January 2014

Darakjian Jewelers opened in Detroit in 1964, then moved to the suburb of Southfield in 1970. This year, Darakjian Jewelers moved to Birmingham, another suburb of Detroit. Second-generation watch retailer Armen Darakjian, explains: “Business overall has picked up slightly from last year. We are very excited about our new location that is now located in the heart of the only real shopping district in Michigan. Birmingham is a pedestrian town with cafes, restaurants and retail.”


Darakjian believes strongly in the Detroit area as a watch market. “Detroit is definitely on the move,” he says. “Over the last five years, there has been a large influx of investment into the downtown Detroit area — lofts, restaurants, and businesses. We have noticed a large interest in watches from the residents in the lofts and luxury apartments in Detroit. “Detroit has heart, mystique, history,” he continues. From the city that created the automobile, an eclectic group of residents have added an amazing diversity to downtown. In the next 5 - 10 years Detroit will offer the world an experience like no other.”

One thing that Darakjian tries to communicate via print, radio and social media is that luxury brands are available right in the Detroit area. “Being that Detroit is not necessarily a vacation town, most of our clients and potential clients have vacation houses elsewhere,” he explains. “Getting all the shoppers to understand that the Detroit Metropolitan area offers the world’s best brands right here is the challenge we have. When Michigan locals are on vacation, as all of us, they’ve got plenty of time to shop. Michigan retailers need to bring the business home, convincing residents to shop local and watch the city flourish.”


Darakjian credits an emphasis on customer service for the company’s success. “Clients today deserve the very best when they are shopping,” he says. “They need associates who know the product, understand the honour it is to represent these brands, and provide a shopping experience like no other. Just as our tag line says, ‘The One. The Only,’ we pride ourselves on offering out of the ordinary brands. The opportunity to choose from watches and jewellery that no one in the area offers has sustained the growth of Darakjian Jewelers.”

Though Darakjian doesn’t carry Shinola, he is very much aware of it and impressed by the company’s progress so far. “Detroit is a manufacturing town, always was and always will be — it’s got think-tanks and creativity bursting at the seams,” he says. “The fact that Shinola chose Detroit is not only forward thinking and groundbreaking but it is a testament to the vitality and stamina of Detroit as a city. We considered Shinola, but with the move and the launch of the new location, we have enough going on. Who knows what the future will bring?”


Facts & Figures

Darakjian Jewelers (
Locations: New location - 101 Willits Birmingham, MI 48009
How long: 49 years Employees: 26
Size of stores: 4,500 sq ft
Average sale: $1,350
Range of price: $100 - $250,000
Bestselling watch: Audemars Piguet
Brands: Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Ulysse Nardin, Carl F. Bucherer, Devon, Urwerk, Maurice Lacroix, Montblanc, Longines, U-Boat, Graham, Bremont, Michele Watch, Philip Stein, Brera, Officina del Tempo, Seven Friday, 2(x)ist, Casio G-Shock, Glycine, Underwood, Orbita, Wolf Designs, Tacori, Demarco, Rebecca, Sophia, MO & Me, Belle E’toile, Nomination, Odelia, Zeghani.

THE AMERICAN RE-REVOLUTION Detroit, Shinola and the future
TAPPER’S Jewelers

Source: Europa Star December - January 2013/14 Magazine Issue