WristWatch Magazine - Page 50

AMERICAN HISTORY Founded in 1810, Black Starr & Frost Chose The One (Road) L Less Traveled W Certified Master Watchmaker Don Loke at the bench. 48 WRISTWATCH | 2016 ith deep roots reaching into the early part of the 19th century and beyond, Black Starr & Frost has a legitimate history that is hard to match. Celebrated in song, on screen and stage, the reta retailer was once, and remains today, synonymous with the highest leve of luxurious jewelry and accessories. Perhaps less well known level toda than the fabled houses Cartier and Tiffany, these three brands today histo histories are woven together here in America - but that topic is a book of its own. F Formally opened 1810, the familiar name of Black Starr & Frost has gone through evolutions that saw partnerships develop and fade with some of the most famous branded watch & jewelry names. Today, not only is Black Starr & Frost one of the longest lived retailers, it also holds a unique place in the luxury market. Where almost all independent retailers ply the wares from a variety of well and lesser- known brands, Black Starr & Frost has eschewed the temptation of competing in an ever more discount-driven market to create and offer only their own in-house expressions of elegant jewelry. Now, after more than a 30-year hiatus, BS&F has also brought back its own collection of fine timepieces. Black Starr & Frost’s current owner, Alfredo Molina, has his own amazing back-story and curriculum vitae that’s hard to fathom in today’s world; starting at the tender young age of eight years old when his grandfather sat him at the jeweler’s bench to begin his apprenticeship. Suffice it to say he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to making, buying, and selling fine jewelry and watches. Molina (also owner of Molina Jewelers in Phoenix) recently challenged Master Watchmaker Don Loke to revive BS&F’s timekeeping traditions – not that either one of them had that in-mind when they first met. Originally the pair had developed a rapport while exploring proprietary surface polishing techniques that bring