May 22, 2016
by Mark Carson
Welcome back to an aBlogtoWatch original series, where we discuss important stores that sell watches all over the world. Each store we profile has an interesting story to tell about where they operate and who they sell to. Whether you buy watches from brick and mortar retailers or prefer to buy watches online, these are the stores that help shape our watch culture around the globe. There is a long list of stores to cover, but if there is a retail location in your favorite city that we simply can’t miss, let us know in the comments below. Here is a map of stores we have covered so far.
We return to the U.S. today, and the Pacific Coast in particular, where we visit Fourtané Jewelers in Carmel-by-the-Sea on California’s Monterey peninsula. Officially Fourtané Estate Jewelers, they opened their doors in 1950 and have been owned by the Bonifas family since 1986. A few years later, in 1989 they offered their first collection of vintage watches.
Fourtané Jewelers: Carmel is a unique experience. The town has a laid-back, yet cosmopolitan charm that motivates many first-time visitors to return. The environment lends itself ideally to indulging in luxuries like art, jewelry, and fine food, all of which are offered in abundance here.
Whether you are purchasing your first Datejust, adding a rare vintage Daytona to your collection, or upgrading to the diamond-studded piece of your dreams, buying a watch while in Carmel makes for a momentous souvenir from your holiday!
ABTW: What would you tell watch lovers in other cities about the tastes of watch lovers in Carmel?
Fourtané Jewelers: All things “vintage” are very much celebrated in Carmel. The area is host to one of the world’s most prestigious annual vintage automobile events, the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Our selection of collectable vintage Rolex watches is a fitting complement to the car culture – no two pieces are just alike and the more knowledgeable you are, the more you can appreciate the most rare pieces.
ABTW: Do you serve mostly locals or tourists, or is it a good mix? Also, what percentage of your customers would you call “knowledgeable watch collectors?”
Fourtané Jewelers: Although we have very few full-time residents in Carmel, many of our clients are returning regulars. Vintage enthusiasts usually have the most perspective about the nuances different watches we offer. However, with each watch we sell, we encourage our clients to share our passion for what makes their timepiece special.
ABTW: What is Carmel best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
Fourtané Jewelers: Many people know Carmel as the town where Clint Eastwood was formerly mayor. Pebble Beach offers amazing golf and there are more opportunities for memorable meals than most can fit into a single trip. And don’t forget your canine… Carmel has been heralded as one of the most dog-friendly towns in the country!
ABTW: As a business, do you sponsor or participate in any local events, watch-related or otherwise?
Fourtané Jewelers: We always celebrate Concours and the related events by hosting a party for customers and watch collectors in August during “car week.” In addition, we look forward to the AT&T Pro-Am golf tournament and the Monterey Jazz Festival. This year, the Porsche Rennsport Reunion is coming to Monterey, which will offer vintage automobile enthusiasts another local gathering to look forward to!
ABTW: What are some of the watch brands you are known for carrying? If you could pick a watch brand or model that epitomizes the culture or style of Carmel what would it be?
Fourtané Jewelers: We are most regarded for our selection of Rolex, both new and vintage. It is inspiring for clients to come in to look at a new stainless steel Submariner and have the opportunity to compare it to the same model from decades earlier.
We are also proud to represent Laurent Ferrier and A. Lange & Söhne. Both of these prestigious brands hand-make elite-level timepieces that are subtle, beautiful, and exclusive – the perfect complement to Carmel culture! fourtane.com