Industry / Podcasts

The Jewelry District, Episode 54: Watch Sustainability, the HardRock Summit, and the Pandora Papers


You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk about sustainability in watches, the HardRock Summit, and the Pandora Papers.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria tells us about her visit to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles and what that has to do with Rolex.
07:20 Victoria attended the HardRock Summit in Denver and shares her thoughts on the event.
11:20 Rob introduces us to Victoria’s latest New York Times article about watches and sustainability.
19:45 Rob reveals what the Pandora Papers are all about, what the big deal is, and who’s in hot water because of them.

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

Show Recap

Rolex and the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Victoria starts off the podcast by sharing a story about how she was invited by Rolex to attend the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. While it may not be well-known, Rolex is actually deeply involved in the world of cinema, especially in Hollywood, and is a founding supporter of the museum. On display is the famous Rolex Daytona owned by Paul Newman that was auctioned in 2017 for $17 million. At the opening, Victoria met Spike Lee, who has an exhibition at the museum and is also a mentor in Rolex’s protégé program.

The HardRock Summit
If the very esoteric world of high-value minerals and gemstones is of any interest to you, then Victoria’s account of her visit to Denver’s HardRock Summit will be of interest to you, too. The show had two components: Evolution, dedicated to minerals, and Sparkle & Joy, a more traditional trade show. At Sparkle & Joy, Victoria interviewed the exhibitor LuxeRox, a subscription service that sends out a different mineral specimen on a branded display stand every few months.

Watches and Sustainability
Rob and Victoria shift gears to talk about Victoria’s New York Times article on watches and sustainability. She interviewed three people with different perspectives on the watch industry and asked them about sustainability. She spoke to a collector, curious if collectors even think about sustainability. She also spoke to someone from the World Wildlife Federation in Switzerland, who is nearly done with a follow-up to a 2018 report on how the watch industry is proceeding with its transparency and sourcing. Victoria feels as though the watch industry can certainly be cleaner, but it’s not the worst industry out there when it comes to sustainability.

The Pandora Papers
Rob pivots the conversation toward the Pandora Papers, a massive leak of offshore data. Rob says that while people keep emphasizing the “offshore” part of these leaks, there are places in the United States—such as South Dakota, Delaware, and Florida—that also have problems with corporate transparency and offshore holding. Holding money offshore can be done legally; the problem is that the money doesn’t get taxed and it can’t be traced. Rob talks about some of the companies listed in these data leaks.

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