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The 1916 Company announces leadership appointments

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Justin Reis, chairman of The 1916 Company Credits: The 1916 Company

The 1916 Company, launched in late 2023 by merging WatchBox, Govberg, Radcliffe, and Hyde Park Jewelers under one unified brand, has announced new leadership appointments and retail expansion plans for “continued growth”.

The watch and jewellery group has named Justin Reis as chairman and John Shmerler as the chief executive officer, while Danny Govberg will continue in a day-to-day role working on the vision and strategy.

Reis said in a statement: “Since we founded the company, it has grown from strength to strength, with over 500 employees and 20 locations worldwide. I am so proud of our team – delivering on a dynamic vision, with remarkable accomplishments along the way. I am delighted to welcome John Shmerler as the chief executive officer. John has an incredible passion for the industry and carries deep relationships with the leading watch and jewellery brands.

“This announcement comes at the perfect time, as we continue to invest in our community-focused strategy, nurturing long-lasting customer relationships, and bringing together the worlds of new and pre-owned watches and jewellery. It's all about creating a richer experience for our clients."

Alongside the leadership appointments, The 1916 Company also announced that it is looking to continue to develop its physical and digital spaces. Cohesive branding began with the WatchBox Collector’s Lounges around the world and is now moving towards the group’s multi-brand boutiques and showrooms.

John Shmerler, chief executive officer of The 1916 Company Credits: The 1916 Company

The 1916 Company’s US network includes multi-brand salons and mono-brand boutiques, and Shmerler has been tasked with growing its retail footprint, beginning with a new store in Baltimore, a new Ardmore (Philadelphia) location planned for late 2024, and a Manhattan Beach, CA multi-brand boutique in 2025.

In addition, the group will launch a unified the1916company.com website in Q2 2024, offering a comprehensive experience for the modern watch and jewellery enthusiast.

“We’re excited to unveil The 1916 Company’s new online destination, delivering access to our full authorised brand portfolio, complemented by an unparalleled pre-owned inventory. The platform will serve as a destination for collectors to collect, sell, and learn about watches,” added Shmerler. “These services, along with curated pre-owned collections, have been successfully introduced across our retail locations in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Delaware, Denver, Newport Beach, and Scottsdale, mirroring the experience one has when engaging remotely with one of our dedicated client advisors.”

The 1916 Company