Custom Studio App’s giant digital showcase makes high-tech fun & profitable
Norcross, GA—Star Gems’ new Custom Studio app introduces a 42-inch touchscreen—a giant digital showcase—to independent retail stores.
Anish Desai, president and CEO of Star Gems, says reviews and responses to the tool have been very good so far. “It’s a cool experience. Everyone loves to browse an Apple store even though we already have five Apple products.”
The Custom Studio design app, unveiled earlier this year, invites retailers to “discover, create, share.” It is being developed in a four-phase program to include thousands of the company’s custom designs. Phase 1 is underway; retailers who signed on have access to 300 designs initially, with 50 to 60 new designs added every month. The Custom Studio app is available to retailers for a $275 one-time fee, plus $75 per month. It can be viewed from a cell phone, iPad, PC and other devices, from all platforms. Items may be ordered as shown or customized. The 42-inch digital touch screen showcase is $3,500 with financing of $124/month available.
Anish says the app and 42-inch touchscreen can replace real inventory with virtual inventory: a five-foot showcase typically housing 40 pieces of jewelry with a wholesale value between $50,000 to $70,000 can be replaced with thousands of designs and no large investment, he says.
“The retailer puts the digital showcase in his store, and what’s new in the market will be uploaded immediately. We’re constantly hearing from retailers how they’re fighting the Internet; we say join the Internet!”
A jeweler’s customers download the app using a nine-digit code assigned to the retailer, so every time they use it, they’re connected to their local jeweler. When they share the app, new customers also use the code to be connected to the same jeweler.
Alpina Offers Startimer Camouflage Pilot Big Date Chronograph
Geneva, Switzerland—Alpina has developed a new version of its iconic Startimer Pilot Big Date Chronograph. The brand began as a renowned manufacturer and official supplier of military aviation watches to continental air forces. Its Startimer Pilot Big Date Chronograph was launched in 2012; the latest edition comes with a military camouflage design in desert colors and the precision, functionality and reliability expected of a pilot’s watch.
Displays are generously sized and clearly laid out. The hands of the dial have a beige luminescent coating that guarantees high legibility in poor visibility conditions. The red Alpina triangle signature is found in its traditional position at the base of the central chronograph hand.
The optics of this masculine timepiece are finished with a stainless steel case with black PVD coating and a beige genuine leather strap and a big date at 6 o'clock.
The chronograph function includes a sub dial at 9 o'clock showing the recorded minutes while the seconds can be read from the central hand. The permanent small second hand in the sub dial at 6 o'clock indicates that the watch is running normally. With a sapphire glass crystal scratch resistant face, secured against drops in pressure, the watch has all the credentials of an air pilot’s watch. The 44mm stainless-steel case is water-resistant up to 10 ATM and houses the AL-372 high precision Swiss quartz chronograph movement. The case back is decorated with an engraving of a jet fighter.
New Frederique Constant Watches Commemorate Wooden Yachts
Beijing, China—In 2009, Frederique Constant began a partnership with the Riva Historical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving wooden Riva runabout boats. The first runabouts yachts date back to the 1920s and were small, fast, and powerful. Made of highly polished wood and chrome, they could accommodate four to eight people.
Since the beginning of its partnership with the Riva Historical Society, Frederique Constant annually promotes and commemorates the runabout boats with a nautical-inspired limited edition watch. Inspired by yachting, the Runabout watches fuse classic Italian style with the latest technical innovation.
This year Frederique Constant is offering two measuring instruments for fans of these great vintage and custom-built wooden yachts. Both versions of the Runabout watches feature a 43-mm case in either rose gold plated or stainless steel, a diamond-hard convex sapphire crystal, and a sapphire window in the case back to display the movement.
The flag of the Riva Historical Society is etched into the case back window. The silvered or brown dials have a guilloche decoration in the center and Arabic numeral markers with luminescent hands and indexes.
The two new timepieces are powered by the FC-303 automatic caliber, which is assembled in the Frederique Constant manufacture. The self-winding caliber has a frequency of 28 800 alt/h with 25 jewels and a 42-hour power reserve. Case is water-resistant to approximately 30 meters and comes with black or brown strap. Each of the 2,888 pieces are delivered with a miniature wooden powerboat that pays homage to the design of the golden age of the 1920s.