London Jewelers was founded in 1926 by Charles London, a European watchmaker who settled in Glen Cove, Long Island. London became the Gold Coast’s go-to watchmaker, visiting the estates of the affluent (think: the Vanderbilts, Whitneys, Pratts and Morgans) in the area to fix and rewind their grandfather clocks. It didn’t take long for London’s services—and eye for fine pieces—to grow in demand, eventually leading him to open his own watch and jewelry shop. Hence the birth of London Jewelers, the premier luxury retail jeweler in the U.S.
Today, London’s grandson—Mark Udell—runs the company alongside his wife and president of London Jewelers, Candy Udell, and the pair have carried on a four-generation, family-run legacy that currently boasts six fine jewelry retailers, the newest of which is Oculus in the Westfield World Trade Center, Manhattan.
Now, 90 years after its inception, the company is looking to pass the torch to a fourth generation and carry on its legacy. “I know my children have the passion for the business,” she says. “While they’re still learning the many mechanics of the business, their heart and soul is in it.”
Scott Udell, 33, personally heads up the brand’s millennial-geared fine jewelry brand TWO by London, while also leading the company’s diamond-buying, e-commerce and social media initiatives. “He’s helped my husband and I become more adaptable to the changing conditions in our market and within our industry because he has tremendous vision,” Candy says of her son. Randi Udell-Alper, the pair’s 37-year-old daughter, is more on the creative side. “She has the wherewithal to make customers happy, build relationships with companies and clients, and she’s creative and trendy,” Candy says. Candy’s nephew, Zach Udell, 31, mostly deals with the business end of things, while also heading up some of London Jewelers’ biggest watch initiatives. So what’s the number-one lesson she hopes to teach the next generation of London Jewelers, for them to harness as well as pass on to the next one? “Work ethic, heart and integrity, because those are truly the three things that make a business successful.”