INSTORE Magazine names local jewelry store ‘Coolest store’

Onyx II Fine Jewelers, located on Main Street, Watertown, has been selected as one of the coolest stores in America by INSTORE Magazine. Pictured are brand manager James Murphy (left) and store owner Daniel Sanchez.

WATERTOWN — INSTORE Magazine has named Onyx II Fine Jewelers one of the Coolest Stores in America. Onyx, located on Main Street, Watertown was included in the small handful of stores throughout that country that were selected to be featured in the prestigious magazine’s spread.

Onyx Brand Manager James Murphy decided to enter Onyx into the competition with the support of the store’s dedicated client base.

“It was one of those things that I really wanted to go after and achieve and kind of see happen for us,” said Mr. Murphy.

Mr. Murphy and Owner Daniel Sanchez say there’s a lot that classifies Onyx as cool.

“I think what makes this store cool is that we do things a little differently. You’re not going to come in here and get kind of the jewelry store experience that a lot of people are accustomed to receiving in, let’s say, a mall setting. It’s very personal; it’s very high-end. I like to think we’re bringing something to this area here in Watertown, greater Waterbury area, Litchfield County, that’s not quite happening,” Mr. Murphy said.

“We try to create an experience for our clients,” said Mr. Sanchez. The jewelers explained that they construct a unique atmosphere for customers that envelops all their senses, from comforting smells and upbeat music to bubbly champagne and the exciting signature window displays crafted by Mr. Murphy.

Mr. Sanchez added that an intriguing environment can’t just stand alone.

“It’s also very important that you provide the highest level of service, that you provide the best quality, and that your prices are competitive. So we provide all of that within the context of the cool setting with the fun vibe so that you are getting the entire package,” Mr. Sanchez said.

Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Murphy also pride themselves in being immersed in their community. The two can be seen at local events and out to dinner, and they encourage clients to approach them outside of the store setting.

“We’re not the mysterious store owners on Main Street,” Mr. Murphy said. “We consider our clients and our following to be friends.”

Contributing to local charities is another passion that Mr. Murphy and Mr. Sanchez share. Onyx is affiliated with many local organizations, including Saint Mary’s Hospital, the Waterbury Regional Chamber, Best Buddies Connecticut and the Waterbury Chorale. The store also hosts a trunk show every holiday season, which usually benefits an arts organization in the area. The proceeds of last year’s show went to the Palace Theater and featured the designs of Freida Rothman, who even made an appearance at the event.

“That’s important to us – to tie it into the community. I think it’s all very much a cycle. If the community’s successful, you’ll be successful,” Mr. Sanchez said. “That tie-in we’re very proud of.”

Onyx hopes to see big things come from this magazine feature.

“I hope it makes [our clients] proud in their choice and their faith in us to make us their jeweler and the person that they come to for all of their life’s milestones,” said Mr. Murphy.

“We’re really excited to see where that next phrase brings us,” Mr. Sanchez said.

INSTORE is a magazine created by and for the jewelry industry. Their annual Coolest Store in America contest showcases the most unique and inventive independent jewelry stores in the country. Contest entries were accepted up until late March and were then judged based on their story, exterior and interior appearance, advertising and marketing, online presence and overall individuality.

Mr. Sanchez’s grandparents founded Onyx in 1970 and opened the first store in Waterbury. Mr. Sanchez took over the business in 2005 while Mr. Murphy joined him in 2013.

The two now solely run the shop on Main Street in Watertown after closing the original Waterbury location.

Onyx has jewelry for any occasion, ranging from presents for your fashionable friends and family to gorgeous and glamorous wedding bands for both brides and grooms. Their collections include rings, earrings, watches, and more and feature designers such as Freida Rothman, Benchmark, and Daniel Wellington.

Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Murphy offer many services to their clients, including engraving, jewelry repair, cleaning, and diamond sourcing. They also can work with individuals to craft custom jewelry creations, beginning with a hand drawn sketch and ending with a unique and personalized design.

Look for Onyx in the August addition of INSTORE Magazine and keep an eye out for their multi-page feature later this year.

For more information on Onyx, visit the website at or call 860-945-3247 to make an individual appointment.

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