Bucherer's Got the Blues, and American Watch Fans Will Be Reaping the Benefits

·2-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

Welcome to Dialed In, Esquire's weekly column bringing you horological happenings and the most essential news from the watch world since March 2020.

Bucherer Blue is a unique, broad-ranging watch collaboration begun by the Swiss specialist watch retailer in Europe in 2016 that, until now, was not available in the U.S. As the name suggests, it’s based on the color blue and represents over 50 direct collaborations with leading brands who, with Bucherer, develop special editions of iconic watches, each with a hefty dollop of blue. Now, thanks to a major New York redevelopment, those watches can now be found stateside, too. But they’re in short supply: each Bucherer Blue watch comes in limited numbers.

Bucherer collaborated with a who’s who of watchmaking to make these pieces. Those shown here have just arrived hotfoot from their manufactures. Bucherer also very cleverly collaborated with itself, creating a couple of Bucherer Blue watches under its own, much-respected watch brand Carl F. Bucherer. If you don’t know Bucherer’s watches, they are well worth a look. Carl F. Bucherer’s high-end pieces feature a speciality unique to the brand—peripheral automatic rotors mounted in the same plane as the movement rather than above it, meaning thinner movements and more elegant watch cases.

Bucherer first set up shop in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1888. A widely known retailer in Europe, where it operates 35 multi-brand stores, it has only just opened its first flagship in New York. This month, the company unveiled the new store on the former site of the Tourneau TimeMachine, a leading American multi-brand watch seller since the 1920s, that occupied the same space on 57th Street from 1997 to 2018, until the Tourneau group—with 21 stores nationwide—was bought by Bucherer.

Three years in the making, the new store, entirely rebuilt and renamed Bucherer TimeMachine, offers a pared-down offering of the once 100 brands represented at the Tourneau TimeMachine. The store now features 30-plus leading brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe and Omega. Most have their own dedicated spaces. As well as spanking new pieces, pre-owned watches occupies significant real estate in the lower ground floor.

Mindful that customer experience is king in the 21st-century retail world, Bucherer has gone to great lengths to offer customers a memorable visit to the TimeMachine. Spread over 18,000 square feet, the store is an opportunity—if you haven’t quite decided which watch you want to spring for—to wallow in the great and the good of watchmaking in luxurious, naturally lit surroundings. And if you need further persuasion, the store offers two bars to provide you with the requisite liquid courage to pull out the plastic.

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