The idea for the Just Jill Shop has been on my bucket list for quite some time. So, I wanted to be very intentional when choosing who I’d like to work with and what I’d like to feature.
That’s when Robert Elizondo, a talented artist and close friend of mine, came to mind.
When I say talented, I mean it. Robert is one of the most innovative and detail-oriented artists I know—which is why I feel incredibly lucky to have a few of his pieces.
And while I know him well, I want you all to understand why I decided to work with him and what makes his watches and craftsmanship so special.
The other day, I Facetimed with Robert, and amid all of the laughs and stories we shared, we talked about his brand, Ecclissi.
How It All Started
Robert started making jewelry when he was still in college at Arizona State University. He got into the business after growing up around Southwestern artists and family galleries. However, his style really evolved when he started traveling.
“I started working with producers in Italy and Europe, so I started learning more about different sides of the craft,” he told me. He was inspired by artists around the globe and came up with new ways to get creative in the industry.
“Somewhere along the line, I married a bracelet to a watch,” Robert said. And when he did his first trade show in New York in 1985, the watch was the only thing that people wanted to see.
He mentioned that at the time, there was no such thing as fashion watches—which is why it gained so much attention. From there, the Ecclissi watches became his main focus.
Craftsmanship and Quality of Ecclissi Watches
While jewelry is more about style, Robert noted that watches are all about quality materials and function. Making sure the watch works correctly is always the first step. But to make Ecclissi watches stand out, he likes to incorporate the best materials he can find.
“That’s always been something that I’ve had a lot of fun with,” said Robert, when I asked about what goes into making his watches special. “How to bring different materials and techniques to watches.”
The overall look of his pieces has a Southwestern vibe. When he was young, he saw a lot of Native American jewelry and pottery that served as inspiration.
This is also why he takes pride in using sterling silver. “It was kind of my natural go-to,” he said. Adding that he saw it in all forms over the years.
Today, he still uses sterling and loves that it’s more accessible—and affordable—for most people.
That’s when we started chatting about the pieces I wear… if you know me well, you know that I only wear silver jewelry!
“You are all about comfort and ease and living life in a ‘not fussy’ way. I think that out of the two metals (gold and silver), that silver is less fussy than gold,” he told me.
Robert says his favorite watches are the ones featuring dials cut from a gemstone. This is what makes Ecclissi unique. He started by using turquoise. Over the years, he added Tiger’s Eye, Malachite, Mother of Pearl and more.
Thanks to his company’s machinery, they can cut these gemstones to a millimeter and a half slates—something that requires an incredible amount of detail and expertise.
What To Look For In A Watch
Robert says that quality is the most important thing to focus on when looking for a piece of fine jewelry. He also says that people want something that’s going to last.
“One of the defining factors for people is that they want to pick it up and they want to feel the heft of it,” Robert said. “They want to feel like it’s going to last for a long time,” he added.
Since it’s a mechanical device, he stresses the importance of materials and craftsmanship. And while he acknowledges the higher price tag, he says that the investment is worth it.
“I remember a friend of mine said a similar thing about buying a really good pair of shoes or a really good sport coat,” he said. If you wear something all the time, he says that it makes sense to lend over a little more money to the piece.
“When I was in New York, I bought these great, beautiful Italidan shoes… and it was like stupidly expensive,” Robert said. I laughed a bit, but he had a good point. He said that he still owns the shoes and they age with grace.
Robert says he recognizes the attraction of inexpensive products, but that buying them is also environmentally and ethically unsound. He agrees that things should be well-made and that you should fix them over time.
I told him that I received jewelry from my parents and grandparents over the years, and how much it means to me to have their cherished items to this day. The beauty in well-made jewelry is that it can be passed down.
He smiled and said, “we get emails and messages all of the time from people that say ‘My mother gave this watch to me just before she passed.'”
How To Take Care of Your Ecclissi Watches
Quality materials will hold up over time, but if you really want your pieces to stay in the best shape, you need to take good care of them.
Since Robert works primarily with sterling silver, I asked him how I should be treating my own Ecclissi pieces.
“I’ll tell you one thing about any piece of sterling silver, is that the more you wear it the better it’s maintained. Silver doesn’t want to be left alone,” he said.
Thanks to the natural oils in our skin, the sterling pieces are conditioned (and often age better) over time. If you leave them sitting around, they don’t receive the same conditioning they need.
A Little Background About Our Relationship
Robert and I met when I started working with QVC. He was selling to the company, and I was just getting my feet wet as a host. While we knew of each other, we didn’t start getting close until I climbed up the ladder a bit.
“She was on a show that was very important to any of the silver jewelry people… and that was a show called Silver Style,” Robert said.
It generally ran twice or three times a month on Sunday mornings, and eventually, we were able to host the show together. We had some great memories back then and we’re thrilled to continue our relationship through the Just Jill Shop.
What’s In Store For The Future?
Robert and I have been working on this shop for quite some time—curating new products and going back and forth on designs to bring to the table.
“What I love about this is that Jill is my perfect customer. With her help in curating some of the items, her fans and followers get access to a special part of the brand,” he said.
And he’s right! Even if you’re familiar with Ecclissi, there are a few new pieces you won’t find anywhere else. I had a say in some of the styles (including a new sodalite version). He listened to my ideas while taking the reins on craftsmanship, design and functionality.
I can’t wait for you to shop all of the amazing pieces from Ecclissi. Robert truly cares about every detail that goes into his watches, and he’s thrilled to share them with you.
From my home to yours,