Stamford, Conn.--Jewelers of America announced Wednesday that WatchTime Editor-in-Chief Joe Thompson will be the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 14th annual Gem Awards, scheduled to take place Jan. 8 in New York.

Joe Thompson started his career as a watch and jewelry industry journalist 38 years ago, when he joined the staff of what was then Jewelers Circular-Keystone. An award-winning journalist with four decades of experience, Thompson started his career with Jewelers Circular-Keystone (now JCK) magazine in 1977, then became editor-in-chief of Modern Jeweler magazine in 1982.

In 1996, he became the founding editor of American Time magazine, focusing exclusively on watch reporting. Four years later, he joined WatchTime, a consumer magazine for watch aficionados. Under his leadership, the publication has developed an outstanding global influence. 

Along the way, Thompson has garnered a number of accolades including nine awards from the American Business Press and two from Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists.

“As both chairman of the Gem Awards and from knowing Joe for more than 30 years, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the Gem Award Committee’s choice of Joe Thompson as our Lifetime Achievement Award winner,” said Norman Miller, executive vice president and publisher of Elite Traveler. “Joe has been a mentor to me since I began at National Jeweler magazine in 1980 and embodies the spirit of what this award is about. His career has been dedicated to illuminating the fascinating business of our industry.”

In addition to the Gem Award for Lifetime Achievement, JA will present awards in the categories of Jewelry Design, Media Excellence and Watch Design, which is a new category this year.

The winners in each of these three categories will be announced live at the ceremony and on a live stream, which can be viewed at

For details on GEM Award nominees and to purchase tickets and sponsorship packages, visit

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