Haute couture? So last season. Today, we’re into haute horlogerie, also known as the fine craft of assembling watches. New York City is the top shopping destination in the country when it comes to timepieces, with flagship boutiques from Switzerland and beyond dotting 57th Street and Madison and Fifth Avenues. Seriously, there’s enough bling in that area that even Donald Trump would go broke trying to buy it all.
Outside, you always know what time it is around the world thanks to their giant international clocks. Inside, you can shop for timepieces from the highest of high end names (Bulgari, Patek Philippe, and the like) to more everyday names like Baby G and Ralph Lauren.
If it’s frequently name-dropped by Jay Z, then it can’t be left off this list. Expect top-of-the-line service to match the excellent Swiss-made (where else) designs in scratch-proof gold, titanium, and all sorts of diamonds.
One of the most recognizable names in Swiss watchmaking, Montblanc offers luxurious timepieces for both men and women—though ladies may want to stick to the chunky men’s style that will never go out of fashion.
Though prices generally aren’t under $5,000 for sleek, high-tech, masculine watches from the Swiss brand, there is something a bit cheaper toward the back of the 57th Street store—a bar.
AUDEMARS PIGUET BOUTIQUE
heir 3,000-square-foot store looks more like a high-end salon than a watch store. Let concierge service cater to you while your browse through their ultra-masculine styles like Royal Oak, which is also available in a women’s version.
Some of the most beautiful designs from the Swiss brand founded in 1957 are their skeleton watches, which feature the delicate inner workings of time pieces encircled by white gold and diamonds. But these styles are so expensive that prices aren’t even listed on their site—but they will list an $83,000 style.
The Swiss brand (pronounced Tag OY-err—you learn something new every day) just recently celebrated their New York flagship opening with a party at the MoMA featuring an appearance by “global ambassador” Cameron Diaz.
The largest IWC boutique in the world is located on Madison Avenue, with plenty of room to house their watch “families,” which includes limited edition styles sold exclusively in the boutique.
Though the historic mansion sells just about every luxe accessory you can imagine, it would be ludicrous to leave the maker of the Tank watch off this list.
Located inside the gorgeous Waldorf-Astoria hotel, Cellini Jewelers carries the top names in watches alongside their jewelry and engagement pieces. Think the Hilton sisters shopped here growing up?
MASTER OF TIME
Though West 47th Street is better known for its diamonds, hidden on the block is one of the city’s top vintage watch dealers and repair shops. Founder Dimitrie Vicovanu stockpiles old watch parts to make any repair possible.
While this is another hidden gem that specializes in repairing any watch from any time period or brand, they also sell a collection of pre-owned watches that have been refurbished to look like new. That means they won’t be full-price, and for a product of this quality, any discount is welcome.