May 24, 2017
by rebecca kleinman | March 1, 2010 | Lifestyle
Astrology and precision aren’t known to go hand in hand, but in the case of Seah watches, they mesh perfectly on the wrist. Listening to founder and designer Rachel Levy’s story about their seven-year development leading up to last fall’s debut, it’s surprising it took this long for someone to make the connection.
“Before timepieces, people relied on the sun, moon and stars,” Levy says. “So I thought, Why not combine modern technology with ancient time reading?”
Levy, a Jerusalem native who moved to South Florida after missing her homeland’s sunshine while living in New York, experienced her “aha” moment during a storm blackout as she stargazed from her stoop. Without any knowledge of watches or fine jewelry, the successful Realtor, who still hasn’t quit her day job, relied on gumption and former courses in astronomy, psychology, philosophy and art. A painting hobby also paid off, enabling her to design the 12 zodiac signs that adorn the watch faces. “Astrology used to be intertwined with astronomy and greatly influenced religion, such as Israel’s 12 tribes, Christ’s 12 disciples and Buddha’s 12 students,” says Levy.
A meticulous sense of design is reflected in her watches, down to the sophisticated glass globe displays she customized for when she finds the right distributor (they’re currently available at seahwatches. com, retailing from $1,995 to $3,195). To ensure exclusivity, only 50 editions of each sign have been issued. Levy outsourced production to top industry players such as venerable Swiss institution Ronda for manufacturing and its contacts for precious metals and stones—especially nonconflict diamonds, which were a must for her—and Austria’s Hirsch for leather bands. Unisex watches in yellow and rose gold incorporate diamonds around the bezel and on the face representing the hours, while stainless-steel styles feature the latter.
“I was surprised at how many men appreciate wearing diamonds,” she says. Levy expanded into automatic movement at their request, and this year will also offer a 42mm size in addition to the initial 38mm, as well as simple leather bracelets depicting the four elements and seasonal symbols.
Photograph by ben shaul