Supplier News

CARRERAS FOUNDATION BENEFITS FROM CHOPARD

Chopard has created a limited-edition watch to benefit the Jose Carreras Foundation to Fight Leukemia.

The classically styled 18k watches feature an automatic movement and hand-engraving of the Vienna Opera and Carreras’ signature on the caseback. The company will make 250 of the watches and donate $920 of the $10,560 retail price of each one sold to the foundation.

The famed tenor was diagnosed with leukemia in 1987 but overcame the disease after treatment in Spain and the U.S.

Chopard plans to create a new limited-edition watch for the foundation each year.

IWC TO END AFFILIATION WITH PORSCHE STUDIOS

International Watch Co., Shaffhausen, Switzerland, will end its 20-year affiliation with Ferdinand A. Porsche design studios in Austria in 1998.

IWC and Porsche created a number of watches, many made of titanium, under the name Porsche Design. In 1998, IWC will begin to make titanium watches under its own name.

PATEK PHILIPPE CONSOLIDATES WORKSHOPS

Patek Philippe has consolidated 12 workshops and 620 employees into one new building in Geneva, Switzerland, says Philippe Stern, president and managing director.

The company’s historic building at Rue du Rhone in Geneva will be renovated to house the largest private watch museum dedicated to Geneva watchmaking and a newly renovated retail area.

ALA LAUNCHES NEW FIRM FOR SMALLER RETAILERS

ALA Castings has launched Overnight Mountings, a company aimed at providing smaller retailers with overnight delivery of mountings and semifinished jewelry. Overnight Mountings provides next-day delivery of 4,000 styles from a full range of categories, including bridal, women’s diamond fashion, remounts, colored stones, men’s rings, earrings, pendants and findings.

The new company is headed by Jeffrey Adwar, also president of ALA Castings, Jeff Lederman and Michael Lederman.

Thanks to state-of-the-art bar coding and computer imaging, retailers will be told the exact cost and arrival time of a delivery when ordering, says Jeff Lederman. The company’s first catalog comprises 200 pages of semifinished and polished mountings.

The company operates out of ALA Castings’ new 50,000-sq.-ft. building in Long Island City, N.Y. ALA, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, moved to the new location in July.

Overnight Mountings and ALACastings will move this month to 2121 44 Drive, Long Island City, NY 11101; (888) 731-1111. Until then, they can be reached at their FifthAve. location at (718) 472 1212.

LONDON STAR OWNERS BUY OUT PARTNERS

The owners of London Star, one of New York’s largest diamond houses and a major manufacturer of finished jewelry, have bought the interest of their minority partners and merged the company’s two main operations. The new management team is Danny Fiszman, chairman, and Robby Polak, president. Executive vice presidents are Larry Hirsch, Jerry Klein, Robert Forster and Michael Lerche.

Fiszman bought the interest of Leon and Irwin Weindling “in an amicable business relationship that has lasted over 30 years,” says Hirsch. In the ensuing reorganization, London Star’s sister company, Star Diamond Trading, was united under the same corporate banner. Identities, sales staffs and lines will remain separate.

“The deal will be invisible to our customers,” says Hirsch. “All of the lines that were available from each company will continue to be available. The only difference is that we will be much stronger as a united company, with much greater resources.”

London Star and Star Diamonds serve larger jewelry retailers.

BELL GROUP CONSOLIDATES

Three distribution companies of the Bell Group Inc. — formerly Rio Grande Tools & Equipment, River Gems & Findings, and Bluewater Display and Packaging — have consolidated under the name Rio Grande and moved into one 180,000-sq.- ft. building at 7500 Bluewater Rd. N.W., Albuquerque, NM 87121.

Each distribution company will retain its toll-free telephone number for specialized service. Rio Grande’s gems and findings catalog (formerly River Gems and Findings) and display and packaging catalog was recently published under the Rio Grande label. The Rio Grande Tools catalog, published every January, will retain its name.

For more information, call Rio Grande at (505) 839-3000.