Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

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.

Where to buy watches in Carmel-By-The-Sea, California?

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.

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Carmel-By-The-Sea a unique place to buy 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!

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

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.

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

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.

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

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! 

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

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!

Buying Watches In Carmel-By-The-Sea, California: Fourtané Jewelers Watch Stores

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!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Hmm…………Change the name and place and it could be a ” boutique ” anywhere. Wonder what the mark up is ? . You should have asked.

    • I’m pretty sure that when a store is mostly dedicated to Rolex then Rolex will have a big saying in how the store looks. And it looks like a Rolex boutique–though I’m sure that the staff and rare selections set them apart, going by most people’s comments here.

  • iamcalledryan

    That’s a stunning exterior. Will try to check it out this summer.

  • IVA the LT

    I went there today, literally like 5 hours ago. Very helpful staff and a wide selection, especially in the vintage and Rolex area. But they also had quite a few other brands on hand as well. Was able to look at several Lange’s, a couple Ressence’s, multiple Patek’s and Ferrier’s, even a Journe Octa. There were a ton of vintage Rolex as well, including some fairly rare pieces.

    All in all, Carmel had a lot to like for watch lovers. Saw several other uncommon brands, like Meistersinger and Eterna at one shop, and Chatel up the road from Fourtane was pretty impressive. Was like a mini, better Tourneau. The usual hitters of Panerai, Breitling, and Zenith, but complimented by Nomos, Parmigiani, some vintage/pre-preowned (couple Minerva’s were a highlight), and even Richard Mille.

  • Sheldon Smith

    Fourtané is my go to Rolex dealer. I have purchased a DeepSea, GMT, and Explorer II there and they are by far the hands-down best Rolex Authorized Dealer that I have visited. Their staff is quite knowledgable on Rolex and many other brands, are very casual in their approach. It’s a family owned business and they have a longtime loyal sales staff. Unlike other Rolex dealers I have visited, there is no casual walk through as the conversation is always fun, and I hear at least one story about a particular vintage Rolex. Fourtané is a destination stop for any watch aficionado passing within 200 miles of Carmel. I make the 200 mile trip at least a couple times a year to chat and learn something new. It’s great that ABTW made the visit to Fourtané and give them the attention they deserve.

    • iamcalledryan

      My three favorite Rolex models right there; good set.

  • KDP

    Great dealer…Picked up my GMT II BLNR there…& if vintage is your thing, especially Subs, Fourtané is your place (they were also the NA launch location for Tudor)…
    ps – beginning of the article, “Monterey” has one “R”…sorry, it’s my hometown, I noticed ; )

    • KDP

      Also, not to steal Fourtané’s thunder (you should see their estate jewelry as well!), but if you’re in Carmel looking for Breitling, Zenith, Panerai, Nomos, or Richard Mille, “Chatel” is only 2 blocks away…

      • IVA the LT

        Hugo Chatel was very helpful when I was there. Turns out he was a bit of a mentor for my local watch guy and will likely do the service on my PAM112.

        Plus, unlike the boutique at Crystals in Vegas, I was allowed to take a photo of a Richard Mille on the wrist. Though I have to admit in hindsight, when I went to the boutique, it was after a pool party at Aria and I was a bit intoxicated…and in swim trunks lol.

        I was probably lucky to not be asked to leave, let alone be allowed to try on the limited edition model they had on display for a cool half mil, so I guess no pic wasn’t that big of a deal :D.

    • Thanks – fixed the misspelling in the lead-in paragraph.

  • Vanquish1551

    Great Rolex dealer! I’m a long time customer and will remain so. Josh and Audrey make purchasing more than a transaction. I drop by often just to chat and check out some cool vintage watches. James T.

  • Nikolai

    I bought my 18K Yachtmaster II; 18K Submariner and Gold and Steel Sub from Fourtane. Barb and Rosa are great and I always stop in during my semi annual trips to Carmel. It’s a swell shop and Elliott the dog is always friendly as well, despite being in a “ruff” business. Dinner at Cafe Dametra is one of the best meals and values in town as well.