Claire James, head of jewellery buying at Watches of Switzerland Group, talks to Professional Jeweller about the bridal jewellery market.
What bridal jewellery trends dominated the market this year?
It has been an exciting year within the bridal market this year and it is always fantastic to see the emerging trends and classic beauties that our customer’s add to their treasure troves each year. Platinum has been a highly sought metal within the market place this year along with multi-stone and a beautiful resurgence of the trilogy collections in a variety of cuts.
What has Watches of Switzerland been doing to innovate in the bridal jewellery market over the last 12 months?
This has been a pivotal year for our stunning jewellery collections, in terms of innovation. Since joining the jewellery department in January of this year, we have introduced more new collections than ever before. Every line has been reviewed, seeing a solid injection of stunning new pieces or entire collections. The circle and celestial trends have proved hugely popular within our Essential Jewellery collections and have been beautifully executed through our stunning new imagery displayed across our multi-channel marketing avenues.
Have you seen a rise in any styles that have surprised you?
Coachella had a huge influence this year on the pearl marketplace, opening up a new millennial and Gen Z client base to the beauty of the timelessly elegant pearl collection. Graduated and thread through styles have been extremely popular this year along with our design-led and iconic ring collection. It is fantastic to see a new client base buying into this category whilst still appealing to our wonderful loyal client base with its timeless elegance and beauty.
What influences today’s engagement ring trends?
Each brides story is unique, their inspiration, design and vision really is a collection of multiple factors from celebrity trends, to what they see in the marketplace, to family design details and strong marketing campaigns. For us it is about taking inspiration from key trade shows, expertise and feedback from our retail teams and being able to absorb the key influences within the market place. We aim to have cohesive, stunning collections, in a variety of metal types, colour ways, shapes and weights to inspire our customers whilst having cohesion across the collections and a knowledgeable retail team to help each customer find their perfect ring.
What predictions do you have for bridal jewellery next year?
I am confident that another strong year awaits as we sparkle our way into 2020. The trilogy and platinum trends will still have prevalence along with a trend to layer, whether that be a beautiful assortment of stacking rings or layered look within the wrist wear category.