Attention Midwesterners: A serious watch and jewelry store is bringing hard-to-get pieces to Ohio. Buyers looking for a boutique experience at D.C. Johnson Ltd. will find pieces from Nikos Koulis, Carolina Bucci and Mizuki as well as pre-owned estate watches from Rolex, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. A fully stocked marble-topped bar and lounge area provide a welcome space to kick back and try on the goods.
Owner David Johnson is a third-generation jeweler and his brother, Brian Johnson, the in-house master goldsmith, does repairs on-site. Tufted velvet royal blue doors, butterscotch-colored leather chairs, a private appointment room, dark mahogany display cases and chandeliers faceted like emerald-cut diamonds are just a few of the design features conceived by local firm Crimson Design Group to bring the feeling of Madison Avenue to the Midwest.
“As long as I can remember, watches have always been a part of my life,” says Johnson. “I recognized at an early age how a watch can become a part of someone’s personality. I vividly remember my father’s 36mm 18K yellow gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day Date Ref. 18038 with an African Mahogany Dial. It was one of many exotic dials Rolex made in the ’70s and ’80s and is now considered rare. The unique pattern and warmth of the wood ultimately spurred my fascination with timepieces.”
Johnson first became involved with watches when he began selling fine Swiss timepieces for his family’s business and then cut his teeth outside the fold when he moved to Dallas and worked with a top watch and jewelry retailer selling brands like Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin. He began selling pre-owned in 2014. Today, through D.C. Johnson Ltd., he offers the best of the best including Patek Philippe, Rolex and Audemars Piguet (including a rare 43mm 18K Rose Gold Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Tourbillon Chronograph Ref. 25909OR), to name a few.
But Johnson says that this year fine jewelry has been a highlight for the business this year. “Watches are a true passion of mine, but the most exciting projects we have right now are with diamonds,” he says. “Like a Fancy Deep Orange diamond also known as the Orange Tiger. This color classification is one of the rarest to exist in the world. After receiving the Portrait Grading Report from GIA we sent it to world-renowned colored diamond expert Stephen Hofer. He and his team jumped at the chance to study it and created a book to celebrate its rarity.”
Some other client-oriented projects the company has worked on this year include creating matching wedding bands with vivid pink melee from the Argyle Mine, where they had each diamond individually GIA certified. He also collaborated with designer Suzanne Kalan to create a bespoke pair of earrings with over 10 carats of baguettes and round diamonds based on Natalie Wood’s earrings in the last scene of Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice.”
You will also find some of the hottest designers in contemporary fine jewelry today, like Nikos Koulis and Carolina Bucci. Johnson says his clients range from people who work in fashion and tech to healthcare and insurance and that his Midwest client is as savvy as anyone from the East or West coasts. “We love the Midwest customer and are in a great position to be able to introduce the brands we carry to them so that they don’t need to go to New York or LA for things they can’t find at home,” says Johnson.
Even if you’re not a Columbus resident, it’s worth swinging by and checking out the selection at 1700 W Lane Ave. in Columbus the next time you find yourself in Ohio.