In an unusual summer event, scores of watch, jewelry, and retail industry leaders gathered July 26 in New York City for a luncheon honoring the late Benjamin Kaiser, a watch and jewelry industry leader himself active in many trade organizations for almost a half-century, on the 10th anniversary of his death.
The event was held in the historic Lotos Club, where Kaiser for years held celebrated parties for the industry preceding the annual Twenty Four Karat Club of New York dinner.
Kaiser fought in the Polish underground during World War II and later became a U.S. citizen. He founded New York-based David G. Steven, Inc., U.S. distributor of Swiss luxury watch brand Baume & Mercier, and was later president and chairman of Baume & Mercier USA (after acquisition by the brand).
One after another, various trade and association leaders at the well-attended luncheon rose at their tables to offer their memories of Ben Kasier and speak of his wit, wisdom, ethics, business acumen, Old World charm, friendship, and support of the industry.
The luncheon was co-hosted by Rudy Chavez, current president of Baume & Mercier USA, who praised Kaiser’s dedication as a businessman to “integrity, community, and customer service” and his son Steven Kaiser, president of Kaiser Time, who recalled his father’s devotion to his adopted country and toasted him as “a great man.”