UK jewellers toast top talent at glamorous awards bash
LONDON, July 2013 – UK jewellers celebrated top talent at a ritzy awards event staged for the first time in London’s Natural History Museum.
Hundreds of jewellers in black tie and elegant attire, from retailers to designers and manufacturers, gathered for the annual UK Jewellery Awards on July 4.
At the event headlined by Retail Jeweller magazine, Ros Millar won New Designer of the Year for her original gothic luxe signature style.
One judge said she had a “strong aesthetic”, while another spoke about a “refreshing focus on design and making.”
Sophie Harley won Jewellery Designer of the Year, and was recognized by the judges as a “strong brand with a great creative history”.
The general public would probably know Sophie for her Algerian Love Knot, which was worn by Eva Green as Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale.
By her own description, Sophie deals in “storytelling in precious metals.”
Bremont won Luxury Watch Brand of the Year, a recognition of its role in spearheading the British watch revival.
Just weeks before this award was announced, Bremont was revealed as the joint winner of HSBC bank’s Global Connections 2013 competition, which was set up to find the UK’s most innovative companies.
In the past year it has opened a workshop in Henley-on-Thames, near London, which is where Bremont’s assembly now happens and from where brothers Nick and Giles English, who founded the brand, are hoping to develop Bremont’s first in-house movement.
Bremont also won the award for Store Design of the Year.
Bering Time won Watch Brand of the Year, and was recognized for its excellent customer service and for working closely with retailers.
Also recognized for the value of its customer service was Citizen Watch, which won Supplier of the Year.
All of those surveyed thought the product range, pricing, helpfulness of the sales representatives and marketing support were excellent.
In the retailer categories, Chisholm Hunter won Multiple Retailer of the Year for a second year running.“This is a company that feels like it moved from an independent to a multiple without losing its heart,” one judge said.
Allum & Sidaway won Retail Employer of the Year.
“The staff are always motivated and very happy working for a company that truly values its employees,” said one employee who had worked at Allum & Sidaway for 16 years.
Abigail Stradling of Allum & Sidaway won Retail Star of the Year.
TheDiamondStore.co.uk won Etailer of the Year.
“This is a true multichannel retailer that uses social media and customer reviews to add value to its business,” one judge said.
Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design won Boutique Retailer of the Year.
Judges were bowled away by the unique reliance on bespoke, and were impressed by Harriet’s plans to revolutionise the role of the internet in bespoke jewellery commissions.
The Watch Gallery won Watch Retailer of the Year, and was praised by the judges from both bricks-and-mortar and etail perspectives.
They said it was one of those stores that all the watch brands want to be in.
Other winners included Rox, which won the category for Independent Retailer of the Year for the third straight year, and Jersey Pearl, which won Jewellery Brand of the Year.
Last year Rox opened another store in Edinburgh, which impressed the brands so much that the retailer now stocks names such as Hublot, Corum, MontBlanc and Girard-Perregaux.
Jersey Pearl has carved a niche for itself in the challenging world of pearl jewellery.
It has pushed the envelope in terms of design, collaborating with people such as ethical jewellery designer Anna Loucah.
It has brought pearl jewellery to a younger, more fashionable customer.
Sharman D Neill won Platinum Bridal Collection of the Year.
The judges praised the polish and shape of the rings.
Sharman D Neill prides itself on offering wedding and engagement rings that combine tradition with modernity.
Keanes Jewellers won Marketing Campaign of the Year.
The thing that impressed the judges the most about this winning advertising campaign was that Keanes really committed to a change of strategy.
Keanes wanted to move away from its promotion coinciding with the launch of its annual catalogue in November.
It had notice that jewellery purchasing was becoming more tied into the desire to gift or mark an occasion. From this, Start Your Own Story was born.
Industry veteran Simon Fraser won the award for Outstanding Contribution of the Year.
“In his role as course director for Central Saint Martins’ Jewellery MA, Simon Fraser is in a position to shape the future of the industry, something he has done with enthusiasm and aplomb,” his citation read.