Industry News, July 2017

The first week of June in Las Vegas has increasingly become a focal point for professionals working in the jewelry industry. The JCK Show is the annual flagship event for Jewelers Circular Keystone, a news outlet and industry trends tracker that dubs itself the “Industry Authority.” The show’s success in drawing over 30,000 industry professionals to Las Vegas has enticed other industry-related shows to run concurrently with the JCK show. Couture, Jewelers International Showcase (JIS), and the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show all happen at the same time or within days of each other. However, the shows differ in who is exhibiting and who is attending.

JCK is open to all with careers in the jewelry industry—exhibitors and show attendees alike. It is designed to foster networking and business transactions between professionals, businesses, and retailers. Couture is open only to representatives of high-end jewelry retailers and the press. Exhibitors must be suppliers of finished goods only. Direct delivery of purchases is against show rules at the JCK and Couture shows. Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show is open to anybody interested in purchasing secondhand jewelry and watches, and many of the exhibitors were representatives from prominent jewelry stores around the country as well as brokers and wholesalers. “Cash and carry” transactions are prominent. JIS is designed to deliver finished new goods directly to retailers with immediate delivery at the show.

Over the past several years, most higher-end watch brands have exited the JCK show system and found their way over to Couture. The atmosphere is more exclusive and many brands require appointments to even view their new products. Jordan Ficklin and I spent time approaching brands to familiarize them with what AWCI has to offer, encourage convention attendance, promote IAB membership, and get their ideas on the needs of the watchmaking industry. Couture didn’t do a very good job in informing attendees which brands were available, and many exhibitors were upset that traffic on the show floor was underwhelming. However, traffic at the JCK show seemed down as well, which may indicate a down year for the jewelry industry overall. Official attendance numbers for the shows are not yet available.

At JCK, Tom Schomaker was available to help fulfill the educational mission of AWCI by offering mini-seminars at the Bergeon Switzerland booth in the Essentials (tools) section of the show. AWCI would like to thank Gérard Meulensteen from Bergeon for the opportunity to be a part of their booth. Due to Bergeon’s generosity, AWCI could help spread the word of continuing education, membership in our organization, subscribing to the magazine, and directing retailers to our “Find A Professional” service. AWCI representation included Executive Director Jordan Ficklin, Instructor Tom Schomaker, Melissa Schomaker, and Board Member Aaron Recksiek. Bergeon was represented by Gérard Meulensteen and Guillaume Böttger, who will take over the North American market from Mr. Meulensteen next year. Witschi was invited to exhibit alongside Bergeon with CEO Daniel Schmitt and CSO Martin Schürch to represent their brand. Also present in the booth were representatives from Jules Borel & Co., Cas-Ker, and Otto Frei to assist in fulfilling orders for Bergeon and Witschi products.


Aaron Recksiek is an independent watchmaker in Salt Lake City, Utah. He is a graduate of the 2008 WOSTEP class at the Lititz Watch Technicum.