Generations of Jewelers
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 jeweler’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 fourth 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 luxury. 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 had added other fine Swiss watch brands to it’s offerings. Later, 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 timepieces. In 2003, Panerai’s limited edition, numbered time pieces were added to Davidson & Licht’s offerings. Most recently, Breitling, Cartier, Tudor and Bremont 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, Todd Reed, GURHAN, Marco Bicego, Temple St. Clair and many others joined the fold. With the addition of an inhouse goldsmith and jewelry designer, there is nothing that Davidson & Licht cannot repair, rebuild or redesign.
In 2014, Davidson & Licht sealed their position as “The Fine Jeweler of the East Bay,” when they built an 8,000 square foot, two story boutique featuring a ﬂoating staircase, living green wall and an espresso bar/lounge.
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 ﬁfth generation of Davidson & Licht enters its 100th 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.