(By Richard Law)
Centuries ago, Lower Manhattan was the first Dutch trading post established on American soil. The area has been home to an ever-changing assortment of commercial districts. It was once the heart of New York City’s diamond, jewelry, and watch-making district, but while these districts disappeared or were re-located to other parts of the city, only one establishment stood its ground, William Barthman Jeweler.
Today, William Barthman Jeweler is in close proximity to many tourist attactions, including One World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, South Street Seaport, the Museum of Jewish Heritage, and the New York Stock Exchange. Thousands of people are attracted to this area every day for their sightseeing and shopping needs, making William Barthman the definitive destination for luxury watch and jewelry
shopping. William Barthman started its legendary reign in 1884, and remains one of the most prominent names in retailers of fine jewelry. William Barthman is known to busy Wall Street magnates as the “Downtown Tiffany”. On the corner of historic Maiden Lane and Broadway is a landmark bronze and glass clock that’s embedded in the sidewalk. The clock was conceptualized by William Barthman himself, and has been on the sidewalk since 1899; presently, it still remains in the pavement, a constant reminder that legends truly never die. The Manhattan store has a history of over 129 years, and it radiates elegance even before the door is opened. Upon entering the store, luxurious displays of the finest jewelry line the store; the bright lights add a luster to everything in the store, and the walls themselves show the history of William Barthman.
In the past year, the store has introduced several new boutiques – the Rolex corner, the Cartier boutique, the TAG Heuer boutique, and the Raymond Weil boutique. Many celebrities have patronized the store: J.P. Morgan, “Diamond” Jim Brady, Lily Langtree, Lilian Russel, Wendell Wilkie, Thomas Dewey, the Guggenheims, the Vanderbilts, singer Helen O’Connell, also a few top American designers and hot celebrities among many others. The second store, a space with over 5,000 square feet and located on Brooklyn’s Kings Highway, was opened in 1998 and also showcases today’s top names in luxury jewelry and timepiece collections. It surely makes shopping more convenient and fun for those customers that live in the Brooklyn area. William Barthman has a well-organized and informational website. Recently, they have updated their Cartier and Gabriel & Co. web pages, and have also transformed their website into a bilingual site to better serve their Chinesespeaking customers.
Of important note, William Barthman is the only authorized Rolex retailer south of 53rd street in Manhattan, and is the exclusive authorized store in the entire borough of Brooklyn. The stores carry other luxury watch brands including Cartier, Tag Heuer, Frederique Constant, Bvlgari, Dior, Alpina and also other high-end jewelry brands such as Gabriel & Co, Pandora, Links of London, Damiani, and many more. William Barthman also offers expert watch and jewelry repair services. Their jewelers work on all types of platinum, gold, and custom jewelry, from simple ring-sizing and clasp replacements to complex custom-made pieces. In addition, they also engrave pieces, personalizing cufflinks, wedding rings, or silver giftware to add a special touch. Their watchmakers continue the William Barthman tradition of offering the finest watch services from water-resistant battery changes to complete over-hauls on all types of mechanical, automatic, and
chronograph movements, as well as simple quartz circuits using only genuine parts. William Barthman’s state-of-theart Swiss diagnostic testing equipment ensures that all repairs are done exceptionally and always to the customer’s satisfaction.
Not only is William Barthman one of the best luxury jewelers, they are also proud to be the OFFICIAL Jeweler of the Brooklyn Nets Basketball! Jerry Natkin, president of William Barthman, said “When presented with the opportunity to be the official jeweler of the Brooklyn Nets, Brooklyn’s first professional sports team in over 50 years; I felt that it was an excellent opportunity that I couldn’t resist.” Being a Brooklyn native himself, he beamed at the chance to support the Brooklyn Nets; after all, the last team to represent Brooklyn was the Dodgers. In the past, the jeweler was also a proud sponsor of the New York Yankees, and their NY Yankees William Barthman Championship ring was renowned in New York.
This holiday season, when you’re looking to buy something very special for your significant other (or just to spoil yourself!), be sure to call and head over to William Barthman to see their broad selections and talk to a sales associate to find your perfect holiday gift!
Manhattan Store (176 Broadway, New York, NY 10038), Tel: 212-732-0890
Brooklyn Store (1118 Kings Highway, Brooklyn, NY 11229), Tel: 718-375-1818