Welcome to edition 470 of WINC,

IDMA's Weekly Internet News Collection - April 11, 2024 

Dear IDMA Members and Industry colleagues,

This week, Watch and Wonders,” the annual exhibition of the Swiss luxury watch industry, is held this month in Geneva, Switzerland. This new show was created by a consortium of watch brands soon after the demise of the (famous/infamous, take your pick) century-old Baselworld luxury watch exhibition. At this new show, 54 luxury watch brands exhibit this season’s highlights and unveil their new lines and inventions to trade professionals, dealers, watch collectors, journalists, and the public.


In an article (see below), Rob Corder, WatchPro co-founder and editor-in-chief, said Rolex long-time CEO Jean-Frédéric Dufour rarely “gives interviews, but on the eve of W&W opening in Geneva, he told Swiss newspaper NZZ that he had visited Nick Hayek and other members of his family, with a view to Swatch Group brands taking their place alongside more than 50 watchmakers at this year’s event.”


Corder quoted from a lengthy interview published on the website of the Swiss, German-language Neue Zurcher Zeitung that offered a rare insight into why the new show is working so well and how the new exhibition was established, structured, and financed.


Here are a few – paraphrased - excerpts:


  • “We need to speak with one voice. In our business, we all know one another. But in the world out there, we’re much less known.
  • In good times, it is easy to produce a lot. However, when the market is low, it is a mistake to offer discounts. 
  • We sell dreams. As long as we continue to do so, nobody can dictate for what price we should sell our product.
  • I don’t like to compare [luxury] watches to e.g., shares. It sends the wrong message. We sell a product that has [inherent] value.
  • Salon Watch & Wonders is a not-for-profit foundation that works to increase awareness of luxury watches worldwide.
  • We try to keep [the participation] fees as low as possible. One half [the larger watch firms] pays for the other half [the small independent watch brands].
  • Independent, small watchmakers pay between CHF 45,000 to CHF 80,000 to have access to traders, journalists, and consumers [45,000 visitors in total] for seven days.
  • This show is not only about brands. It is about craftsmanship, about a rich history, about a product that lives on. A product, mind you, that could one day also disappear…”


Something to think about!


Have a great weekend!


Ya'akov Almor,

Communications Director

Botswana leads calls on G7 countries to review diamond tracking initiative: "We cannot agree to an attempt to undermine our quest for development by taking charge and responsibility of our own value addition of our resources," Masisi said. "Because if you make Belgium, Antwerp the single node for verification, gosh, what impudence. When we mine our diamonds here and we are certain they are mined here and you add another layer of cost, delay and time and risk to direct interaction with customers and clients and you take them still to Antwerp, it’s not acceptable."

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Vedanta eyes US$7b merger with Anglo American Volcan Investments, the family trust of Vedanta Resources founder Anil Agarwal, is planning to buy Anglo American Plc’s South African business by merging the two units via a share swap, Livemint reported on Wednesday. The control of Anglo American South Africa will give Agarwal, who rose from a scrap metal dealer to become a metals billionaire, control of a company that owns the iconic De Beers, the world’s largest diamond producer.

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Antwerp diamond trade rebounds after rough diamond clearance delays: Indian diamantaires have heaved a sigh of relief as trade in rough diamonds in Antwerp, the world’s leading diamond trading center, has recovered after a slowdown caused by stricter customs checks following the EU and G7 ban on Russian rough diamonds. Initially, diamond traders faced delays of 15-20 days for clearance of rough diamond parcels from various countries.

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I was ready to walk away from De Beers – Masisi: President Mokgweetsi Masisi this week while addressing Botswana envoys, lit a torch for all to see the plight Batswana endured at the hand of a secretive deal between Botswana and De Beers, expressing great descent on what he calls “a deal fraudulent and fraught with error”. Albeit praise for Botswana far and near as a diamond success story, Masisi thinks the country was duped, conned and tricked.

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Petra to restructure Finsch

It said the measure would reduce operating costs by $30m a year starting in its 2025 financial year. This is better than the previous $10m/year target.

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Cutfani backs ETFs in diamonds as necessary step change

After missed copper production guidance last year, the next most criticised aspect of Anglo American’s performance for the 12 months ended December was its 85% stake in De Beers.

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Former Mountain Province exec Brown appointed Lucapa chair

Lucapa Diamond Company has appointed former De Beers interim CEO and CFO Stuart Brown as independent nonexecutive chairperson and Ronald Beevor as an independent nonexecutive director.

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Winsome Resources to repurpose Renard diamond plant for lithium

The company has paid C$4 million for an option to buy the assets, which could help hasten the development of its Adina lithium discovery in the Eeyou Istchee James Bay region.

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Sodiam to host online rough diamond tender on April 19

Viewings will take place between April 11 and 18 at Sodiam’s office in Luanda, Angola. This will be the ninth tender with past tenders having yielded a combined revenue of $211-million.

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Petra sells mothballed mine to Stargems

"I am pleased that the sale agreement reached with Stargems will, once completed, provide ongoing economic activity in the region," said Petra CEO Richard Duffy.

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NWT could lose hundreds of jobs and residents when the mines close

The mine closures will impact the economy in the territory with Diavik slated to close in 2026, Gahcho Kué’s estimated closure timeline around 2030 and Ekati’s future dependent on underwater mining technology.

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Botswana miner uses AI to search for new diamond deposits

The company's database consists of 95,000 sq km of data, 375,000 km airborne geophysical data, 606 ground geophysical surveys, 228,000 soil sample results, 32,000 drill hole logs, totaling 380 gigabytes of data and 260,000 files.

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'Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ copy on sale in New York for $1.5 million

The one-of-a-kind volume, on display at the New York International Antiquarian Book Fair, is signed by the author and decorated with almost 30 carats of diamonds and a sapphire.

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M&B Private Jewelers opens flagship store in Hong Kong

M&B Group has been involved in the global diamond sector for more than 30 years. In 2017, the firm established M&B Private Jewelers to provide a retail boutique experience, with locations in Singapore and Hong Kong

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6.2 ct pink diamond ring is expected to fetch up to $15 million at auction

Phillips’s latest auction is something of a bejeweled masterpiece. The auction house will hold next month its second Geneva Jewels Auction, on the heels of its first such offering in November.

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MJSA announces new trade show in Rhode Island

“Our new showcase will capitalize on that strength and extend our reach, providing a window into the latest technologies, supplies, and services that can ease jewelers’ workloads and improve their profitability.” 

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Gem A launches spring issue of The Journal of Gemmology

Scientific resource for Gem-A members is now available online to facilitate continued professional development for gemmologists

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NRF bullish on US retail resilience despite projected slowdown

The April edition of the NRF’s Monthly Economic Review: "No one can accurately forecast what surprises the next year might hold, but the economy is still on a sustainable path”.

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Diamonds reimagined

Chinese buyers are shifting towards self-purchasing diamond jewelry, fueled by individualism and financial independence, especially among women.

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HRD Antwerp opens grading office in New Delhi

HRD Antwerp celebrated the opening of its new office in New Delhi. Together with the Belgian embassy, a Puja ceremony was held in the new office in Karol Bagh.

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Lab-grown sellers need to change ads, U.K. watchdog says

The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) filed a complaint against the four companies with the marketing watchdog last year.

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Skydiamond to appeal ASA’s ‘mistake’ ruling

“We think the Advertising Standards Authority have got this one wrong and will be seeking independent review,” said Madeleine Macey, chief executive officer at Skydiamond.

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Lab-grown gems banned from AGTA GemFair Tucson

Starting at the 2025 show, “no exhibitor may display loose gemstones or jewelry comprising nonnatural gemstones—ones that are man-made, synthetic, or lab grown—at any AGTA show.”

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Podcast - Diamonds Down Under Australia’s jewelry industry has seen a shift to lab-grown, much as the US has, said dealer Craig Miller on the latest episode of the Rapaport Diamond Podcast. Synthetic diamonds have attracted consumers in the price-conscious market, where jewelry faces heavy competition from travel, said Craig Miller, CEO of JC Jewels, a diamond wholesaler and distributor with offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

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Swatch group snubs direct appeal from Rolex CEO to participate in Watches and Wonders: Mr Dufour almost never gives interviews, but on the eve of W&W opening in Geneva, he told Swiss newspaper NZZ that he had visited Mr Hayek and other members of his family, with a view to Swatch Group brands taking their place alongside more than 50 watchmakers at this year’s event

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On a lighter note...

A wildly dramatic clifftop home built by the man who escaped the Cornish tin mines to become an international diamond trade: When young Cornishman Francis Oats left school in the early 1860s, he became a miner, as did many of his classmates in west Cornwall. After excelling in exams, he was offered free tuition at the London School of Mines and was made a local mining captain at the age of 20. Moving to South Africa, he became chairman of De Beers and a close ally of Cecil Rhodes, accruing a significant fortune in the diamond mines and gold fields along the way.

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DISCLAIMER: IDMA's Weekly Internet/Online News Collection (WINC) features third-party articles and links to these articles. IDMA presents these news items for reference only. The content of these articles neither reflects nor expresses IDMA's position or point of view.