The Watch Collectors’ Roundtable Resumes at Aaron Faber Gallery to Debate the Potential Impact of Smartwatches to the Swiss Fine Watch Industry

Released on: May 29, 2015, 2:24 pm (EDT)
Industry: Apparel & Fashion

New York, New York, -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The Watch Collectors’ Roundtable Resumes at Aaron Faber Gallery to Debate the Potential Impact of Smartwatches to the Swiss Fine Watch Industry

The most complicated watch ever made is the Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication by Patek Philippe, boasting such fetes of horological engineering as a minute repeater that chimes the fifth bar of Handel's Messiah every hour, a celestial chart of Manhattan’s night time sky, a perpetual calendar that self adjusts for leap years, an indicator for knowing the current moon phase, an alarm clock – oh, and it also tells time! The Apple smartwatch also has an impressive CV, telling you when you need more exercise, where you need to be in the next hour, displaying your text messages and allowing you to answer your phone calls, all with a literal flick of the wrist. But can the person who appreciates the daring of the Graves watch be lured by the bells and whistles of the Apple smartwatch?

On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, at 5:30pm Aaron Faber Gallery, 666 Fifth Avenue at West 53rd Street, New York, NY, will reconvene their semi-annual Watch Collectors’ Roundtable to discuss just how much an influence smartwatches will have on the buying habits of fine timepiece collectors. Will smartwatches create a cataclysmic change as far reaching as the 1970s invasion of Japanese quartz watches? Or can this new technology deliver those dependent on their cell phones for time into the seductive realm of watch collecting?

Moderated by Randy Brandoff, Founder and CEO of Eleven James, watch industry insiders Edward Faber, co-owner of Aaron Faber Gallery and author of American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design, Gary Girdvainis, editor of WristWatch magazine and AboutTime magazine and Jeffrey Hess, CEO of Ball Watch USA, will engage luxury industry veteran, Milton Pedraza, CEO and Founder of The Luxury Institute, and technology industry expert, Jason Alan Snyder, Chief Technology Officer of Momentum Worldwide, in a frank and lively examination on whether smartwatches can really shake the Swiss watch industry.

The Roundtable will be immediately followed by a fine Scotch and Irish Whiskey presentation, hosted by Pat Corrigan, the in-house Whiskey, Scotch and Malt expert for Best Beverage.

Watch collectors and whiskey aficionados are invited to attend these events and encouraged to bring questions for the experts. The event will be held at Aaron Faber Gallery, 666 Fifth Avenue at West 53rd Street, New York, NY.

The Roundtable will be videotaped with footage available to press after the event.

For more information on the Roundtable, please contact The Lilian Raji Agency at (646) 789-4427 ext 701 or or visit the online press room at


Randy Brandoff

Randy Brandoff is the founder of Eleven James, an annual private membership club that reimagines how luxury timepieces are consumed and enjoyed. Members access a vast, curated collection of exceptional watches while enjoying a myriad of additional benefits.

As a well-respected entrepreneur in the luxury market, Brandoff started Eleven James in 2013 following his tenure as Chief Marketing Officer of NetJets, a Berkshire Hathaway company, where he served since the NetJets acquisition of Marquis Jet in 2010. As the first employee of Marquis Jet in 2001, Brandoff co-created the marketing and business development departments that drove $4 billion in sales and 80 percent customer retention, helping to grow the company to become the premiere private jet card company in the world.

Brandoff also helped to launch Tequila Avion, a leading spirits brand made popular by the HBO series “Entourage,” where he was a co-founder and principal prior to the Company’s sale to Pernod Ricard in 2014.

Edward Faber

Edward Faber is the author of American Wristwatches: Five Decades of Style and Design, now in its third printing and the definitive text on collecting American vintage watches. He founded Aaron Faber Gallery in 1974, now at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City, as a showcase for artist-made jewelry for which the gallery is world-famous.

He began adding 20th century estate jewelry to complement the contemporary work and then, in 1980, Faber began collecting and presenting vintage watches and timepieces. Now this personal passion has grown into a formidable part of the gallery's design collection. In the "Best of New York", New York Magazine noted, "He's a picky curator with a critical eye, and his shop's 1000-or-so offerings range from incredible one-of-a-kind pieces to a huge stash of sought-after brands."

Faber is a founding member of the International Watch and Jewelry Guild, a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors and a member of the American Society of Jewelry Historians and Jewelers of America. He is a frequent lecturer on the history and value of timepieces and jewelry, with appearances on the Today show, as well as numerous cable programs; he has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, numerous watch magazines, the Cigar Aficionado and Departures and recently in blogs relating to the field of watch collecting. For more information, please visit

Gary Girdvainis
Gary Girdvainis entered the watch industry in 1990 through a chance conversation with the owners of PMG Inc (publishers of several exotic automotive themed magazines and hardcover books) about their interests in importing and distributing into the US a new watch magazine. Girdvainis ran with the idea, and soon an independent North American edition known as International Wristwatch USA was born. Under Girdvainis’ leadership, the magazine blossomed from an 80-page bi-monthly to the only monthly watch magazine with page counts upwards of 256 pages per issue. Having cemented its place into the hearts and minds of passionate watch aficionados, the magazine is now known simply as iW.

Girdvainis’ two decades as Editor-In-Chief of the watch industry’s most revered publication gave him an insider perch to deeply explore the heartbeat of many legendary watch brands. He has firsthand accounts of the meticulous steps brands took to regain respect for mechanical watches in the early 90s after decades of the “Japanese invasion” of quartz watches and has seen (and sometimes predicted) the rise and occasional fall of some of the world’s finest watch companies. Girdvainis has jumped out of planes with Breitling’s Jet Team; held on for dear life on the aft of Corum’s Team Energy catamaran, and raced remote controlled sailboats in Central Park with Baume et Mercier. Through it all, he has gained the respect and admiration of movers and shakers within the watch world, and the loyal following of millions of watch fans.

In June 2011, Girdvainis left iW to form Isochron Media LLC, a company founded to embrace, enhance, promote and develop watch culture in North America and around the world. Through Isochron Media, Girdvainis publishes and editorially directs both WristWatch Magazine and AboutTime. His early success with these two publications has led to international licenses for both magazines, each scheduled for local market launches in Arabic and Chinese in January 2014. Isochron Media also serves as editorial consultant and advertising placement service provider for Wristwatch Annual. For more information, please visit

Jeffrey Hess
Jeffrey Allan Pittman Hess is North American distributor for Ball Watch USA, Mühle-Glashütte, and MeisterSinger watch brands as well as Chief Executive Officer and major stockholder of Hess Fine Art and the Old Northeast Jewelers chain of jewelry stores. He is also a noted expert in fine and decorative arts, a researcher, author and dealer of fine watches and estate jewelry.

Hess’s adolescent love of watches lead to his opening Old Northeast Jewelers, first in Tampa, Florida, then in St. Petersburg, in 1979. In the late 1980s, Hess founded a monthly magazine called “Watch-It.” The magazine’s popularity gained the attention of Schiffer Publishing, who then asked him to co-author with James Dowling what is now regarded as the most authoritative book on Rolexes, “The Best of Time: Rolex Wristwatches, An Unauthorized History.” Released in 1996, this Rolex “bible” is now in its fourth printing.

Old Northeast Jewelers’ success as the go-to retailer for both modern and vintage watches, jewelry, repair services and custom design capabilities in West Central Florida subsequently introduced Hess to the world of watch distributorship. In 2001, with the blessing of George Ball, the great grandson of Webb Ball and original founder of legendary Ball Watches, Hess and his Swiss partners resurrected the Ball Watch Company. Through his leadership, Ball Watches is now carried in over 200 North American retailers. He’s created the same success for his other brands, Mühle-Glashütte, and MeisterSinger.

Hess has taught classes in antiques and vintage horology at St. Petersburg College. He’s a member of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors, American Watch Institute and the New York Diamond Dealers Club and has sat on the board of directors of the International Watch & Jewelery Guild, of which he is a Founding Member. Hess is frequently called on to serve as watch expert on local and national television shows, including PBS’s Antiques Road Show.

In 2013, Hess was named by Revolution Watch Magazine as a Visionary in The Watch Business, along with the President of Harry Winston and the President of Dior.

Milton Pedraza
Milton Pedraza is the CEO of the Luxury Institute. Over the past 12 years, Pedraza has established the Luxury Institute as an independent and objective luxury research company and a trusted boutique consulting firm. Known globally as the foremost resource for affluent consumer insights and customer experience best practices, the Luxury Institute has served hundreds of luxury goods and services brands across numerous categories.

Pedraza advises and serves on the Boards of top-tier luxury and premium brands, start-ups, and private investment firms. He is sought after worldwide for his candid and forward-thinking views on luxury and is the most quoted industry expert in leading media outlets and publications.

Pedraza is an authority on CRM, Analytics and Big Data. Prior to founding the Luxury Institute, his successful career at Fortune 100 companies included executive roles at Altria, Pepsico, Colgate, Citigroup and Wyndham Worldwide.

Jason Alan Snyder
Jason Alan Snyder is an inventor, technologist, futurist, marketer and business strategist. In his role as Chief Technology Officer at co-creation agency Momentum Worldwide, Snyder collaborates with creative, strategy, business leadership and production talent to ensure the most effective and current technology solutions for Momentum clients – offering insights to emerging technologies that boost experience and engagement. Snyder is a reputed inventor, technologist, futurist and business strategist with nearly two decades experience in the creative development of technology products and services.

As a technologist Snyder has led the creative development of digital products, applications and services for nearly two decades. With more than a decade of service at various InterPublic Group agencies including as a founding member of Deutsch's digital capability (iDeutsch) and most recently at McCann Erickson (MRM Worldwide) he has also held the position as head of Product Design at AOL and Yahoo!. His brand work includes Google, American Express, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, U.S. Army, IKEA, U.S. Postal Service, Johnson & Johnson, Porsche, Nike, Procter & Gamble, TiVO, and Unilever among others.

Snyder's specialist knowledge in developing mass market consumer software products, applications and mobile technologies, combined with hands-on experience building Human Computer Interaction (HCI) models has led to him being invited to design, author and present a comprehensive amount of materials on a wide range of technology and futurist subjects.

Snyder has also been a pioneer in mobile marketing. He developed a large intellectual property portfolio that serves as foundation patents for many popular geo-location and image recognition mobile products and services. One product of his work, JAGTAG, which he invented and commercialized, was the only mobile 2D barcode solution that did not require the consumer to download an application prior to use. In 2011 Hipcricket, Inc. acquired Snyder's patents including JAGTAG to complement their powerful tech portfolio.

Snyder also invented the Luci solar lantern. Luci is a lightweight, inflatable and durable LED lantern with a solar powered lithium polymer battery. Waterproof and collapsible, Luci is being heralded by the technology, design and non-profit industries alike. It won two coveted Innovation & Design awards at CES and has been featured in WIRED, Engadget, TechCrunch, The New York Times, Boston Globe, Davos Summit, CBS news and on television around the world. Snyder co-founded MPOWERD the company that manufactures Luci to empower the developing world through solar power, providing equity to those without electricity.

In addition to Luci, Snyder is the named inventor on dozens of patents for new technology products related to the Internet of Things, social networking and information serving. He serves on the board of the Calyx Foundation and is an advisor to a number of other notable technology companies.

Aaron Faber Gallery was founded in 1974 to present the work of studio jewelers, those artists creating one-of-a-kind jewels that are inspired by creativity and originality, made in the artist’s studio and imbued with the artist’s spirit, concept and style. In 1980, the gallery began showcasing vintage watches and collectible timepieces, a category which has grown into a formidable part of the gallery’s prominence.

The gallery, owned by Edward and Patricia Faber, is located on West 53rd Street down the block from the Museum of Modern Art, where its contemporary interior is the backdrop for changing exhibitions by studio jewelers as well as permanent collections by the gallery’s artist group. For more information, please visit

For More Information
Lilian M Raji
The Lilian Raji Agency
(646) 789-4427 ext 701

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