Distinguished jeweler Stephen Silver, Chairman/CEO of Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry, Menlo Park, CA, has invested his entire career in accruing elite rare jewels for serious collectors. Each thoughtfully procured piece is something he would often want to keep and appreciate. Within this delicate tension between selling and collecting lies the genius for Silver’s prowess in what he determines is worthy of acquisition irrespective of price.
A discerning eye
The same eye for extraordinary value now finds its expression through a lineup of nine rare timepieces curated in the new Stephen Silver Watch Boutique at Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel. The exclusive Menlo Park destination plays host to savvy global visitors to the region and a distinct demographic at the epicenter of Silicon Valley’s technology culture.
The Stephen Silver Watch Boutique grand opening on October 17, 2014 energized celebrants with an expansive array of rarities including a dazzling display of Cartier Mystery Clocks from Silver’s private collection. Industry pundit Bill Boyajian, president of Bill Boyajian & Associates, attending the event remarked: “Steve understands the art of uniqueness in his exquisite jewelry, and his spectacular selection of rare and distinctive watches. He knows what will appeal to serious collectors, and how to put them together with his rarified collections.”
For Silver, the total package of delivering value, exclusivity and focused customer care often with education is inextricably linked to creating the luxury experience. Silver has carefully cultivated confidence in his customers over decades. “We deliver the back story when wanted,” he says, “but otherwise we develop trust and credibility with them, so they understand the value of what they are buying.”
It’s about time
The watch boutique also features iconic jewelry emblematic of the Stephen Silver brand. The company built its reputation on offering top-notch vintage jewels and signed period pieces from acclaimed jewelry houses. But the buzz surrounding nine rare watch brands was clearly the focus of the evening’s gala. Timepieces from Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet, Ulysse Nardin, Laurent Ferrier, HYT, Arnold & Son, Ressence, Parmigiani, and DEVON comprise the stellar line up.
“These are not brands one finds elsewhere,” notes Andrew Block, president of Stephen Silver Fine Jewelry. Mainstream watches can be found in malls all over the country, he said. “Our timepieces are not for everyone, and that’s fine. The exclusive watches at our boutique speak to a discerning clientele. We have a different level of watch fans that are true aficionados and know each watch in there.”
Location, location, location
Menlo Park, the global tech-central is an unparalleled locale revealing distinct consumer preferences. “Our collectors expect to find cutting-edge technology in a timepiece. Each of the brands offered excite the imagination of our clients in that respect,” Block says. “These timepieces resonate with the Menlo Park demographic who have extraordinary wealth but don’t walk around flaunting it,” he finds.
Equally rare - individually distinct
The limited edition watches hold spellbound their collectors who understand the discreet complications. Richard Mille timepieces integrate aeronautics and race car technology. HYT assimilates hydro-mechanical technology into horological wonders. Ressence watches have surprisingly dispensed with traditional stems.
DEVON timepieces deliver a patented system known as interwoven Time Belts™. Ronald Jackson, global president at DEVON explains, “The DEVON owner is first and foremost an individual who appreciates innovation and modern design; well educated individuals with the financial freedom to buy sophisticated and unique products we’ve created.”
Alexis Sarkissian, CEO at Totally Worth It, represents the exclusive Laurent Ferrier and Ressence watches. “The Ressence, with liquid under its crystal has no crown stem to wind. Instead, the functions happen on the reverse of the case. Laurent Ferrier is the only brand offering tourbillon with a double spiral for enhanced security and accuracy,” he explains. Both of these brands are produced in very small editions of between 50 to 100 pieces annually.
Stephen Silver Watch Boutique presents elite jewelry and rare timepieces - and that is reason enough for most customers’ devotion. But the personal aspect of service and education which Silver and his team offer is the secret sauce to their success.
The space is the message
The luxury experience is reinforced in subtle nuances throughout the sumptuous space. “The visually striking architecture and the location of the boutique,” Block tells us, “creates a rarified air in which to do business.” Sarkissian enjoys the attention to detail throughout. “The boutique looks gorgeous and cozy at the same time. Nothing has been spared in transforming this store into a jewel. The showcases hang on metal wire suspended from the ceiling and continue to the floor; an engineering mini-marvel designed with an acute aesthetic eye.” Boyajian concurs. “Steve has executed on a concept with his niche boutique that has a great prospect of being a game-changer in the industry; offering a new model to the rich and famous.”