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Watch and Roll

Philadelphia’s Govberg Jewelers continues to make its mark on the industry

The Govberg Jewelers legacy began in 1922 when young watchmaker and
 diamond expert Albert Govberg opened a family-run specialty store
 along Philadelphia’s historic Jewelers Row. Ninety years later, Govberg Jewelers continues to offer a unique selection of watches and 
jewelry under the leadership of Albert’s grandson Danny Govberg, who
 works alongside his own sons, Brian and Marc. The jeweler operates 
three locations, two in the heart of Philadelphia and the third in 
the neighboring town of Ardmore. While long recognized as a watch
provider, Govberg Jewelers has greatly expanded its jewelry offerings
 in recent months with styles by Roberto Coin and Charriol on offer as
 well as many diamond designs from Govberg’s Signature Collection.

We spoke with Danny Govberg about how, 30 years after taking over the
 business, time really does fly.

What does it mean to you to be a third-generation jeweler?
To be a third-generation jeweler is a challenge. The two generations 
ahead of you created something; a foundation, a culture, a precedent
 for success. By the time you reach generation three, they are pretty
 set in their ways, and you need to be the force to introduce changes 
in company philosophy in order to thrive. Now that my sons are in the
 business, it is back to square one. We constantly evaluate and
 reinvent our strategy and company practices—in essence, we operate as
 a start-up.

Govberg family

Govberg family

What was the best advice you ever received from your grandfather,
 Albert Govberg?
Work hard. There is no quick fix and no substitute. You must work hard.

What sets Govberg apart? What is the secret to your success?
Passion and focus. Over the last 30 years, we have developed an 
incredibly strong focus on a specialized and narrow range of products
 and services, primarily within the watch category. Rather than being
 distracted by other interests, company energy and resources went into
 establishing excellence within a niche category.

What mark are you and your sons leaving on the company?
My father and grandfather ran Govberg Jewelers as a traditional, local
 family jeweler. Our business today operates within a global context,
 particularly alongside the growth of our pre-owned watch initiatives
 and our watch repair business. A couple years ago, we recognized a gap 
in the number of qualified watchmakers across the country who are able 
to address service and repair needs for the nation’s Swiss watch 
owners. So we built a web-based repair platform to efficiently deliver
our specialized services to a far-reaching audience. We operate a
 dedicated repair facility, Govberg Repair, where 12 certified watchmakers address
 everything from battery replacements to the complete overhaul of
 complicated mechanical movements.

You are at the forefront of selling watches and jewelry online. What
 made you decide to enter the online marketplace?
Our online model is pretty unique and sophisticated and it’s all about 
the pre-owned watch segment, a category that’s exploding right now. In 
fact, we have an entire pre-owned watch department with talented 
computer developers and engineers who have enabled us to reach the 
tech-savvy luxury watch consumer across multiple platforms. Today’s
consumer expects the flexibility that the digital space 
affords—transactions happen in front of a computer late at night, on
 an iPad, or even a smartphone at a red light. At any given time, our 
website displays more than 200 unique pre-owned models for sale, and 
we include extensive pictures and information for the current
 condition of each piece. To support our active buying business, we 
have a watch selling portal on our website, and a Buy My Watch app to walk clients through the process of selling pre-owned pieces to us.

Inside a Govberg store

Inside a Govberg store

Are people now comfortable spending thousands on a watch online?
A percentage of our business does happen remotely, but the store environment is an important part of that equation.

What are your favorite timepieces to own right now?
Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph. Patek Philippe expanded its collection of complicated Nautilus models by endowing its chronograph with a travel time function to display two time zones at a single glance.

Rolex GMT-Master II. The distinctive black and blue rotating bezel of
 Rolex’s GMT-Master II is fashioned with Cerachrom, an extremely hard
ceramic material that boasts anti-corrosion properties and will 
maintain its vibrant colors over time.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph. The Royal Oak captures form and
 function, horological history and enduring style, while appealing to 
the first time watch buyer and the watch purist alike.

Breitling Navitimer. Favored by pilots and avid aviators, the
 Navitimer 01 46mm is a recent extension of the legendary Navitimer
 collection, featuring the requisite notched rotating bezel, slide rule 
and three chronograph registers across a dial measuring 4 more
 millimeters than its predecessor.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921. Introduced as a
 reinterpretation of one of Vacheron Constantin’s historical 
timepieces, this uniquely proportioned timepiece offers an Art Deco 
aesthetic, yet is distinctly modern and sophisticated.

Hublot Big Bang Gold Ceramic. This model is the ideal embodiment of
 Hublot’s guiding principle of Fusion, balancing modern proportions and