The Best Blue Watches at the Dazzling New Bucherer 1888 Boutique
(Bloomberg) -- On a rapidly evolving stretch of East 57th Street, between the gleaming Vacheron Constantin boutique and the under-major-renovation Tiffany & Co. flagship, a towering new watch emporium has just opened.
Only it’s not exactly a new watch emporium. The three-story space near the corner of 57th and Madison Avenue was previously known as the Tourneau TimeMachine, and had peddled new and vintage wares from brands such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Cartier since 1997. Prior to that, Tourneau had been selling watches in different New York locations since the 1920s. Your grandfather may have bought a timepiece at one of them, or at one of the many sister shops across the country.
This is no longer your grandfather’s watch store. In 2018, the well-known-in-Europe Bucherer Group purchased the Tourneau retail chain in the U.S. Bucherer 1888, which has made fine jewelry since the year 1888 and produces watches under the Carl F. Bucherer brand, is working to bring together the companies in a coherent manner. The first step was the year-and-a-half-long overhaul of the Manhattan flagship, which the parent company hopes will help introduce the Bucherer 1888 brand to the U.S. while retaining the consumer trust in Tourneau.
As such, the 57th Street store is called the Bucherer 1888 TimeMachine, and you’ll still see the word “Tourneau” in key places, such as the bag with which you’ll carry off your purchases. Two other New York stores will also adopt the Bucherer 1888 branding, with the more than 30 other Tourneau stores across the country transitioning in the coming year.
Beyond the name change, though, the emporium is a watch-lovers’ delight. The 18,000-square-foot space boasts three floors, three bars, an expansive glass front, and an open, airy environment.
In addition to the 40 top watch brands on display, the store boasts a watchmaking service center and a certified pre-owned department where coveted vintage timepieces can be found in glass displays and deep drawers. The store also marks the debut of Bucherer Fine Jewelry in the U.S.
Front and center in the new store is the Bucherer Blue concept. The brand partners with everything from car companies to watch brands to create products showcasing Bucherer’s signature blue, which are available for sale only in Bucherer boutiques. The current showstopper is a blue metallic, one-of-a-kind Harley-Davidson in the store’s lobby, said by Bucherer to be the “most valuable motorcycle in the world” at 1.888 million Swiss francs ($2.05 million). It features diamonds on the handlebars and blue sapphires on the brakes. Past collaborations have included a Lamborghini Aventador S and several exceptional jewelry pieces.
Bucherer Blue timepieces have been made since 2016, but until now were available only in Europe. For their grand entrance into the American market, Bucherer released more than 27 watches, including several that are available only in the U.S. Each is from a unique collection that either reflects Bucherer’s signature blue color or offers materials or designs not used by the individual brands before. Here are five to look for while you’re browsing.
Carl F. Bucherer
The Carl F. Bucherer brand released the Bucherer Blue Heritage Bicompax Annual watch with a gradient blue dial on the front and a striking etching of the New York City skyline on the case back. Just 30 pieces of this U.S.-exclusive watch will be made. ($7,200)
The new Breitling Navitimer Chronograph 41 Bucherer Blue watch boasts a color not previously created by Breitling: an azure blue. This chronograph with slide rule bezel that can be used by pilots to measure fuel and distance is a U.S. exclusive. ($7,250)
A truly classic vision, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Bucherer Blue watch is crafted in 18-karat rose gold with rose-gold-hued applied arrow stick markers and rose gold hands against a striking blue gradient dial. ($15,800)
For a truly sporty appeal, IWC offers the Big Pilot’s Big Date watch in stainless steel with bright light-blue markers, numerals, and hands against a dark dial. Even the subsidiary seconds dial and the date indication are in blue. ($14,700)
For women, the Piaget Possession Bucherer Blue watch is crafted in gold, set with diamonds, and features a white mother-of-pearl dial with blue cabochon sapphires as markers. The Possession also has a rotating inner bezel. ($18,400)
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