Manfredi Jewels owner Roberto Chiappelloni is one of the kindest, warmest and most knowledgeable business owners in the luxury watch and jewelry business.

His flagship store in Greenwich, Connecticut, is a destination for collectors, stocking as it does many of the most sought-after independent watch brands in the world.

Despite the pandemic — or perhaps because of it — demand has risen so fast for these indies that the store has had its best two years on record, Roberto says.

That success comes despite Manfredi losing the agency for F. P. Journe last year following the watchmaker’s decision to close all its retail accounts in favor of selling its limited production directly to consumers.

“My toughest challenge this year was accepting the decision of F. P. Journe after so many years of success together,” Roberto reflects. “Needless to say, I was a huge admirer and, despite this disappointment, I remain so to this day.”

Pragmatism comes naturally to Roberto, and he is now focused on helping his collector customers fall in love with alternatives to F. P. Journe.

The pandemic also led him to make some tough choices of his own, closing an Italian restaurant he owns in Queens, New York.

Unbowed,Roberto is still in growth mode and will be expanding his New Canaan store, which is located 10 miles from his flagship in Greenwich.

“This upcoming year I look forward to doubling the space in the New Canaan store, building a state-of-the-art retail establishment there and taking in additional sales professionals,” he says.

“Additionally, I will continue to introduce new independent watchmakers to our amazing clients as I have been doing for the past 30 years.”

To discover the full story of Roberto and Manfredi Jewels, which describes his journey from running Italian trattorias to selling top-end timepieces, read WatchPro’s Big Interview with this inspiring independent on our website.