As the country begins to re-open and a new breed of “normal” defines the rhythms of life, retailers are getting back to business using the guidelines put forth by state governments. Royal Jewelers in Massachusetts is just one of those retailers finding solutions to bring the collector community back together after a long period of uncertainty in the industry. In the following Q&A, siblings and co-CEOs Paula and Steven Leed discuss the past and present challenges and opportunities at Royal Jewelers in Andover, Massachusetts since their opening in 1948.
Everyone has a creation story. What’s yours?
Our dad opened Royal Jewelers in 1948. Throughout our childhood, he would often say around the dinner table, “The people who shop at Royal Jewelers are more valuable than the gems we offer.” This is the foundation of our business. Today, and every day, we feel a deep responsibility to protect and carry on the legacy of Royal Jewelers.
Located in the beautiful and historic New England town of Andover, Massachusetts, Royal Jewelers is one of the most award-winning jewelers in the United States. Some awards are regional and some are national, yet they all spotlight the client experience. We’re proud and humbled by this, but we make sure to never rest on our laurels. Instead, the awards push us to continually improve and fine-tune everything we do. The formula is simple: Put people first! We do that with our clients, collectors as well as the 25 people who work at Royal. Again, it’s the people that make the community what it is, and what has allowed Royal to flourish for over 70 years.
Royal Jewelers offers the finest brands of new and certified pre-owned watches in New England. Some of these brands include Cartier, Breguet, Grand Seiko, Panerai, IWC, Breitling, Ulysse Nardin, and Tudor. I’ve been in the business now for 45 years, I’ve grown up with it and seen some things change, and others stay the same. Our collectors are all over the globe, and I’ve developed deep connections with the major houses in Switzerland.
I watched the finest brands in Switzerland crumble during the Quartz Crisis. Facing the challenge over a number of years, many rose like a phoenix. To see the energy in watchmaking today excites me. The styles that are popular now, I was showing clients in the late 1960s and 70s. It is refreshing to see how technology enhances the mechanical aspect of the watch while retaining the original design or brand essence.
What do you specialize in?
There are many watch stores offering the finest watch brands. What makes Royal different? The Royal difference is one which brings pride to Paula and me. It is our team. They are just so passionate about watches. They happily spend as much time with the collector as the collector desires. And for more than 72 years, not one of our team has been on commission. This is a huge benefit to collectors. We listen, guide, advise, suggest, but never sell. Collectors are smart. They will see right through salesmanship. They appreciate our transparency and never being pressured. Everything we do at Royal is to enhance the collector experience. Our goal is collector happiness.
To maintain the best team, we invest in our sales advisors, watchmakers, and jewelers. They visit watch factories and attend continuing education for the brands, allowing them to provide collectors the best knowledge and service. After all, knowledge, honesty, selection, and fair pricing are what collectors desire.
Royal excellence extends to our watch service team. We are fortunate to have one of the best in- house watch service centers. Combined, our watchmakers have been educated by Cartier, IWC, Patek Philippe, Panerai, Omega, Breitling, Vacheron Constantin, Blancpain, and Audemars Piguet. Our watchmakers and our investment in horological technology ease the process of our Pre-Owned multistep authentication and certification. All our Certified Pre-Owned watches feature a one-year warranty. The bottom line is that what defines us is the experience you get when shopping here.
How has Royal Jewelers been supporting the watch community?
This year has been challenging. Worthy causes we admire were hit hard, and many fundraisers we usually partake in were canceled. The local Boys and Girls Club occupies a spot in the heart of Royal. During the pandemic, Royal provided the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club with a week of meals and educational and health-related support.
The Royal Jewelers name resonates with clients from around the world. Collectors of watches, including actors, bestselling authors, artists, sports personalities, and musicians, shop with Royal. Throughout the year, Royal hosts onsite and offsite events and dinners with watch and jewelry brands. Frequently, the brand presidents attend. One highlight is a watch collector dinner in a beautiful carriage house. I find there are many parallels between watch and car collectors; often, they are one and the same. They are people with an appreciation for the beauty of form and the wonderment of mechanical objects.
How can customers and those interested in purchasing a watch connect with you?
Our success comes from placing every single client at the center of our universe. HODINKEE fans are passionate about watches, and so are we at Royal. We invite you to visit Royal Jewelers or seek us out by email or phone us for the Royal Experience.
58 Main Street
Andover, MA 01810