Among jewelers, the holiday season has an ambiguous start. Does it kick off with Thanksgiving? With the onset of cold weather? With Halloween?
If my party schedule last week was any indication, the holidays have officially begun. From the opening of Kara Ross’ new Manhattan boutique on Nov. 12 to a trio of happenings back home in L.A., my calendar has been brimming with events that may not have been promoted as holiday get-togethers, per se, but were unquestionably imbued with seasonal cheer. Here’s what I learned about how to draw the crowds:
1. Turn 100 years old and renovate your store just in time for the big blowout.
Feldmar Watch Co., a West Los Angeles watch retailer located on West Pico Blvd., is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It also just completed a top-to-bottom remodel that we covered in the April 2013 issue of JCK. On Nov. 14, father-and-son owners Sol and Scott Meller threw a bash to honor the big birthday and the renovation, complete with red carpet and all. I took my twin sister, Julia, and we wandered around the store, snacking on passed hors d’oeuvres and drinking fine wine, as we ogled the extensive watch selection (including, might I add, The Gomelsky by Shinola).
The store has a spacious, multiroom layout, but I still found myself jostled by all the people who’d turned up for the event, including a slew of brand presidents (from Omega and Bedat, among others). Happy anniversary and congratulations to the entire team at Feldmar for completing such an impressive renovation in time to celebrate the mother of all milestones! The store looks fabulous!
My sister, Julia, in silhouette in front of the renovated Feldmar store at the retailer’s grand reopening/100th anniversary party.
2. Throw a “Pierce, Love, and Happiness” party.
Jacquie Aiche, a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based designer who I met in August, totally charmed me with her style—she combines offbeat gemstones and materials with slinky body jewelry for a casual yet luxurious statement that is the essence of California chic—so when I received an invite to a shopping event at her showroom for the same night as the Feldmar grand reopening, I knew I couldn’t pass it up. Promoted as a “one-of-a-kind ear piercing party,” the cocktail event was packed with women who belong to the “Jacquie Aiche Tribe”—a devoted bunch, to say the least.
Jul was once again my partner in crime. When we arrived, the valet service suggested that we were in for a classy affair. And we were—but even better than classy, the party was straight-up cool. One room was given over to a team of piercers from a local tattoo and piercing parlor called Nathan’s, who were on hand to perform the promised piercing. My sis was so enamored of JA’s $125 mini star stud in 14k rose gold that she ordered one for herself. I watched a woman with amazing tattoos—her right shoulder was emblazoned with Frankenstein’s unforgettable mug, while her left depicted his equally memorable bride—have her way with Jul’s left ear. The procedure was quick, painless, and fun. And Jul spent the rest of the night beaming about her sexy new stud. I can’t think of a better way to draw self-purchasing women to an event than by offering them an open bar, plenty of tasty treats, and the opportunity to get their ears pierced in one fell swoop.
Jacquie: Please keep me posted on your next shindig. I’ll party with you anytime!
Jul getting her ear pierced by a woman with the most amazing Bride of Frankenstein tattoo at designer Jacquie Aiche’s “Pierce, Love, and Happiness” party.
3. Invite a (very) special guest.
If you’re a lover of fine watches, you have likely heard the name F.P. Journe—the F.P. stands for François-Paul—a Geneva-based watchmaker often described as the modern-day Abraham-Louis Breguet. Journe makes only 800 watches a year, and every last one of them is coveted by the cognoscenti.
In July, the watchmaker opened his first Los Angeles boutique, an airy, two-story space located on Sunset Boulevard, in the heart of West Hollywood (in what is rumored to have once been the famed Trocadero nightclub). And on Friday, the store hosted the official opening party. Mr. Journe himself was in town for the celebration.
I had arranged to come to the boutique during the day to meet Mr. Journe and see the watch that prompted his visit, a special Historical Anniversary Tourbillon model that honors the very first timepiece, a tourbillon pocket watch, that 20-year-old Journe made in 1977.
The Historical Anniversary Tourbillon marking F.P. Journe’s 30 years in watchmaking.
The highlight of our meeting came when Mr. Journe took the watch off his own wrist and handed it to me so I could snap a photo. The Grande et Petite Sonnerie, completed in 2005, is a minute repeater with a sophisticated chiming mechanism and is something of a holy grail among watch lovers.
I’m no watch nut, but even I was bowled over by the experience. Although I had to speak to Mr. Journe through a translator (my French is worse than his English), I was excited just to spend time with a watchmaking legend and such a complicated, celebrated timepiece.
The Grande et Petite Sonnerie by F.P. Journe, straight off its maker’s wrist.