Supplier News

MAYER’S JEWELRY MARKS ANNIVERSARY

Mayer’s Jewelry Co., Hollywood, Fla., celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Mayer Ziefer founded the company in New York as a watch bracelet assembler. He continued with one partner, Al Kroll, for two decades, primarily in the watch business.

Ziefer’s son, Sam, joined the company in 1969 and set up a nationwide sales network. The following year, the company bought W.C. Edge Co., a jewelry manufacturer.

After Mayer Ziefer retired in 1972, his son moved the company to Florida and then coaxed his father out of retirement; Mayer has worked a full schedule ever since. Martin Gayer, who joined the company in 1958, became a partner in 1974.

Today, with a third division founded in 1980 (Designers Manufacturing), Mayer’s employs 110 to design, manufacture and distribute 14k gold jewelry.

COMPANIES, SPORTSMAN JOIN FOR SCHOOL SUPPORT

Former Chicago Bulls player John Paxson, now a sports commentator, has joined with a watch supplier and a jeweler to raise money for a not-for-profit boys school in Chicago, Ill.

Esquire Watch Co., a division of North American Watch Corp. of Lyndhurst, N.J., and Rogers & Hollands of Park Forest, Ill., paid for opening ceremonies of the Glenwood School for Boys’ Olympic Day, a 20-event athletic contest for students. (The school was founded in 1887 by Robert Todd Lincoln, son of President Abraham Lincoln, and now teaches disadvantaged boys ages 7-18.)

In addition, Esquire will give one of its John Paxson basketball watches (featuring Paxson’s signature on the face) to the first 250 people who give the school $250 or more.

SWATCH OLYMPIC CLOCK TICKING

Olympic gold medalists Dan Jansen and Matt Biondi traveled to New York City in July to help Swatch launch a year-long countdown to the 1996 Olympic Games.

Jansen, a speedskater, and Biondi, a swimmer, raced on relay teams with children from the New York City chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America through a small obstacle course of Olympic-style sports. As they crossed the finish line, Swatch activated a digital clock on a prominent billboard high above Times Square. The clock will count down the minutes and seconds remaining until the Olympic Games begin in Atlanta, Ga.

Swatch also used the event to launch the second of its four Olympic watch collections. This collection contains nine models. A portion of the proceeds from each watch sale will go toward building sports facilities for the Olympics and for the International Youth Camp for underprivileged children.

The watch company recently presented a check for more than $1 million to Juan-Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee. The money was raised from sales of the Swatch IOC 100 Chrono watch, which commemorates the IOC’s 100th anniversary.

AUDEMARS PIGUET TRIP BUILDS RETAILER INCENTIVE

This month, 20 watch retailers will travel in style to learn more about luxury watches, see western Switzerland and even brush up on their French on a five-day trip sponsored by Audemars Piguet.

The company has sponsored the trip twice a year for the past five years so its key retailers can visit the factory where its watches are made in a French-speaking region of Switzerland.

Larry Geisler, managing director of Time Products Inc., New York City, which distributes Audemars Piguet in the U.S., believes the key to his company’s continued growth in the U.S. (sales are up about 24% during the past year) lies in its sales force. “Knowledge of our product builds confidence, and confidence builds sales,” he says.

On the trip, salespeople see materials selection, construction and product testing of watches. They also visit the Audemars Piguet museum in La Brassus and then meet the two watchmakers responsible for the La Grande Complication, the company’s famous timepiece. They also visit Geneva’s many watch shops and showrooms.

“We had the opportunity to learn everything about Audemars Piguet, its history, where it all started,” said Victoria Zabala, salesperson for Tourneau in Palm Beach, Fla., who went on the tour in May.

SUPPLIERS ON THE GROW

Aaura Inc. relocated its corporate office and showroom to the Mallers Building in Chicago. The move marks the second time in four years that the firm has doubled its space; the new offices measure 5,000 sq. ft. Aaura’s new address: 67 E. Madison St., Suite 1900, Chicago Ill. 60602. Telephone and fax numbers remain the same.

Alexander Primak Jewelry, a manufacturer of platinum and 18k gold jewelry, acquired the Palazzo D’Oro line of fine jewelry. Palazzo, a maker of 14k women’s jewelry, will operate as a division of Alexander Primak and will continue to be managed by David Spivak. It will move from its Westport, Conn., location to Alexander Primak Jewelry, 2 W. 47 St., New York, N.Y. 10036; (212) 398-0287.

Braunstein, a karat gold earring and chain manufacturer, doubled its office space so it can expand manufacturing, packaging and shipping operations. Braunstein, 104 W. 29 St., New York, N.Y. 10001; (800) 223-8942.

Grobet File Co. of America Inc., Carlstadt, N.J., bought the assets of Vigor Co. and its L.P. Tool and Supply Division, Austell, Ga. Grobet distributes jewelers’ tools, supplies and equipment and has manufacturing facilities in New Hampshire, Canada and Switzerland. The Vigor sales force and the Grobet sales force will continue to make sales calls for their respective lines. For additional information, call (800) 847-4188.

Lockhart Jewelry Co. named Al Jazira Jewellery Factory in Saudi Arabia as sole distributor of Lockhart Jewelry Cleaner in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen and Egypt. Earlier in the year, Lockhart named M&A Importing and Manufacturing, Ltd. of Toronto to distribute the product in Canada. Lockhart Jewelry Cleaner is a patented effervescent tablet that loosens and dissolves dirt, oils and grime. Lockhart Jewelry Co., P.O. Box 331, 263 Norwood Rd., Downingtown, Pa. 19335; (610) 269-2175, fax (610) 269-2189.

M&L Jewelry Manufacturing Inc., Los Angeles, Cal., bought Wedding Rings and Co., Los Angeles, for an undisclosed amount. M&L Jewelry Manufacturing, 1151 W Sixth St., Los Angeles, Cal. 90017; (800) 886-2635. Wedding Rings and Co., 781 E 14th Pl., Los Angeles, Cal. 90021; (213) 622-4400.

Swiss watchmaker Revue Thommen named Precise International, Orangeburg, N.Y., as exclusive distributor and marketer in the U.S. Revue Thommen manufactures upscale mechanical and quartz watches. Precise International, 15 Corporate Dr., Orangeburg, N.Y. 10962; (800) 431-2996 or (914) 365-3500.

Sam Ziefer (left), his father Mayer Ziefer and Martin Gayer (right) aboard the Vegas Express celebrate the 50th anniversary of Mayer’s Jewelry Co., Hollywood, Fla.