would be reordering in July.

  • Thumb rings and toe rings. It’s summer! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • Lab-grown diamonds seem to be getting hotter and hotter. A very easy sale if you know how to sell them. — Michael Kanoff, Michael’s Jewelers, Yardley, PA
  • Custom design is definitely up, actually way up. The reverse is true of mid-priced items. — Bob Fisher, R.C. Fisher, Hendersonville, NC
  • We are selling and seeing a great demand for gold chains and earrings. Also we sold a lot of pearls for the June birthstone. — Annette Kinzie, Leonard Jewelry, Stillwater, OK
  • Anything from Allison-Kaufman; ArtCarved engagement rings. — Jim Wolf, James Wolf Jewelers, Mason, OH
  • Arizona turquoise is hot. — Stephenie Bjorkman, Sami Fine Jewelry, Fountain Hills, AZ
  • We had a nice month with timepieces. Breitling and Omega seemed to be on the radar for several folks. We also had a nice month with Konstantino and sold some beautiful pieces from Yossi Harari. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • Hearts on Fire was strong for us this month, along with engagement rings in general. We also had a good month with John Hardy and some movement with generic color. — Tonia Ulsh, Mountz Jewelers, Camp Hill, PA
  • Stuller’s Red Box Diamonds … we sold 7 in one month. We have educated our team to talk about the upgrade options and insurance. Makes the program a big win! — Jennifer Farnes, Revolution Jewelry Works, Colorado Springs, CO
  • Rolex and Hamilton timepieces … both huge for graduations and Father’s Day! — Rhonda Neary, Diamond Design, St. John’s, NL
  • We started manufacturing our own line tailored to our loyal Texas market and we cannot keep the items in stock. They are flying out of our cases! Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • Custom engagement rings with lab-grown diamonds continue to be hot, as well as custom shadow bands and men’s rings. — Beth Cevasco, Scott’s Custom Jewelers, Fairlawn, OH
  • Three-stone engagement rings are super-popular now, and yellow gold is still gaining in popularity with our customers. — Jen Hollywood, J Hollywood Designs, Chester Springs, PA
  • Diamond wedding bands from First Image Design were all we could have asked for. The price and excellent quality provided a great June for all of our staff. They were quick and easy to work with on a few customer orders as well. It was nice to see a manufacturer that had stock available for a quick shipment. — Scott Kelly, Jems Jewels & Gold, North Wales, PA
  • It seems the classic diamond tennis bracelet is making a bit of a comeback. Good to see. It was always a nice item. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
  • Stuller wedding bands were hot, then again they make it so easy to fill late orders. Diamond earrings were popular with the anniversary crowd in the 0.75 ct. to 1.25 ct. size per ear. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • Estate jewelry and lab-grown diamonds (Alpha by Gemsone) have been huge for us lately. — Robert Mullen, Mullen Bros. Jewelers, Swanswa, MA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Tools and Services

New Tucson Event and More Service News for July-August

See what else is new for July and August.




Time to Care

For every charity watch sold, BERING Time donates $15 to Polar Bears International to support their Maternal Den Research Project. This ongoing fundraising effort recently led to a major donation of $28,624.

Tucson Selected

The Select Jewelry Show has announced the addition of a Tucson event next year! The Tucson Select Show will take place at the luxurious Westin La Paloma Resort on February 2-3, 2020. Mark your calendars now.

Step Right Up

Podium, the leading interaction management platform for local businesses, has announced an innovative new tool. Teamchat, often described as “similar to Slack for local/offline businesses,” is a great new way for local businesses to facilitate centralized communication.

Struck by Lightning

John Ford has launched an exclusive Mine Provenance Portfolio of loose gem-quality Lightning Ridge black opals with a transparent chain of custody to the mine of origin in Lightning Ridge, Australia.

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Jewelry Pro Gear

A 3-D Metal Printer, A Gem Popsocket and More Pro Gear for Jewelers

And don’t miss this fascinating Peruvian mineral specimen.




Spa Day

The GEMORO combination ultrasonic and high-pressure steam cleaner for jewelry is a compact powerhouse that will keep your sparklies sparkling with its two-step cleaning process. It’s small but mighty.


Sweet Statement

This lovely little clay dish from The Painted Press features a hand-painted state of your choice on a white background rimmed with gold.



Blues Rock

If you want a truly unique décor item and talking point for your store, you can’t do better than an exquisite mineral specimen like this jaw-dropping quartz over chrysocolla from Peru.


Print It Out

Designer Christian Tse and 3-D printing pioneer Desktop Metal have joined forces to bring metal 3-D printing to the jewelry industry. The complete Formula 3D Studio System is available for lease or purchase.


Rockin’ Socket

A true bling aficionado might already have a sparkly phone case, but what about a Popsocket that looks like a giant gemstone? We’re betting some of you will order one of these babies before you get to the end of this sentence.


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