By Caroline Kallman Joffe
A dynamic couple, Jeremy and Melissa Oster are the driving force behind Denver, Colorado’s intimate watch and jewelry boutique, Oster Jewelers. Opening just over a decade ago, Oster Jewelers’ salon is elegant and inviting, utilizing streaming sunlight to highlight its exceptional inventory of timepieces and jewels. In doing so, the space conveys a redefined image of luxury: luxury without pretense.
“We keep the environment very laid back and comfortable,” Jeremy shares. The breadth of our inventory, the knowledge that our team upholds, and most of all, our enthusiasm and sincere commitment to help is what keeps customers coming back to Oster Jewelers.”
A passionate watch collector himself, Jeremy’s appreciation and expertise evolved over many years spent learning and discovering. He credits Sig Shonholtz and Ron Hochfield, who specialized in vintage timepieces, for his introduction to the captivating history of horology.
Jeremy adds: “A vintage education is vital to the appreciation of modern watch design, an art form largely influenced by the great designs of the past.”
Elite Traveler recently explored some of the complexities and absolute highpoints of the watch industry with Jeremy. Here we share a brief excerpt from this conversation, and invite you to learn more about Oster Jewelers through their Leading Watch Retailer profile on iW Magazine’s website.
Jeremy: Today, the key is differentiation and commitment. Traditional business is dead. To succeed today, one has to stand out from the crowd and provide the qualities that cannot be purchased online: integrity, expertise and personality.
ET: What does ‘personal service’ mean to you when it comes to the luxury buyer today?
Jeremy: To the retailer, we are in the business of selling luxury items. All too often, it is easy to forget how significant each purchase can be to our customers. There is meaning and thought that goes into each buying decision; whether it is an anniversary celebration, a personal goal achieved or the fulfillment of a long-term dream. Personal service is all about connecting on an emotional level with the customer and truly advising them with honesty and an earnest desire to exceed their expectations.
ET: As a purveyor of fine timepieces, you are often instrumental in helping clients and friends build their personal watch collections. What are some of the highlights within your watch collection?
Jeremy: My personal collection tends to change frequently. However, I have always owned an Audemars Piguet Offshore, and could not imagine being without one. I have owned an Offshore Navy for a few years now, and love this watch. Other additions of a more permanent nature include the stunning, important and rare Bremont Victory. I also just received a Grönefeld One Hertz, which is a remarkably beautiful watch. I was also fortunate enough to receive serial #11 in both the Bremont and the Grönefeld, which is an important number for me personally, making me less likely to sell these watches off my wrist!
ET: On to some difficult buying decisions and suggestions. What are your ‘must buy’ watch recommendations in the following categories, beginning with High Complications?
My High Complication ‘must buy’ is the Grönefeld One Hertz. This is an extraordinary and unique complication by two truly gifted watchmakers. Not the traditional complication, a deadbeat seconds is understated and extremely interesting. The appeal of the “boutique” watchmaker is huge.
ET: Dual Timezone?
A wonderful, functional timepiece by one of the most exciting brands today. Quality is immense; style is modern classic and timeless. The 3-piece construction of the case is wonderful to look at and it feels perfect on the wrist. The execution of the world time feature is so simple and so effective.
ET: Men’s Work Wear?
Forty years since it’s birth, the Royal Oak is unquestionably still the finest luxury sports watch made. The design is unchanged since its launch and always looks fresh, modern and powerful. Appropriate with any attire, the Royal Oak is instantly recognizable to those who love watches yet still under the radar to the general public. Today, the Royal Oak collection houses the incredible in-house caliber 3120, ensuring perfection on the inside as well as the outside.
ET: Men’s Sport Watch?
A superb movement manufactured entirely in-house with cutting-edge technology honed over many years in masterpieces such as Freak and Sonata. The design is directly descended from the Marine Chronometers, which Ulysse Nardin is famous for manufacturing since 1846. The construction of the case is wonderful, complete with a water resistance rating of 200 meters. A perfect watch.
ET: Men’s Black Tie Watch?
For something a little bolder whilst remaining classically elegant, I would choose a piece from Speake-Marin’s new collection. For black tie, I would select the Resilience, which features a stunning, kiln-fired enamel dial of true timeless beauty. The bold case and noble “Picadilly” lugs provide a perfect backdrop for the crisp, perfectly white enamel dial.
ET: Luxury Ladies’ Watch?
This is one of the most sophisticated, unique and beautiful watches that I have ever seen. The movement is a handwound caliber with a 2-register chronograph, operated through one coaxial pusher. The movement is exquisite. However, it is the dial that really steals the show. It is a multi-level dial with cut-out black mother-of-pearl and inset white mother-of-pearl.
ET: Ladies’ Office Style?
Stylish, iconic and durable in ceramic. A wonderful watch to attract just the right amount of attention.
ET: Ladies’ Sport Watch?
The 41mm case with chronograph offers a bold, confident statement of luxury intent and no-compromise construction. The Big Bang is iconic and offers a sturdy construction with innovative materials. The multitude of choices of case materials, dial colors and gem options ensure that it is always fresh and that each lady selecting a piece will stand out from the crowd.
Caroline Kallman Joffe is the editor of IW Watches magazine and a contributing editor for Elitetraveler.com.