Creating today the classics of tomorrow

Mr. Benny Padani talks about his family’s legacy and building a strong brand.

  (photo credit:  Ori Livney)
(photo credit: Ori Livney)

Since its establishment in 1950, Israel’s leading luxury jewelry and watch boutique, Padani, has specialized in the design and manufacture of exclusive fine jewelry collections.

While maintaining uncompromising quality in its original creations, Padani keeps up with the times, creating today the classics of tomorrow.

The Padani legacy began in 1897, when jewelry maker Henri (Uri) Padani married Malvene Reicher, the daughter of a renowned Belgian family of diamond merchants. The couple built a solid reputation in the jewelry business, establishing their company in Israel in 1950.

 Mr. Benny Padani (credit:  Guy Kushi & Yariv Fein)
Mr. Benny Padani (credit: Guy Kushi & Yariv Fein)

“The beginning was difficult,” says son Benny Padani. “My father and his parents fled Ukraine in the 1920s when he was one year old. His father died a few years after they arrived in Belgium, and my father was sent to an orphanage. There, his talents were discovered, and he was sent to work for a jewelry maker.

“When WW II broke out, he survived the Nazi occupation by using his artistic skills to forge papers for the underground. He was sent to a German prison for failing to do forced labor, but they never knew he was Jewish. After his release, he returned to Antwerp, where he met my mother, Malvene.

“My mother, who was a Zionist, convinced my father to move to Israel. He worked in odd jobs, including bar tending at a hotel in Tel Aviv, where a client discovered his jewelry making talents. People loved his work, and he soon made a name for himself,” says Padani.

“We lived in a small three-bedroom apartment with two other tenants. My father made jewelry there. As a child, I helped by delivering the pieces to clients.”

Despite difficult circumstances, Henri Padani brought his vision to light and established his name as the jeweler to connoisseurs.

The first Padani store opened in the Sheraton Hotel. “Meshulam Riklis, one of the owners, was a client of my father’s, and he suggested opening a store in the hotel,” says Padani.

In 1971, Benny and his brother joined the firm. “I had just completed my IDF service as a fighter pilot,” he recalls. “We changed the firm. I think that what is so special about Padani is that we survived and thrived while other, very strong, local brands didn’t. We flourished because we knew how to change with the times.”

Since 1972, Padani has been the exclusive representative in Israel of the leading high prestigious watch and jewelry brands, such as Patek Philippe; Cartier; Piaget; Breitling; Jaeger Le-coultre; Panerai; Chanel; A. Lange & Sohne; and Bulgari.

Understanding branding, Mr. Benny Padani created the Violetto flower that became the sign and symbol of Padani. Through the years the Violetto flower became the heart of a few of padani’s jewelry collections. The Violetto is a design that became Padani’s trademark. “I wanted to create a design that would be both symmetrical and asymmetrical,” he explains. Inspired by the violet, the pieces are composed of four petals, one of which points upwards, symbolizing momentum. “It looks symmetrical but really it isn’t, and that’s what makes it so appealing,” he says.

  (credit: Kempinski Studio)
(credit: Kempinski Studio)

Padani’s new boutique in the Kempinski Hotel in Tel Aviv is one of the largest and most exclusive luxury jewelry and watch boutiques in Israel and Europe. In the store, each of the exclusive brands has its own area, designed according to each brand’s ethos.

“We have eight boutiques, as well as an online e-com,” says Padani. “We never thought that people would buy expensive jewelry online, but our CEO, Alon Turgeman, insisted. Fortunately, our online store was completed a few months before the COVID closures, and it became a huge success,” he concludes.

The Patek Philippe boutique 

Adjacent to the Padani boutique in the Kempinski Hotel, Padani opened a Patek Philippe boutique. Facing the scenic Tel Aviv beach, the store is designed according to Patek Philippe’s specific guidelines.

“They insist on designing all their boutiques in the same way,” says Benny Padani. “Everything – from the carpet to the color of the walls - was brought here. This is Patek Philippe’s final boutique, and they chose to open it in Tel Aviv. Not many companies have the permission to open an independent Patek Philippe boutique, and we do,” Padani says proudly.

This article was written in cooperation with Padani