Luxury Swiss watchmaker clocks SoHo lease for move downtown
F.P. Journe trading Madison Ave. location for downtown maison
Hot off a record $4.5 million sale, luxury Swiss watchmaker F.P. Journe is set for another milestone move — this time, from its longtime Madison Avenue location to SoHo.
The new 6,210-square-foot lease includes the ground, a selling lower level and second floor
of a renovated townhouse at 53 Mercer Street. The cobblestone block sits between Broome and Grand streets.
Michael Watson of Lee & Associates NYC represented F.P. Journe in the transaction while Ross Berkowitz and Pierce Thompson were among the Newmark team representing building owner Oren Evenhar. The ground floor’s asking rent was $225 per square foot.
After a long search, Watson said they were attracted to the high ceilings and open floor plan for their new “maison.” After a multi-million-dollar renovation and a luxurious fitout, the location will include a fully stocked bar and cigar lounge for its upscale patrons.
F.P. Journe was founded in 1999 by François-Paul Journe, who began his work on antique timepieces with his uncle’s atelier. The brand now counts boutiques across the world, including U.S. locations in Los Angeles and Miami.
Watson said the luxury retailer is modeling the downtown location after their Miami store in the Kimpton Epic Hotel to include “a relaxed atmosphere.”
F.P. Journe has long had a 900-square-foot storefront at 721 Madison Avenue between East 63rd and 64th streets. The area had been dubbed the “Gold Coast of Jewelry,” but the pandemic shuttered many of the stretch’s iconic shops.
Some of the city’s top watchmakers have relocated their luxury boutiques to Billionaire’s Row and the Meatpacking District. Amid the shift, F.P. Journe extended its lease during their search for a new location.
The company expects to make the downtown move in the spring of 2022.
To stir up timepiece sales, the New York Times reported the watchmaker served aperitifs, rare spirits and hors d’oeuvres at all its boutiques around the globe on the first first Tuesday of each month.
The independent watchmaker earlier this week set a record sale for its category at the Only Watch 2021 luxury auction with the $4.5 million sale of its blue-handed watch, a unique collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola.