Archive for May, 2010

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Ben Bridge becomes Second Victorinox Swiss Army Official E-Commerce Retailer

May 13, 2010

Victorinox Swiss Army Announces New E-tailing Partner Ben Bridge Jeweler

Victorinox Swiss Army (VSA) is proud to announce the addition of our second official e-commerce retailer, Ben Bridge Jeweler. VSA has been very deliberate in moving into the world of e-tailing slowly, choosing partners with a reputation for outstanding customer service and integrity. In fact, VSA does not even sell to consumers directly on it’s own website, making the designation of “Official e-tailer” exclusive indeed.

The partnership between VSA and Ben Bridge will allow for an excellent e-commerce shopping experience for consumers nation-wide, backed by a strong brick and mortar presence enjoyed by Ben Bridge in the Western and Pacific regions of the United States.

As an official e-tailer, Ben Bridge will now carry the entire VSA product line in their downtown Seattle flagship store. This allows any Ben Bridge sales associate easy access to the full complement of VSA styles to satisfy even the most discerning VSA enthusiast.

VSA is excited about this enhanced partnership and will continue to support and develop the program to ensure it’s success.



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Build Your Own Ikuma Diamond: From rough to polished!

May 5, 2010
Rough Ikuma Diamonds

Rough Ikuma Diamonds from Canada's Victor Mine

This week we will be presenting a unique bespoke opportunity: the chance to select a rough diamond and decide exactly how it will be cut. Never before have customers been able to participate in the life of their diamond from its rough stage to finished piece.

A diamond takes shape

Friday and Saturday (May 7th and 8th) in our Alderwood store in Seattle, we will have a large selection of rough (uncut, unpolished) diamonds for customers to view. A customer will be able to purchase a rough diamond and decide how it will be cut and polished (shape, size, number of finished stones from a piece of rough) and can select or design a piece of jewelry for the make-to-measure diamond to live in.

The diamonds each originated in the Victor Mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. Aided by the latest in 3D modeling technology, we will present a number of different options for cutting each rough stone.

Polishing the diamond

A customer might choose a single Ideal cut diamond, princess cut, or other popular shape. She might also choose to fashion two matching finished stones from a single piece of rough–perhaps for a perfectly matched pair of earrings. Alternatively, the rough stone could be cut into two diamonds, one larger and one smaller. In this way, a couple could each wear a diamond from the same piece of rough. There is a wonderful symbolism for each partner to wear pieces that have been together for millions of years.

Choosing where to cut the diamond

For more information, please call Regina Aiello in our Alderwood Mall store, (425) 771-7227.

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Omaha Round Up (with video!)

May 3, 2010

It was a fun weekend in Omaha!

The Oracle was in typically fine form–answering questions all day about topics ranging from Goldman Sachs (he was supportive), derivatives (they continue to be dangerous when parties don’t understand them), and the long term prospects for the US (bullish). Even the usually taciturn Charlie Munger piped in with a few gems and added to the levity of the day. At one point a questioner asked about how to cope with potentially high interest rates in the future. Munger, 86, responded, “If I can be optimistic when I’m nearly dead, you all can handle inflation.”

Before the meeting began, there was a very amusing movie featuring Warren and Charlie and a few friends. This year’s movie included ABC’s Desperate Housewives plotting to land a billionaire and ending up with Charlie. Another segment had Warren pitching for the Boston Red Sox and striking out Alex Rodriguez to win the AL pennant. The movie included a preview of a new animated series called “The Secret Millionaires Club,” where Warren teaches kids about financial literacy.

There was also a cool video showing the history of Berkshire’s latest acquisition, Burlington Northern Santa Fe. BNSF dates back to 1849 and the railroad “Empire Builder” James J. Hill. BNSF has played an integral part in the growth of the United States and it is exciting to have the railroad as part of the Berkshire family.

Another highlight of the event is the chance to visit many Berkshire companies in the convention hall adjacent to the arena where the meeting takes place. Companies ranging from See’s Candy to Justin Boots, Dairy Queen, GEICO, and Fruit of the Loom hawk their wares to shareholders. Watch the video for more on that.

Because of the growth of the meeting, to get good seats we had to be in line at 5:45am! As unpleasant as it sounds to stand outside in the cold Omaha morning, waiting to get in only adds to the festival atmosphere of the meeting. It is so much fun to meet shareholders from all over the world and swap stories about meetings past, the boss, and speculate as to what Warren’s take will be on a great many issues.

It is truly a unique weekend–unlike anything else I have ever been to and likely unmatched by anything in the world. It is a fitting tribute to one of the world’s most admired and distinctive companies.

I look forward to next year’s meeting and encourage you to make plans to get to Omaha at least once for a spectacle unlike any other.

-Marc

From the floor at BRKFest 2010!