Jewellery and Watch Guru
- June 1st, 2015
- in Lifestyle
What to wear and how to keep your prized possessions pristine
Photography by Jessica Lane
It would be a surprise for any adult or adolescent, male or female, to not know the name of our jewellery and watch guru.
It’s a title paralleling opulence, that’s gilded our subconscious as the prime location to acquire peak quality in those purchases that must be aesthetically superior.
The name I refer to is none other than words used as a romantic term to describe ‘dramatic natural scenic’ features: Little Switzerland – a fitting title for a store that dazzles, mesmerises, and is the highlight of traditional Caribbean vacation shopping.
Why Little Switzerland are the Caribbean leaders in fine jewellery and watches
Little Switzerland was founded over 60 years ago on the island of St. Thomas, USVI. Specialising in luxury branded goods, the stores have become a household name for quality, selection, and service in the jewellery and watch industry.
32 stores stand in the Caribbean on the islands of St. Thomas, St. John, Tortola, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao, Nassau, Key West, and St. Maarten – 14 of these outlets are in the British and US Virgin Islands alone. There are also several boutiques throughout the Caribbean, including Breitling, TAG Heuer, Omega, Tiffany boutiques, a mail order store, and a web store.
With the BVI store opening in 2007, Little Switzerland has consistently sustained budget flexibility, offering a wide variety of branded goods ranging through Alex and Ani, Pandora, Omega, Chopard, and Breitling timepieces.
Interviewing Madalyn Tavares—Little Switzerland’s Regional Marketing Executive for the USVI, BVI, and PR—she explained why the company has become a leader in fine jewellery and watches.
”We pride ourselves on our ability to have knowledgeable and friendly sales consultants, that take the time to help every guest who walks through our doors – we want the shopping experience to be fun,” she explained, referring to their customers as ‘guests,’ implying this surpasses a standard retail transaction to almost translate as a holiday excursion in itself.
As a member of the Luxury Jewellers Alliance, Little Switzerland is allowed the opportunity to create an even more comfortable shopping journey for their visitors– this includes guarantee that the prices on branded goods will be the most affordable, and if this is not the case, a refund of the difference will be issued.
“We offer an additional 2-year extended watch warranty, on top of the manufacturer’s warranty,” said Madalyn, supporting the relaxed shopping ambiance Little Switzerland projects. “This gives the customer peace of mind, knowing that they have gotten the best possible price.”
Further amenities to induce their guests’ serenity when shopping, include in-house financing—“this allows anyone to be able to purchase a gift for themselves or that special someone,” an email receipt for sake of convenience alongside hard copies, and jewellery cleaning advice to all guests to efficiently protect their precious jewellery and timepieces.
Currently, Little Switzerland’s most popular brands are David Yurman, John Hardy, Lagos (for which they are exclusive throughout the Caribbean), Breitling, TAG Heuer, and Omega.
“David Yurman, John Hardy and Lagos are all exquisite luxury jewellery brands that offer designs mainly in .925 Sterling Silver and 18k gold,” Madalyn commented. “These three brands offer guests the ability to mix and match, as the styles of the three brands blend really well together. The hot trend this season is stacking bracelets – mixing and matching the styles/colours/brands/etc. to make a unique look.”
With Little Switzerland’s unique approach to the shopping experience, the company relishes assisting each guest, beginning with a friendly consultation.
What to wear
“Our Little Switzerland sales consultants are kept up to date with all the new industry changes and trends,” said Madalyn. “David Yurman, John Hardy and Lagos .925 Sterling Silver bracelets are all the rage – mixing and matching and stacking the different looks gives the wearer the ability to create a unique, one of a kind look,” she continued. “Also, gold has made a huge comeback in the jewellery world – mixing sterling silver and gold together is on trend for this season. Be sure to also check out all the gemstones within each brand – these can add a pop of colour to any look.”
How to keep your sterling silver sparkling
Madalyn kindly revealed these industry secrets for keeping your jewellery looking its best:
- Always wipe your silver jewellery with a soft cloth after wearing it – this removes perspiration and any other elements that can affect the lustre of your jewellery
- It is recommended to clean the piece once every few weeks, depending on how often it is worn
- The ‘at-home’ remedy for cleaning: Pour a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap (our personal favourite) in a bowl filled with warm water. Get a nice sudsy bath going by stirring the water with an unused toothbrush. Gently scrub the jewellery with the toothbrush, being sure to get inside all the nooks and crannies. Rinse clean with water and gently pat dry with a cotton cloth
- Be sure to store all your sterling silver pieces in the specialised pouches that you purchase them in. This will keep the metal from rubbing up against other metals in your jewellery box
- Always put your jewellery on last, even after perfume. The nature of natural metals and gemstones can sometimes be affected by the chemicals in lotions and perfumes