When Bucherer, Europe’s biggest luxury watch retailer, bought Tourneau in January last year, the North American market looked forward to a shot in the arm for the company thanks to its wealth and prestige with the Swiss watchmaking community.
Almost two years on, however, and it is Bucherer that is benefiting from Tourneau’s expertise in pre-owned watches.
Tourneau has built one of the USA’s strongest pre-owned watch businesses, and the category is now as important to the chain as any brand.
That has required sustained investment in infrastructure and expertise so that trade-ins can quickly be bought at the right price, authenticaed, serviced and polished before going back on sale.
Tourneau has also developed sophisticasted marketing for its pre-owned business.
From this month, Bucherer has taken the the Tourneau model and started rolling it out in Europe. Geneva was first, with an entire floor of its flagship converted into a certified pre-owned gallery.
That concept will be taken into London early next year when it will re-open one of its showrooms with a pre-onwed area.
“We want to redefine the luxury pre-owned watch market and offer these wonderful watches a platform and an environment that they deserve as luxury goods. Bucherer represents tradition, reliability, precision and the credibility required to establish the level of trust with our customers that is necessary for the sale of pre-owned watches while also increasing awareness of CPO (certified pre-owned) amongst the general public,” explains Guido Zumbühl, CEO of the Bucherer Group.
“What sets us apart from the competition, most of whom focus on online sales, is that we come from distribution and have a strong physical presence through our stores that is echoed online,” says Mr Zumbühl.
With the takeover of Tourneau in January 2018, Bucherer was able to benefit from the US watch retailer’s long-standing expertise in the CPO market and is now launching an attractive range of CPO watches that also considers the unique aspects of the European market, the company adds.
In Switzerland, the entire range of CPO watches is also available online at Bucherer.com.
Bucherer is offering a two year guarantee for every CPO watch that pledges that it is genuine and in perfect working condition.
The Bucherer Gallery, a concept certain to be rolled out across the Tourneau network as stores are refurbished, collectors will be encouraged to attend events where they can talk and trade watches in a luxury environment with 5-star hospitality.
It invites guests to stay, savour the moment and always discover something new in the world of luxury watches: temporary art exhibitions, an inviting atmosphere that makes the store feel like a living room, a bar, and a carefully curated selection of books and design objects, Bucherer says.
A world-wide roll-out started at the Bucherer boutique in Geneva on September 3 and will be followed by a second on the fifth floor of the flagship store in Zurich in October.
In November 2019, Bucherer is planning to expand its CPO business to the German market at its boutique in Hamburg. London will follow in 2020 with an exclusive project in Covent Garden, after which Bucherer plans to expand to Paris as well. “We will present our CPO watches in a Bucherer Gallery wherever we have enough space in our boutiques,” says Patrick Graf, chief commercial officer for Bucherer.
No dates have been confirmed for the American market.