Industry / Podcasts

The Jewelry District, Episode 42: Industry Departures, Rocksbox, and Watches and Wonders Geneva


In this episode of The Jewelry District, you’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk about industry departures, Rocksbox, and Watches and Wonders Geneva.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria and Rob are excited for JCK Las Vegas. They also mourn the loss of two extraordinary women in the jewelry industry.
08:04 Mark Smelzer, longtime publisher of JCK, departs the company.
11:11 Rob talks about Signet’s acquisition of Rocksbox, and his concerns about company consolidation.
18:27 Victoria talks about Watches and Wonders Geneva.
20:26 There’s a new sustainable watch coming to the market in 2022.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Editor: Olivia Briley
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet

Show Recap

JCK Las Vegas
Victoria and Rob talk about getting their COVID-19 vaccines, followed by Victoria excitedly sharing that she just booked her hotel room for JCK Las Vegas, which runs Aug. 24–30. She’ll be at the Palazzo and can’t wait to see everyone there. On a sadder note, Victoria and Rob take a moment to honor the extraordinary women in the jewelry industry who passed away over the last few weeks: Elsa Peretti and Alex Woo.

Mark Smelzer Leaves JCK
In other news, Mark Smelzer, who was JCK’s publisher for 17 years, has taken another job, with Jewelers Mutual Group as chief content executive. Victoria and Rob both share memories they have of Mark, and congratulate him on his new job.

Signet’s Acquisition of Rocksbox
Signet has taken over Rocksbox, a subscription service that caters to the serious jewelry fan. Subscribers get three pieces of jewelry for $21 a month. The average three pieces cost about $150 in total, and the company sends subscribers two items they selected and one surprise. The surprise element makes this business model one of discovery. Rob spends a bit of time talking about the negatives of businesses consolidating.

Watches and Wonders Geneva
This podcast was recorded on April 7, which was the opening day of Watches and Wonders Geneva. Just like last year, the event was all virtual. Thirty-eight brands participated this year. Victoria discusses some of the new models that were expected this year based on all the press releases she received.

A Sustainable Watch
Victoria also mentions the Panerai Submersible eLAB-ID, which she wrote about for The New York Times. The timepiece is a concept watch that’s due to come out in 2022 with a limited release of just 30. A big selling point of this watch? It’s made from 98.6% recycled material—a record in the industry. Panerai also used nine external suppliers, a fact that it publicized in its press release. It’s not typical for Swiss companies to share where their materials come from, so Panerai doing so signals a new effort toward sustainability.

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