May 17, 2015
by Mark Carson
Welcome back to an aBlogtoWatch original series, where we discuss important stores that sell watches all over the world. Each store we profile has an interesting story to tell about where they operate and who they sell to. Whether you buy watches from brick and mortar retailers or prefer to buy watches online, these are the stores that help shape our watch culture around the globe. There is a long list of stores to cover, but if there is a retail location in your favorite city that we simply can’t miss, let us know in the comments below.
Saint-Barthélemy, often abbreviated to Saint-Barth in French, is also known as St. Barts or St. Barths in English. No matter what you call it or how you spell it, this tropical island appears like a emerald floating above a sapphire sea before you make the sometimes hair-raising approach to the tiny island’s tiny airport. Once safely on the ground, in this Caribbean Overseas Collectivity of France, you are officially in France. In the picturesque harbor town of Gustavia, you will find Diamond Genesis. For a small place (Gustavia’s population is around 3,000), you might not expect to find a high end watch store. But this is a playground for the rich or just pleasure seeking tourist, where sun, sand, and shopping all mix.
After arriving in Saint-Barth in 1983, Dominique Elie opened Diamond Genesis in 1984, selling fine jewelry as well as fine timepieces. Now days Diamond Genesis is owned and operated by Mr. Alexandre Schwab.
aBlogtoWatch: What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Saint-Barth a unique place to buy watches?
Diamond Genesis: In our market, Patek Philippe is very popular as classic watches and Richard Mille as contemporary master watchmaker.
ABTW: What would you tell watch lovers in other cities that watch lovers in Saint-Barth like?
Diamond Genesis: In Saint-Barth, the watch lovers are relaxed, on holiday and they have time to visit the store and share their passion.
ABTW: Do you serve mostly locals or tourists, or is it a good mix? Also, what percentage of your customers would you call “knowledgeable watch collectors?”
Diamond Genesis: We sell watches mostly to tourists. We could say that about 70% of our customers are knowledgeable watch collectors.
ABTW: What is Saint-Barth best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
Diamond Genesis: Saint-Barth is known for the beautiful beaches, the luxury hotels, and gastronomic restaurants. The visitors like to go shopping and enjoy sea sports.
ABTW: As a business, do you sponsor or participate in any local events, watch-related or otherwise?
Diamond Genesis: We participate in sailing events (Catacup, Funcup, Les Voiles de Saint-Barth), and we organize watch events several times a year.
ABTW: What are some of the watch brands you are known for carrying? If you could pick a watch brand or model that epitomizes the culture or style of Saint-Barth, what would it be?
Diamond Genesis: We are known for carrying Patek Philippe, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and IWC. The most iconic watch model of Saint-Barth is the Richard Mille RM060-01 limited edition (reviewed here) made for the sail race Les Voiles de Saint-Barth.