The Royal Jewellers S04 ep7 : Jacob & Co Jewellery & Watches [New York]

Interview with Jacob Arabo

Jacob The Jeweler Arabo is a Bukharian immigrant from Uzbekistan who began selling his gems in Manhattan's Diamond District in 1986. His first celeb client was R&B singer Faith Evans, who found his shop, fell in love with the jewels, put down a deposit on a ring and started to spread the word to her famous pals. His client list includes Jessica Simpson, Nick Lachey, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson, Christy Turlington, Beyoncé and David Beckham.Arabo’s Jacob & Co. timepieces were among the lots selling at the highest prices at Antiquorum Geneva Auction in April of 2010. His Crystal Tourbillon was the top selling lot at $477,120 USD, and the firm’s titanium Napoleon Quadra was the third highest selling lot at $354,432 USD. In October, 2008 at the Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite auction held in Hong Kong, a spectacular Jacob & Co. cushion-shaped diamond ring was the item that sold at the highest price; $5.78 million. At the same auction, a yellow gold and diamond necklace and earring set from Jacob & Co. was the fourth highest priced item (selling at $960,624).


Jacob and Company is a luxury brand. It's lifestyle. 00:59

When I was fifteen years old, my father wanted me to learn in between summer vacation from
school, to learn watches. So he got me a job with this watchmaker, just to learn how to take it a
apart, how to fix, so when I started taking watches apart, I just, you know, fall in love, the way
everything works, how tiny everything is. 01:27

He use to take it apart, old ebouche and movements and show me how he does it and then let me
do it and I say to myself, one day I wanna make my own watch,jewelry.I became a designer
when I was seventeen years old, We migrated 1979. New York, I went to a school to know how
to use tools to do jewelry. 01:54

When we came to United States there was no more family business. My father had this job and
he was doing for Russian Soviet Union, so sake, and he was producing liquor. He never asked
me to do the same thing he did. Me being an only son for my father, he says you chose your own
way and I chose jewelry. 02:19

jacob & co blue diamond ring

I needed to make a living, I had, we had no money. So I went to take a course for six months,
where I quickly get this profession and get a job. I got a job for the factory. I worked for the
factory for nine months and I became very successful designer in that factory and I quit after
that and I went for my own business. 02:48

So I started making jewelry for a number of chain stores and brands. They would give you gold,
they would give you diamonds and you would just do the job. You would design and complete
the work for them and give them finish product and of course, they would put their name on it.

For the 90’s, my nickname was Jacob the Jeweler and then it just became, I opened a company
called Jacob & Co. 03:28

I only make things that I like, myself. I not only make jewelry or watches to just sell and make
money, I have to love it myself as if my wife or peers, or myself would wear it. 03:54

jacob & co mystery watch

When you go to Switzerland to make watches, it's very difficult to get into the industry because
it's so small and everyone knows each other and they don't really like to talk to strangers. They
loved my designs. I propose my design and I was looking for partners who would produce for
me. At the beginning was very difficult, but then, I found people who were very professional
and loved my designs and just because of the designs, they went ahead with me and that was my
door opening to Switzerland. 04:32

I first started with just Quartz watches in the beginning, was the easiest thing to do because it
was just the look, it was just the design, the colorful, the diamonds, for men and women and as I
was successful doing what I was doing, I introduced further, I introduced her gowns, so then I
got into more complications, which I was planning to do. 05:03

If you don't have a really good relationship in a watch making business, they just simply not
going to produce it for you. If they do, it's always going to be late,it's not going to be the one
you want. It's not going to be the quality you want, you're going to be the last one on the list for
them. If they love you, respect you and they are really interested to do the project with you,
you're gonna be the number one on their list and those are the ones only that I work with. 05:32

jacob & co  emerald ring

The watchesthat I make is your third or fourth watch. It's fun, it's conversational, it's to go out
with. 05:46

But the jewelry was first. It's thirty years old now. I have a workshop in New York, some of the
jewelry now manufactured in Geneva as well in Switzerland and Italy as well, but most of it
made in New York. We have great workshops. 06:08

The very famous yellow diamonds from a place called Zemi, in Africa, that's where the material
comes from only. So any professional who see that stone knows here it comes from. Now Russia
does not have large diamonds, they do have a lot of diamond mines, but they have mostly
smaller sizes. 06:34

jacob & co diamond watch

It's nonstop creation. If I thought of something to do now, it may take me a few months to come
up with the product type. We already working on something for next Dazzle. It takes time and I
have designers also that work for me, that also help me to design, cause it is impossible to do
everything myself. 07:04

I look at jewelry from 1920's. I love art decor and I love the shapes and I love, so I reproduce
alot of it. I took the ideas of art decor ,the genius designers that we had, back in the 20's and 30's
and just changed and added things to it and I just love to see the way it looks. 07:37

Jewelry to me is fashion. Jewelry to me is investment. Jewelry to me is a gift to each other. It
just makes people happy. 07:54

This man buys an engagement ring, very important engagement ring for his future wife and his
request was bought in America, New York, can you deliver it to Kroshevel to Ski Resort, at the
ski slope, when my wife just about to take off the skis, I want someone to come and present it to
her. This is gonna be my engagement ring to her. The shipping company should come,this was
so unusual,you know, how do you do that? and of course we did it and of course they took it on
video and camera, you should have seen on her face, dressed up with glasses just about to take
off with skis and they presented a box, they opened a box with the most beautiful diamond ring.