Sol Meller, president of 100-year-old Los Angeles retailer Feldmar Watch Co. (pictured, right), died Nov. 30 from pancreatic cancer. He was 69.
Meller, a lawyer, was lured into the retail business in the early 1970s when he married Nancy Feldmar, a member of the family that owned the store, which began in 1913 as a New Jersey watch-repair business. Though Meller and Feldmar eventually divorced, he continued with the company.
Known as “Uncle Sol,” Meller was considered as a consummate salesman who catered to his clients with a personal touch.
“I’ve had people who look like they don’t have two nickels to rub together and they come in and ask you to size a watch they got as a gift, and you do it for free in two minutes—and those customers have turned into $100,000 customers,” he told JCK in 2013. “Everybody gets treated the same, even if it’s a $2 screw.”
Meller’s commitment to the business never wavered.
“For 41 years, I’m here from 8:30 in the morning. just like my employees, and leave at 6 or 6:30 at night, just like my employees. I don’t hide in the office reading magazines.”
Meller’s son Scott now oversees the business.
Image courtesy Feldmar Watch Co.