The Jewelry District, Episode 69: Watches and Wonders, AGS Conclave, Russian Diamonds


In This Episode
You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk about Watches and Wonders Geneva, the AGS Conclave, and Russian diamonds.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria recaps her experience as a guest of Breitling ahead of Watches and Wonders.
11:00 Victoria fills us in on her experience at Watches and Wonders.
17:09 Rob was at the AGS Conclave and tells us how that went.
21:49 Victoria and Rob express excitement for JCK Las Vegas; Rob talks about Russian diamonds.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs: jckonline.com@jckmagazine

Show Recap

Breitling Marketing

Victoria went to Watches and Wonders Geneva, where she was a guest of Breitling. Known for its aviation watches, the company invited journalists and watch experts to Zurich ahead of Watches and Wonders to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its Navitimer, introduced in 1952. George Kern, CEO of Breitling, came down to give a speech and boarded the same plane as Victoria, and everyone flew to Geneva. On the plane, all of the new watches were passed around.

Watches and Wonders

Victoria says Watches and Wonders was a good show with a lot of excitement and optimism. She also noticed a lot of travel-themed watches. Rob asks if there was a lot of talk about smartwatches, and Victoria says no. She believes that smartwatches may have ignited a larger interest in watches in general even when they’re not present themselves. She also mentions a new mechanical watch she picked up at the show, and one brand, TAG Heuer, that’s using lab-grown diamonds in its watches.

AGS Conclave

Rob was just at the AGS Conclave in Oklahoma City. Victoria asks if lab-grown was a big theme there, and Rob says it was a theme, but not a major one. A lot of the discussion around lab-grown diamonds was about making sure you’re not accidentally buying a lab-grown when you believe you’re buying natural. A big topic at AGS was Russian diamonds and the reputational issues around buying and selling them. Rob says the mood at AGS was a good, and this event was one of its most highly attended Conclaves. There were sessions on sustainability and the verbiage around sustainability as well as origin and tracing.

Russian Diamonds

Victoria mentions anticipation for JCK Las Vegas. Rob and Victoria are both looking forward to the event and want to meet with people in person rather than virtually. To end the podcast, Victoria asks Rob about Russian diamonds. The U.S. sanctions have been a big hit to Alrosa, which is one- third owned by the Russian government. There aren’t many newly mined diamonds on the market. A lot of people are paying attention to traceability and sourcing.

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