On the Lighter Side: 3 Jewelry, Watch, and Retail Stories on My Radar

It’s been a week of heavy and intense news (aren’t they all?), so I went in search of some stories to lighten the mood:

1. Pearls Go Punk

The New York Times affirmed something JCK has known for some time: These aren’t your grandmother’s pearls. Once a symbol of traditional femininity, pearls go punk this fall when paired with spiky gold accents, black finishes, and copious amounts of chains. Without giving too much away, I urge you to check out our forthcoming September pearl-themed issue, which includes some of the very same pieces covered by the Times—just keep in mind we shot them well before the coverage came out.

Tasaki Collection by Thakoon Danger freshwater pearl and yellow gold necklace, $2,400; Tasaki by Thakoon, NYC; 212-929-0700; ­ stacey@thakoon.com

2. The Rules of In-Store Surveillance

The New York Times’ Bits blog reports that the burgeoning field of “retail location analytics,” the brick-and-mortar equivalent of cookies used to track a user’s movements online, is drawing the interest of privacy groups—a sure sign that the technology is on the brink of going big. Based on “cellphone signals, special apps and our movements tracked by software-enhanced cameras in stores,” the offline technology holds quite a bit of promise for retailers, particularly in terms of benchmarking (i.e., imagine being able to quantify, down to the decimal point, each of your sales people’s conversion rates, week to week).

“Over time, it is likely that at least some customers will accept tracking, particularly if offered incentives like free mall parking in exchange for visiting a specific store,” The Times writes. “‘People became used to Web analytics,’ [Will Smith, CEO of Euclid Analytics, told The Times]. ‘Amazon’s customer experience is 10 times better because of the data it gathers on people. Shorter lines and good in-store service can also come from data.’”

3. The Very Miami Watch List

My friend and fellow watch writer Keith Strandberg put together “an exclusive guide to what to wear on your wrist” for The Miami Herald’s Indulge section, covering the best timepieces to be seen in around town. Here are his recommendations for “Antiquing on 125th Street”:

These watches let you fit right in as they epitomize “vintage” in modern form.

FOR HER (top): Shinola “The Gomelsky,” $545. shinola.com
FOR HIM (bottom): Tudor Heritage Black Bay, $3,100. tudorwatch.com

The landing page for The Gomelsky on the Shinola website

Incidentally, The Gomelsky is out! I’ve been eagerly awaiting the debut of my namesake watch on the Shinola site, and as of yesterday, it was up, with a funny little story about why it’s named after yours truly.

Shinola’s story about how this shapely ladies’ watch came to be known as The Gomelsky