LEONORE DOSKOW MARKS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
Every anniversary is a silver one at Leonore Doskow Inc., Montrose, N.Y. But this October will be a special one for the silver jewelry manufacturer: it will mark 60 years since Leonore and David Doskow founded the company in Greenwich Village.
David Doskow, owner and son of the founders, says no special celebration is planned. But the anniversary is noted on the company’s ads and merchandising displays.
In its six decades of operation, the company has established its niche in quality silver jewelry. Its primary product has had its share of ups and downs, but the company has expanded consistently (except for a slowdown during World War II).
“Over the years, it’s been an uphill battle to keep silver in jewelry stores,” says Doskow. But his clients today range from small mom-and-pop stores to high-end, high-profile stores such as Lux, Bond and Green of West Hartford, Conn., and London Jewelers of Glen Cove, N.Y.
Doskow’s line changes regularly to meet retailer demands. This year, for example, the company released 70 new items, all handcrafted and none made with hollow tubing. Particularly popular now are silver bangle bracelets, earrings and cuff links.
Leonore Doskow Inc., One Doskow Rd., Montrose, N.Y. 10548; (800) 431-1335.
SWATCHMOBILE GETS OFFICIAL NAME
The subcompact car to be produced by Mercedes-Benz and SMH, the maker of Swatch watches, will be called Smart and will sell for about $10,300 to $13,800, according to The New York Times. The car, due to go into production in October 1997 in France, had been dubbed the Swatchmobile since it was first announced. Plans are to sell 200,000 cars annually – after a three-year introduction phase – through a new separate franchise network.
WATCHES CO-STAR IN SUMMER HITS
Anyone who attends some of the summer’s blockbuster movies may notice some notable timepieces on the wrists of many stars.
In Batman Forever, actor Val Kilmer wears Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso, with a case that rotates 180¯ (a feature originally created for polo players to protect the crystal). Batman’s version features a television on the caseback.
Jaeger-LeCoultre created two limited-edition Reverso series to commemorate the appearance in the movie. The first series comprises five large 18k gold Reversos with tan ostrich straps. The first was given to Kilmer, two were given to Warner Bros. for display in its museums and Jaeger-LeCoultre will add the other two to its own museum collections.
The second series consists of 35 large steel Reversos with tan ostrich straps. The company donated several to charity auctions and will use the rest as prizes in a summer sweepstakes. A similar sweepstakes, conducted through national magazine advertisements, will be held in 14 other countries after the movie opens in the U.S.
In the same movie, Batman nemesis Two-Face, played by actor Tommy Lee Jones, wears an automatic Oris Big Crown Classic. During production of the movie, Jones asked the movie’s wardrobe department to buy the watch. The department called the company’s U.S. headquarters in Hawthorne, N.Y., and ordered two of them.
In Apollo 13, Omega’s Speedmaster reprises its real-life role as the timepiece worn by astronauts in the ill-fated mission on which the movie is based. Omega hosted a screening of the movie in Las Vegas before it opened nationwide at the end of June. At the screening, guests included Capt. James A. Lovell (portrayed by Tom Hanks in the movie) and Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Stafford, who was in the control room at NASA at the time. Omega publicized its link with the movie in large ads in Vanity Fair and GQ magazines followed by notices in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and other large newspapers.
In addition, Bruce Willis is often seen checking his Breitling aviator watch in the action thriller Die Hard With a Vengeance.
The folks at Tourneau, New York, N.Y., one of the country’s largest watch retailers, noticed the summer “watch” hits. Executive Vice President Anthony D’Ambrosio says movies can have a strong influence on consumer tastes. He says that influence is already apparent in some stores: “The visibility of watches in this summer’s movies has increased demand for these and other unique Swiss watches.”
LEACH & GARNER DEBUTS NEW ‘HARDER’ GOLD
Sales of herringbone gold chain have stagnated in recent years because many consumers lost confidence in a product with a poor durability record, according to Leach & Garner International. Now the firm is trying to revive interest in herringbone chain with a new alloy and production method that it says resists kinking, stretching and breakage.
President Ted Leach says the company worked two years to develop a 14k gold alloy hard enough to withstand the wear and tear of everyday use, yet be attractive, flexible and lightweight.
“We researched the market and found there was substantial interest in herringbone chain, but also a loss of consumer confidence because of all the problems women had with them,” says Leach. The new product combines a stronger gold alloy with a new link construction that resists kinking and wearer discomfort such as hair pulls, he says.
The new chain will cost more than conventional products, says Leach, but its lifetime guarantee and resistance to damage make it a value-oriented product that jewelers can sell as a brand name.
The chain joins “dentproof” bangles and improved strength hollow rope chain in Leach & Garner’s Premiere gold collection, also made from the new alloy.
The Premiere collection with L&G’s sun logo will be featured prominently in all of its point-of-purchase advertisements and promotions. “It’s time for a brand name in gold jewelry,” says Leach. “Consumers want to know who makes their gold so they can buy with more confidence.”
Leach & Garner, 57 John L. Dietsch Square, North Attleboro, Mass. 02760; (800) 648-4768 or (508) 695-4300.
ANGLO’S EARNINGS RISE 20% IN 1995
Earnings rose 20% to US$917 million in fiscal 1995 for Anglo American Corp., the world’s largest gold 2. mining house.
Industrial, commercial, base metal and coal divisions showed strong gains. Finance and mining divisions reported more modest gains. Gold mining, once the mainstay of Anglo’s profits, was lackluster because of static gold prices and rising mining costs.
The profit squeeze has continued into this year, says Clem Sunter, head of the company’s gold and platinum mining division. Three factors contribute to the squeeze: mining costs are rising 10%-15% yearly, no new gold mining projects are planned to take up the slack from aging operations and Anglo has done all the cost-cutting it can do, say executives.
Despite the problems with its gold holdings, Anglo is still rated as the world’s largest mining house, according to a report in the Financial Times of London. According to the Who’s Who of Mining by the Raw Materials Institute of Sweden, Anglo held an 8.6% share by value of all non-fuel materials mined in 1994. Its nearest rival was RTZ with a 5.36% share of market.
Anglo’s high percentage of precious materials – gold, diamonds and platinum – are the chief reason for its world leadership, says the report.
Anglo is the world’s largest gold producer and, through De Beers, its related company, also is the world’s leader in diamond production. The report combines Anglo and De Beers Consolidated Mines.