Shreve, Crump & Low
While visiting, a client is served by the finest and most knowledgeable jewelry, watch and gift ware staff in America. Each employee a master in their defined field, our staff has served generation after generation of our special customers for over 200 years.
LuxExposé: Can you tell us a little more about the history of Shreve, Crump & Low
Shreve Crump & Low: Following the opening across the street from Paul Revere in Boston’s historic Downtown Crossing, the company earned an innumerable amount of prestige in the jewelry industry throughout the greater part of the nineteenth century. In 1869, Shreve, Crump & Low was established due to the consolidation of firms containing great amounts of expertise in the industry, thus creating the foundation of the highest values that Shreve, Crump & Low strives to uphold to this day.
After suffering the effects of the Great Boston Fire in 1872, a period of rebuilding brought more than a fresh start to Shreve, Crump & Low. At the corner of Tremont and West Street, fine china, plated ware, papier mâché, stationary, and of course diamonds and precious stones were now among the product offerings available at Shreve, Crump & Low in addition to the original line of fine jewelry and watches.
Just before the turn of the twentieth century, prominent tennis player Dwight F. Davis conceived the idea of international lawn tennis matches to promote good will among the players and their respective countries. Davis commissioned Shreve, Crump & Low to make a silver challenge Bowl for these particular matches that were to be kept in the custody of the winning country until the next year’s match. This prize is now known as the Davis Cup.
The history of Shreve, Crump & Low was fortified in 1930 after another move to a new building designed by leading architect William T. Aldrich at the corner of Boylston and Arlington Streets. Thirty years later, history was made again when the infamous Gurgling Cod pitcher was introduced at the request of Benjamin Dale Shreve, whose son Richard Shreve would be the last family member to own the company. The whimsical Gurgling Cods Pitcher playfully gurgles when water is poured.
After yet another relocation, Shreve, Crump & Low now resides at 39 Newbury Street in a magnificent three-story flagship store. Inside one will find the most luxurious jewels by Oscar Heyman and Chopard, outstanding timepieces from esteemed watchmakers such as A. Lange & Söhne, Blancpain, Roger Dubuis and Jaeger LeCoultre and the finest china and gifts from Herend, Royal Crown Derby and Christolfe.
LuxExposé: What do you contribute to be the key factor in the success and longevity of Shreve, Crump & Low and what makes your locations stand out from the rest?
Shreve Crump & Low: The success of Shreve, Crump & Low comes from the outstanding reputation of both our customer service and extensive product offerings. While it is a bit cliché to say that a diamond is forever, there is truth to it. While of course we have history on our side, our clientele look for the best, and we take pride in being able to offer nothing but that. As a result, Shreve, Crump & Low is able to stand out from both the competition in Boston, and the entire United States in more ways than one.
LuxExposé: What can a customer expect as soon as they walk in your front doors?
Shreve Crump & Low: Our clientele is accustomed to exceptional service and that is exactly what can be expected once stepping foot into Shreve, Crump & Low. While visiting, a client is served by the finest and most knowledgeable jewelry, watch and giftware staff in America. Each employee a master in their defined field, our staff has served generation after generation of our special customers for over 200 years.
In addition to incomparable customer service, our newest Flagship Store on Newbury Street is the essence of luxury. With one floor dedicated to jewelry, watches, and giftware respectively, one can navigate through with ease.
LuxExposé: Tell us about your collection of timepieces and jewelry. What kind of timepieces does Shreve, Crump & Low specialize in?
Shreve Crump & Low: Our collection of both jewelry and timepieces is unlike any other in America. Our CEO, David Walker strives to find the rarest pieces. From estate pieces of jewelry made by Jean Schlumberger himself, to jewelry made by the incredible Oscar Heyman, to one of kind gemstone pieces, our collection of jewelry is unlike any other; the same can be said for our Watch Salon.
With sixteen of the most famous Swiss & German brands in the watch industry, we carry the rarest and most valuable timepieces in the world. The exclusivity of our timepieces is what sets us apart from any other watch dealer in the New England area. Aside from our store, the closest points of sale for brands such as A. Lange & Söhne and Audemars Piguet are their respective boutiques in New York City.
LuxExposé: What makes a luxury timepiece worth its price tag? Besides the materials please give us an example of what type of craftsmanship and man hours can go into the creation of a luxury timepiece?
Shreve Crump & Low: Our CEO frequently says our timepieces are not just about keeping time, but about our relationship with time. A luxury timepiece is more than a watch – it’s taking pride what one wears on his or her wrist. Both the history of watchmaking and the prestige that our brands have earned make our timepieces unique and often times irreplaceable.
Most mechanical watches created can have upwards of 800 mechanical parts; therefore it takes months to make sure each component works fluidly with every other part to keep perfect time for generations to come. After the movement or the heart of the watch is perfect, there are hundreds upon hundreds of hours of testing to make sure the creation can withstand the inevitable wear and tear.
LuxExposé: Do you find that your clientele’s decision to purchase a timepiece is a factor of being informed and connected to the legacy of a brand or do they just buy for the look and feel?
Shreve Crump & Low: Our clientele is so diverse that we have customers that fit both of those categories. There are some watch enthusiasts that are extremely loyal to one brand in particular because they respect the craftsmanship and history of the brand, while there are others that prefer to have many different brands in their collection for reasons of either prestige or look and feel. For those beginning to learn and expand their horizons about the watch industry, it may be more common to buy solely based on the look and feel of a particular timepiece, but overall more complicated than simply splitting the clientele into two distinct groups.
LuxExposé: Massachusetts is somewhat of a conservative state. What type of timepieces and jewelry are in high demand here?
Shreve Crump & Low: With regards to timepieces, brands with conservative styles and an outstanding reputation in the industry tend to fair better in the Massachusetts market. For example, brands like A. Lange & Söhne, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin are very well received among the Boston demographic.
LuxExposé: How many locations do you have and where are they located.
Shreve Crump & Low: Shreve, Crump & Low is proud to have two stores in the Boston area. Our flagship store is located on the first block of Newbury Street (between Arlington & Berkeley Street) and our second store is a free standing bank building in Chestnut Hill, Ma
LuxExposé: Please explain the positive effects as a result of relocating your Boston flagship store from 440 Boylston St to your current location at 39 Newbury St
Shreve Crump & Low: While Boylston Street will always have historical significance for Shreve, but moving to Newbury Street was a great stepping-stone for the future of Shreve, Crump & Low. As a Massachusetts native or a tourist visiting the city, the reputation of stores located on Newbury Street precedes itself. Shreve, Crump & Low is now situated in the luxury shopping destination of Boston, and is not only a privilege, but where the Shreve, Crump & Low brand rightfully belongs.
LuxExposé: The old location was a bit larger, tell us why bigger is not necessarily always better to achieve an intimate setting for your customers.
Shreve Crump & Low: The previous location is larger to the naked eye, but our location on Newbury Street is approximately the same amount of square footage. However, there is something to be said about a more intimate setting, especially in the world of luxury. Developing a strong relationship with clients starts the moment they walk through our doors and we not only want to offer excellent service, but we also want to make sure that clients are comfortable walking through our store and a large showroom can often times be overwhelming
LuxExposé: Does Shreve, Crump & Low utilize affinity marketing in the form of intimate events to attract customers? For instance a customer who would buy an Aston Martin or Rolls Royce may very well be the same type of customer that would purchase a high-end timepiece. What are your thoughts on this? Do you believe that affinity marketing can be effective?
Shreve Crump & Low: Shreve, Crump & Low does not use true affinity marketing, but we have our own regime that has proven effective so far. It is accurate that our clientele does coincide with that of Aston Martin or Rolls Royce for example, but affinity marketing for our product lines is a little more involved. For example, most of our watch brands have their own forms of affinity marketing that comes directly from them. Not to say we couldn’t be slightly more involved with affinity marketing, but when it comes to timepieces, we stand behind our brands 100% therefore we are not looking to interfere with their current marketing plans.
When it comes to our jewelry collection, after acquiring new pieces, often times we already have certain clients in mind. Companies like Aston Martin send prospective clients catalogs of their different models, but when it comes to our jewelry inventory, it is not as feasible to create a catalog. Our product offerings are so vast and frequently some of our inventory spends hardly any time in our vault! Therefore, using a similar strategy would not produce the most effective results.
Shreve, Crump & Low has a different approach. About eight to ten times throughout the year, we hold different events where we invite both existing and prospective clients. These events range from exclusive gatherings at our flagship store to private dinners at some of the most elite restaurants around Boston; our biggest event of the year is our annual holiday party where we celebrate the season with anywhere from 150 to 200 of our closet clients. In the future, we imagine some slight improvements to our current plan, but so far, so good.
LuxExposé: Lastly what are your plans for the future?
Shreve Crump & Low: The future of Shreve, Crump & Low is a bright one! In fact, we are currently in the process of a slight relocation. Rather than continuing with our third store in Nantucket, Massachusetts, we are moving south and there will soon be a Shreve, Crump & Low in the heart of Greenwich, Connecticut on the renowned Greenwich Avenue. The entire company is very excited for this new beginning and it is safe to say the expansion may not end there. Of course, the main focus for the next few years will be in Greenwich, but the possibilities do not end there.
A Shreve Crump & Low Testimonial
“It’s difficult to step into a story in the middle so I’ll begin at the beginning. The Boston Globe planned to write an article on timepiece enthusiasts. Mr. Payne of LuxExposé suggested to the journalist to contact my husband, Osvaldo, since he had been collecting watches for several years. The article, with a photo of my husband and his collection, were featured in June 2012.
A few weeks later, we stopped in to the new Shreve, Crump and Low location on Newbury Street. My husband was intrigued to see their new watch salon. As soon as we walked into the salon, I was aware they knew who my husband was. They greeted us by name and knew every watch my husband owned. Of course it was good business, but it was also a very personal touch.
This past fall I decided to add to my husband’s collection for our anniversary. There was no question where I was going to go…
Brad Tetreault helped me through the process of choosing the right watch. Since he knew exactly which watches Osvaldo owned, he could recommend which would compliment his existing collection. I decided on the A. Lange & Sohne 1 Timezone timepiece. It’s a beautiful watch and my husband was thrilled.
While purchasing the watch Brad told me that A. Lange & Sohne takes actual photographs of each individual movement on every watch they meticulously build. They have it transferred to canvas and present it to the owner of the watch. Of course Shreve, Crump and Low had the artwork framed and presented it to my husband. It now hangs in our foyer.
The professionalism combined with the personal touches of Brad and his colleagues are why Shreve, Crump and Low will remain our jeweler.”
– Leslee Barbosa