What started as a concept in 2015 has become a reality! In November, 2017, the International DeVries Watch Group met at a kick-off event that proved this group’s meetings aren’t just simple gatherings, they are events not to be missed. The DeVries Watch Group was an idea that was formed around the concept that many, many people love watches and these people are willing to come together to share their appreciation of their timepieces, celebrate community, and learn from experts – all while getting a hands-on look at some beautiful chronometers.
This inaugural event was hosted at Long Road Distillery, a short distance from the DeVries Jewelers store, on Grand Rapids West Side. The Watch Group meeting brought together watch aficionados, the DeVries Jewelers staff, and experts from the Oris Watch company. The team from DeVries introduced the Watch Group benefits and invited the attendees to join the group.
With over 100 Oris and Vortic watches on display, attendees were given the opportunity to learn about, and try on, several styles that are not found in-store. In addition to the new timepieces, there was a wide variety of previously owned watches from brands like Rolex and Omega.
Guest for the evening didn’t just get to wrap a gorgeous watch around their wrist, but were also treated to the opportunity to interact with the Oris team for themselves. Members from Oris shared facts and stories from the company and about each watch on display. They also shared about the Swiss made company’s relationship with Grand Rapids and DeVries. VJ Geronimo, CEO of Oris Watches North America, said, “I don’t feel I have to tell you how great we feel about DeVries. They truly are experts in what they do; and they are great people.” Geronimo, also commented on the crowd at the Watch Group, “Not only can I tell this room loves watches, – I’ve seen more Oris watches already on arms here than at any other event I’ve been invited to – but this is a community of people passionate about watches and passionate about their community.”
Of course, an event titled “Watches and Whiskey” wouldn’t be complete with just watches. Long Road provided a menu chock-full of whiskey drinks, including the traditional Old Fashioned and two unique whiskey beverages, the Cold Fashioned, featuring wheat whiskey and black cardamom demerara, and The Last King Kong, made with rye whiskey, lapsang souchong black tea, and soda.
Even though the evening included several prize give aways, if you were to ask any attendee they’d probably tell you the best prize was the community and the opportunity to grow relationships around the wrist-based-chronometers, both new and old. Many in attendance mentioned they’d been waiting a while for this group to get started, one might even say: “it’s about time.”
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