In a bold move in 2018, Swiss jewelry brand Bucherer acquired the 118-year-old American watch retailer Tourneau, with the aim of transforming it into a jewelry-inclusive emporium under the name Bucherer 1888. Leading this ambitious project is Carina Ertl, Bucherer’s Chief Marketing Officer and Chief of Digital at Tourneau | Bucherer USA. With 32 stores across the continental U.S. and Hawaii, the task of rebranding and revamping is no easy feat.

At the forefront of this transformation is the flagship Bucherer 1888 TimeMachine store located on 57th Street in New York. Recently, Ertl provided a tour of the store accompanied by a group of press agents. The store has been open since September 2021 and aims to create an immersive and inviting experience for customers, encouraging them to explore the carefully curated selection of products. From art exhibitions to ice cream activations and Instagram walls, Bucherer 1888 TimeMachine always offers something new and exciting for customers to discover.

The store is designed to create a sense of home for customers, with barriers between them and sales representatives eliminated. Alongside an extensive range of watches and jewelry, the store also features amenities such as complimentary coffee and cocktail bars on every floor. Visitors can enjoy a custom-created Bucherer ice cream on a hot summer day while browsing through a selection of coffee table books on design and contemporary art.

While Bucherer has traditionally focused on watches, the brand is now recognizing the growing trend of watch collecting among women. Ertl aims to cater to this market by highlighting and showcasing Bucherer’s jewelry offerings, telling their unique stories. To engage VIP and prospective clients, the company plans to host cocktail parties and in-store events, allowing customers to try on and experience the jewelry firsthand. The jewelry showcased at these events includes high-end pieces that rival those found in renowned jewelry districts like Place Vendôme.

Aside from high-end offerings, Bucherer also caters to clients at all price points. Collections like Pastello and B Dimension offer entry-level prices, making quality jewelry accessible to a wider range of customers. Ertl’s goal is to educate the U.S. market about Bucherer’s reputation for diamonds with a strong price-quality ratio and ethically sourced materials.

Rebranding Tourneau to Bucherer presents its own unique challenges, especially with the different names the stores are referred to. However, Ertl and her team conducted surveys and focus groups with VIP clients to ensure a smooth transition. The 57th Street store was the first to adopt the Bucherer 1888 name, followed by the Miami Bal Harbour store and the flagship store in Las Vegas. By the end of 2023, all stores will be rebranded, marking the successful completion of this transformative journey.

Bucherer has a vision to create a completely new shopping experience for luxury consumers with the rebranded Tourneau stores. By combining watches, jewelry, and immersive environments, Bucherer seeks to redefine the concept of retail and offer customers a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Although challenges exist, with Carina Ertl leading the way, Bucherer is well on its path to achieving its goal of transforming Tourneau into an inclusive emporium for jewelry lovers.

Sources:
Tourneau’s acquisition by Bucherer