Davidson & Licht was founded in 1916 by Benjamin Davidson and Arthur Licht as a full service jeweler. As the oldest family owned and operated fine jeweler in the San Francisco Bay Area, we remain dedicated to providing the finest experience and service to meet your jewelry and watch needs.
Davidson & Licht is a repeat winner of “Best of the East Bay” in the Jeweler Category, as well as being voted “Best Jewelry Store” by Diablo Magazine. Davidson & Licht is also proud to be named one of the nation’s Top 50 Designer Retailers of 2006.
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The year was 1916 and Oakland, California was bustling with manufacturing industries for internal combustion engines, shipbuilding and automobiles. Opening its doors that year at 20th and Broadway, Davidson & Licht would one day become the oldest family owned and operated jewelry store in the San Francisco Bay Area. At that time however, Benjamin Davidson, a diamond broker
and Arthur Licht, a watchmaker’s son, were only beginning the journey of the full service jeweler.
Soon after World War II, many Oakland residents began moving to surrounding areas such as the newly developed East Bay suburbs. The second generation of Davidson & Licht followed suit by expanding into Walnut Creek. The store was opened in 1958 by 25 year-old Carlton Licht at the ‘Broadway Plaza Shopping Center,’ the first major retail center in Contra Costa County.
Working after school and during holidays, the third generation was groomed from an early age to enter the family business. In 1988, the baton was passed to current owner, Jon Licht, and the progression of the family jewelry store evolved further. When the economy was in the middle of a major recession, the company consolidated from five stores to two, and the focus switched from mid-range to high-end. Davidson & Licht began representing jewelry designers and watch makers recognized as the finest around the globe.
Having previously established a 75 year partnership with Omega, by 1990, Davidson & Licht partnered with Rolex Watch Co. to become the largest Rolex dealer in the East Bay. At that time, a watch technician was brought on staff to service all the Swiss time pieces, and Davidson & Licht continued to gain notoriety as a seller of fine watches. Soon after, Panerai’s limited edition, numbered time pieces were added to Davidson & Licht’s sales, and next followed the highly fashionable Chanel watch line with their black and white J12 collection. Most recently, Bell & Ross joined the Davidson & Licht watch family.
With watch sales and service well established, Davidson & Licht focused on the world’s foremost jewelry designers. Talented artists such as Alex Sepkus, David Yurman, Gurhan, Jude Frances, Marco Bicego, Temple St. Clair and many others joined the fold. With the addition of an in-house goldsmith, and specialized jewelry design software, there is nothing that Davidson & Licht can not repair, rebuild or redesign.
In 2000, Davidson & Licht sealed their position as “the fine jeweler of the East Bay,” when they completely remodeled the Walnut Creek location making it three times larger. In addition to beautiful new displays for the watches and jewelry, the Davidson & Licht store was designed to accommodate and enhance their client’s shopping experience by including a diamond viewing room, and a children’s playroom. Even the new guest bathroom is considered a masterpiece.
Davidson & Licht has survived two World Wars, the Great Depression, and many economic downturns. With the knowledge, guidance, and expertise of past family members, the fourth generation of Davidson & Licht enters its 94th year of business. As the oldest family owned jeweler in the Bay Area, Davidson & Licht is not just a jewelry store. It is a store of jewelers–generations of jewelers who consider their greatest asset to be their loyal customers, many of whom started their jewelry and watch experience with Davidson & Licht generations ago…