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Top 10 Jewelry Brands - Do you agree?

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by coati, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. coati
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    by coati » Jun 15, 2010
    These brands were ranked by consumers on luxist

    Do you agree with this list?

    How would you rank the brands?

    What other brands would you suggest?

    Thanks!

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Harry Winston


    Buccellati


    Van Cleef & Arpels


    Graff


    Cartier


    Chopard


    Piaget


    Tiffany & Co.


    Bvlgari


    Mikimoto

    ----------------------------------------------------
     
  2. Circe
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    by Circe » Jun 15, 2010
    Hmmmmmmm ... well, for the sake of quality if not quantity, I''d like to see JAR up there. And De Grisogono. And I think Leviev is becoming more of a player by the day. That''s not even getting into the territory of how we define "luxury," "best," etc. ....
     
  3. coati
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    by coati » Jun 15, 2010
    Hi Circe,
    Definitely agree about JAR and others. I think the folks who voted on luxist were going for overall popularity-more broad scope.

    Your definitions of luxury are welcome-please include.
     
  4. Circe
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    by Circe » Jun 15, 2010
    This topic grows more fun by the minute!

    Okay, my personal definition of luxury? True luxury is the crossroads of perfect quality where it intersects with one''s own sense of taste. It encompasses rarity and, as such, is always a "treat." A quotation I saw the other day said, "Never skimp on luxury." And it''s true! I''m a sales buyer through and through (dude, I''m so cheap I shop the sales racks at the discount stores!), but when it comes to things which I''m acquiring for myself as luxuries, I enjoy them that much more when I know that they''re truly of the first water ... no matter what I have to pay.

    Now, I don''t take that as a rallying cry to overpay ... for myself, I doubt I could shop at some of the bigger companies that made the list, just because I don''t love the designs, the workmanship, or the cachet enough to pay their version of retail. Once you go mass-market enough, you''re invariably courting lowest common denominator. But for something by any of the designers I named in the first post, or Asprey, or (most likely of all, knowing me, though it doesn''t fit the original question), a custom piece by a smaller designer whom I really admire, I''d pay the earth, and treasure it all my days. For the larger companies that manage to evoke that response from a mass quantity of consumers, and to perform the delicate balancing act between quality and quantity, I have nothing but admiration. And, yes, Buccellati, I am looking at you!
     
  5. coati
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    by coati » Jun 15, 2010
    Ok, adding the question:

    What is your definition of luxury?
     
  6. coati
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    by coati » Jun 15, 2010
    What does it take to uphold a brand?

    We've heard time and time again that some of the top jewelers listed above (op) have reduced their brands by appealing to more consumers. There's the argument that everyone should be able have a piece of the brand, and then there's the flip side of reduced perceived value.

    Luxury = artistry for me. JAR comes to mind. But then again, exclusivity and price don't necessarily equal luxury. A one-of-a-kind work of art will make my heart sing, and it need not have a brand at all.
     
  7. missydebby
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    by missydebby » Jun 15, 2010
    My definition is something of exquisite quality and taste. So that doesn''t necessarily mean the most expensive. Plus, it has to be something that I don''t always get to do.

    A few examples:

    1. For me every single Leon piece is luxurious... even his simplest cathedral solitaire. Just something about the lines and flow. But really, he is far from being the most expensive custom jeweler.

    2. A wonderful chef''s choice dinner with matching wines.

    3. An unexpected bump into first class on a long flight. (Had it happen once when they couldn''t seat me next to my 5 year old. We got a free upgrade into first class for a trip form LA to NY)
     
  8. coati
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    by coati » Jun 15, 2010
    Hi missydebby,

    Luxurious food-well now, that''s a whole different thread. [​IMG]

    Any opinions about the luxist list-those particular brands?
     
  9. Lula
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    by Lula » Jun 15, 2010
    Great idea for a thread.

    To me, luxury is about 3 things: quality ingredients, quality workmanship -- and the last one is the most important -- control over the process of creation, including their own finances. Most of the famous luxury brands (often started by one family) have been sold to outside management companies. When a company is sold to a management company that owns a majority share of the company, that takes their brand out of the luxury good category for me, because often decisions about how and where the companies products are made are no longer made by the original owners of the company but by management consultants looking for the most cost-efficient way to do business and expand their market.

    Sadly, this applies to many brand names that were once known worldwide for high-level quality, craftsmanship and a certain air of exclusivity.

    For instance, Bally of Switerland, a venerable leather goods company that was purchased in 1999 by Texas Pacific Group, was recently sold again to Labelux Group. This unfortunately is a common pattern -- after a company is acquired as an "asset," it is typical sold again and again, and, in my view this makes it hard for the brand to maintain quality.

    This has happened a lot with famous watchmaking companies, which is why vintage watch collectors specialize in collecting Tissots and Movados (just two examples -- there are many more) that predate the time that the company was bought out by another firm.
     
  10. missydebby
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    by missydebby » Jun 15, 2010
    Well, I definitely think if I went into any store and was able to get buttered up and buy something from any one of these brands, I''d be super stoked. It would have to include the experience as well as the product. For the premium name brand price, I want my ass to be well keesed.
     
  11. Lula
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    by Lula » Jun 15, 2010
    To answer Coati's question about the list and who should be on it and who should be added to it:

    These companies have been sold to investment companies and don't fit my definition of luxury:
    Harry Winston
    Tiffany & Co.
    Van Cleef & Arpels

    Owned by Vendome Luxury Group:
    Cartier
    Piaget


    Still under family control and "true" luxury brands under my definition:

    Graff
    Bvlgari
    Buccellati
    Chopard (bought by Karl Scheufele in 1960s, still run by Scheufele family today)
    Mikimoto (not sure of their ownership, believe it is still family-owned)
    And I'm adding Boucheron to the list (family owned)
     
  12. coati
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    by coati » Jun 15, 2010
    Great insight SaraPJ-thank you

    I'm more apt to value companies or individuals who stand alone. When I think of luxury conglomerates, I have a hard time recognizing the former individual merits of each brand. Manufacturing is a big issue. When high end brands are sold at a premium, I expect a certain standard. It is hard to reconcile mass production and premium.

    I am a collector of vintage things-a simpler time of manufacturing. Fewer hands on a product indicates a certain level of luxury. In high quality vintage jewelry it is very clear when you look at piece from all angles-you see the work, the finish. Thankfully, some of the highly ranked and popular houses still work in this manner.

    Thanks for your additions to the luxury brand list.

    The luxist rankings show us popular brands. At PS, we understand a level of luxury from smaller brands and individual jewelers.

    Any opinions about the larger brands-like Sara has mentioned? Graff
    Bvlgari, Buccellati, Chopard, Mikimoto, and Boucheron. Care to rank them?

    Any brands that you would remove from the luxist list?
     
  13. marcy
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    by marcy » Jun 15, 2010
    Ooh how fun! I sadly don''t own anything from any of them.
     
  14. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Jun 15, 2010
    Top brand as far as name recognition?
    or top brand as being true luxury?

    My definition of the top end luxury would be:
    Hand made museum quality pieces made by a one or at most a small group of craftsman led by a true artist made to the highest standards.
    There are very few left in the world today.
    Most on the list are mass producers which would be automatically disqualified.
    If you see another or even a picture of another just like yours in your life time then you did not buy at the very top.
     
  15. Karl_K
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    by Karl_K » Jun 15, 2010
    To me true luxury it has to be adapted to one and be an expression of oneself combined with the skill and craftsmanship of master at his/her craft.

    A tailored suit fitted by an expert just for you using the finest material - true luxury
    A hand-tooled gun belt custom fitted to you and your firearm - true luxury
    A saddle custom fitted to both you and your horse using the finest materials and craftsmanship - true luxury
    A meal cooked to your exact tastes by a skilled chef - true luxury
    A piece of jewelery made for you to the finest standards that is a reflection of you and your loves combined with the passion and skills of a master craftsman - true luxury
    A car with a the seat and controls all custom fitted to you with the everything about the car tuned to your desires - true luxury

    Do such things even exist anymore and how many will know them?
    yes but rarely, not many and it often wont be the richest people who will.
     
  16. ksinger
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    by ksinger » Jun 15, 2010
    Can''t truly speak to the others, but I would remove Tiffany''s immediately. A greater letdown I''ve not had. I''ve been in 2 Tiff''s now in 2 different cities, and both were totally underwhelming as far as designs go. If I go in a store with this incredibly reputation, almost every single item in there, pretty much, had better make me sigh with longing. I did a quick passthrough and not a thing even caught my eye. I truly don''t get the hype.

    NOT luxury.
     
  17. Madam Bijoux
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    by Madam Bijoux » Aug 20, 2010
    I think Leviev belongs on this list. He hasn't been in the jewelry business as long as the other companies. but his jewels are spectacular and top quality.
    Based on what I see on the 2nd floor of Tiff's NY store and in Harry Winston's NY store, I would still include them in the luxury category.
    At one time, I would also have included Jacob the Jeweler, but now I'm not so sure about him. What do you think?
    Although this thread is about jewelry, I'm compelled to go off topic and say that Hermes is one of the best for luxury handbags.
     
  18. yennyfire
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    by yennyfire » Aug 20, 2010
    I think that I'd have to agree with everything that Karl said about the item(s) being customized based on your wants/needs/tastes. To me, that's luxury. I don't even need/want the a$$ kissing...just an awesome piece at a not ridiculously inflated price.
     
  19. yennyfire
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    by yennyfire » Aug 20, 2010
    I just have to add that I'd never heard of several of these jewelers, so I went and checked out Leviev, just for fun. Oh my goodness! A 110 carat flawless diamond. Is that even possible???? Obviously, it is, but I can't even imagine the cost. There was a 26 ct. cushion with side stones that was stunning, but honestly, do people really wear stones that large?? I can't even imagine it...you would truly need a sling or crane to help you drag your hand around, lol. That said, :love: :love: :love:
     
  20. RedRobbin
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    by RedRobbin » Aug 20, 2010

    I definitely agree that Tiffany & Co. belongs on this list. (Biased Tiffany ring owner, here :naughty: ) But they are commissioned by some of the wealthiest in the world to create one and only pieces all the time. They just don't advertise it that often. I think that Tiffany has broadened access to its brand by opening smallish boutiques around the country that don't really carry that much in terms of "luxury" but if you go into one of the older more established stores there is plenty of luxury to be found. :love:
     
  21. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Aug 20, 2010
    I disagree with Tiff and Co. Every teenager around here is wearing Tiff and Co on their neck or wrist so to me they no longer qualify as luxury brand.
     
  22. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Aug 20, 2010
    agree, in the good O days Tiff's settings were more like hand crafted,but nowadays seems like they are cranking em out in truck loads.
     
  23. kenny
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    by kenny » Aug 20, 2010
    Screw brands.
    Diamond is diamond.

    Go for light performance.
     
  24. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Aug 20, 2010
    and save 35%... :appl:
     
  25. RedRobbin
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    by RedRobbin » Aug 20, 2010
    True, unless you are talking about a branded cut that only certain makers can sell and you really happen to want that cut and you are lucky enough that you can afford it. With regard to your earlier post, I know it wasn't personal to me, but I think I should let anyone who reads this thread know that my Tiffany ring was hand cast. Also, I don't think Tiffany's expansion into silver jewelry means that they don't sell luxury products anymore. It reminds me of Ralph Lauren with all the different labels he sells. The fact that he sells products at Macy's doesn't mean that he no longer is considered couture for his purple label goods for men or the "collection" for women. Like Ralph Lauren, I think that Tiffany caters to a broader economic spectrum. But when you are talking the highest quality, if you are willing to pay for it then they are just as luxurious as anyone else on the list. They have as many D color IF diamonds as anyone else, maybe more since they source their own. They also have patented cuts of diamonds that are exclusive to Tiffany. But again, you have to be willing and able to pay. Usually that last part is the deal killer for most newly engaged couples. It is unusual for a young couple to be able to afford such a luxury right when they are getting married. At least none of the ones I knew 20 years ago could. And even if they could, why would they when there are so many other more important expenses, like housing, kids, educations, etc.? And to the point you made that I do agree with: if you are buying a round brilliant, princess, or other type of non-protected cut, why not go for the same level quality and save on the costs? Makes perfect sense.
     
  26. AprilBaby
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    by AprilBaby » Aug 20, 2010
    But not one of the others on the list are affordable to the average teenager. In fact, Most of the rest of the list are not affordable to me.
     
  27. Imdanny
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    by Imdanny » Aug 21, 2010
    No, I wouldn't.

    Cartier
    VC&A (actually part of the same company)
    Harry Winston

    or

    Harry Winston
    Cartier
    VC&A
     
  28. Imdanny
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    by Imdanny » Aug 21, 2010
    Jewel is not jewel.
     
  29. Imdanny
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    by Imdanny » Aug 21, 2010
    Re:

    Harry Winston and Cartier both do that for customers who can afford it. I don't know about VC&A but I'd be hard pressed to look at some of their stuff which is hand made and say it's not at the very top myself. They might do custom work. I don't know.

    BTW, I can't afford these brands (well, I can afford some "mass produced" Cartier pieces which are at the very top of what they are). I'm deciding based on what I think about what I see that's being made today. I think the golden age of Cartier, for instance, is a thing of the past. I don't think anyone is working at that level anymore. JMHO.

    Tiffany as a brand is bothering me a lot (here we go, sorry) because I look at a lot their pieces and the prices they charge, and get, and a lot of those pieces (I'm certainly not talking about all of them) are overpriced. To me, given the relatively low price points, the design, the quality, and the absolute dollar amount, this signals that people are not getting honest value when they buy these pieces.

    Wow, I've probably opened up the "Tiffany" can of worms. Sorry. I wouldn't take them off the list, since that's one of the questions being asked, but I don't like a lot of their pieces.
     
  30. Dancing Fire
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    by Dancing Fire » Aug 21, 2010
    my daughter owns the least expensive piece from Tiff...a $200 ?? :confused: silver bracelet that was probably made in China. i asked her "did it came in a blue box"?.. :mrgreen:
     

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