New York—Jewelers of America and the Gem Awards Committee announced Wednesday their pick for the 2019 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement.

And the honor goes to … Stewart Wicht, the president and CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. Inc.
20180912 Wicht insetStewart Wicht

Held annually, the Gem Awards gala honors individuals or companies whose work “raises the visibility and status of fine jewelry and watches,” with the Lifetime Achievement award given to those who have done so over the course of a career.

Recent honorees have included watch journalist Joe Thompson, retailer Jim Rosenheim and, last year, marketer Sally Morrison.

In selecting Wicht, Gem Awards Chair Olivier Stip of Chanel described him as a “bigger-than-life personality and an astute businessman” who elevated Rolex’s partnerships with its dealers during his eight years heading the U.S. market.

Wicht is also very generous with his time. He supports several trade organizations, making him an undisputed leader in the watchmaking world, Stip said, noting: “We are honored to be presenting Stewart with the 2019 Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement.”

A native of London who spent his formative years living in England, Pakistan and India, Wicht’s career at Rolex spans more than 40 years, beginning in 1975 with Rolex SA in Geneva.

While working in Switzerland, he oversaw markets in Asia and the South Pacific for the luxury watch brand, and established and managed the intellectual property department. In 2011, Wicht relocated to New York to become the president and CEO of Rolex Watch U.S.A. where he heads a team of more than 500 people.

He has served on the boards of a number of industry and cultural organizations, including the American Gem Society, the American Swiss Foundation and the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In addition, he has been the chairperson of the Jewelers Security Alliance for the past three years.

He resides in New York City with his wife, Susan, and his daughter, Fiona.

Although the longtime Rolex executive is slated to retire in December, Wicht will remain on the board of the directors of Rolex Watch U.S.A.

The 2019 Gem Awards gala will take place Friday, Jan. 11 at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

JA and the Gem Awards committee will be announcing additional honorees and nominees in the near future.

For more details on the 2019 gala, including tickets and sponsorships, visit Jewelers.org/GemAwards.

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