After three years of planning and 18 months of construction, the former Tourneau Time Machine on New York’s 57th Street is now the Bucherer Time Machine. Bucherer acquired the watch retailer, with 30 outlets in the U.S., in 2018, and the rebranding is a major step toward the merging of the two companies. The three-story, 18,379-square-foot multi-brand Bucherer Time Machine is a haven for watch lovers. It houses 40 different brands, including all the heavy hitters: Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Panerai, Omega, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Blancpain, Piaget and, of course, it’s own brand, Carl F Bucherer, named after the company founder.
The store’s unified design makes it unlike the vast majority of multi-brand watch stores. Most feature in-store “corners” with specific color schemes and furnishings that are different for each brand. The result is a clash of colors and fixtures that can be jarring as you walk through the store. At the Bucherer/Tourneau Time Machine, each brand corner is designed in a unifying theme, with neutral beiges, browns and off-whites. Logos are brand-specific, but unified in color.
There are occasional brand-specific highlights, but the idea is to deliver a consistent aesthetic throughout. The store is filled with natural wood elements spectacular custom light fixtures and marble tables. A wall of windows on each level looks out over 57th Street. “The idea is to showcase the fascinating universe of watches and luxury jewelry in a hybrid atmosphere that is unlike anything anywhere in the world,” says Bucherer CEO Guido Zumbühl.
The store includes several lounge areas and two bars – if you want to look at a watch while you sip your wine, a sales associate will bring it to you. The lower level is dedicated to certified pre-owned watches, which are displayed open-kitchen style in drawers that are marked according to brand. Shoppers can simply look in the drawer of their choice.
The space is punctuated with works by artists connected to New York City, including Julian Schnabel, Man Ray, Joel Sternfeld, and others. “Our heart and soul is in New York City,” says Ira Melnitsky, CEO of Tourneau and president of Bucherer USA. “This is our flagship, and it is the engine that drives the car. It is one of the most exciting accomplishments of my career without question. The entire store is a careful curation from start to finish.” Over the next two years, all 30 Tourneau stores in the U.S. will be renamed Bucherer and will be entirely rebranded.
Carl F. Bucherer made a New York limited edition watch of 30 pieces in its BLUE collection exclusively for the store opening and exclusively to this store. Some of its brand partners followed suit, creating special editions dominated by the signature blue color. A custom Harley Davidson motorcycle in the front lobby is coated in the same shade.
The Lucerne, Switzerland-based Bucherer Group has roots dating back to 1888, when Carl-Friedrich Bucherer opened the family’s first jewelry and watch store in Lucerne. The 57th Street flagship is stocked with Bucherer-brand jewelry, and although it includes plenty of examples of red-carpet worthy and one-of-a-kind pieces, there is also a selection of affordable, exquisitely made everyday pieces – because while a man is shopping for watches, it’s only fair that his wife should indulge in some quality bling time. The boutique is located at 12 East 57th Street.