The watch has become a calling card of sorts, whispering secrets about its wearer with every movement of the second hand. A particular watch can speak to status or even reveal personal lifestyle characteristics so unique that it’s almost dangerously telling. But for those who can indulge in the finest of these timepieces, the gratification on one’s wrist is unmatched.
With a prized collection of some of the most prestige watch brands under its umbrella, the Swatch Group for decades has been providing the world its biggest luxury—time, or at least the finest pieces to track it. Purveyors of such top names as Breguet, Blancpain, Jaquet Droz, and Omega, the Swatch Group is held in highest esteem by those who understand the significance of horological superiority and have made collecting timepieces a way of life. The Swatch Group team greatly values the emotion that comes with owning a fine watch, so they developed a boutique concept named Tourbillon, which promised to be thoroughly in touch with that dedication to excellence. “The Tourbillon Boutiques bring together the most prestigious brands of the Swatch Group—all under one roof,” says Caroline Faivet, Swatch Group U.S. president. “Their collections feature scores of models fitted with a tourbillon regulator; and many other complications such as a carrousel and minute repeater.”
In 1795, when Abraham-Louis Breguet developed the tourbillon regulator to be an addition to the delicate mechanics of a watch escapement, his objective was to improve accuracy caused by the effect of gravity, particularly in pocket watches. Today, the aptly named Tourbillon Boutiques continue in this tradition of virtuosity in the world of watches. And the Tourbillon Boutiques actually only carry prestige brands of the Swatch Group.“They are the brands we believe in and have every reason to want to house in the best environment, [one that’s] conducive to housing timepieces of this caliber,” explains Faivet. Said environment is defined by more than the boutiques’ contemporary interiors and elegant surroundings; there’s something to be said about the outstanding customer service provided by a staff comprised of experts in the field. Faivet explains that the expertise is derived from training on a regular basis. “Our sales associates are truly professionals. Some of them worked in other boutiques while others were watchmakers before devoting their time and effort to assisting customers.”
Understanding the complexities of the majestic pieces they carry adds to the shopping experience for their loyal customers, some of which travel to New York just to visit the team at the Tourbillon, Wall Street location, which was the second of its kind to open in the United States, following South Coast Plaza. (There are currently four Tourbillon Boutiques in the US). “They’re very, very professional,” say Lou Ebling, a regular at the boutique although he hails from Chicago. But because Ebling is an avid collector, he entrusts his experience to those he knows will take the best care of him. “They are most willing to show you anything, to explain anything, to look things up—no question is too minor.”