Feldmar Then and Now Large

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.

Where to buy watches in Los Angeles, California?

Serving customers for over a century, Feldmar Watch Company, Inc.  operates their landmark store in Los Angeles and also a boutique in the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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In 1913, Hungarian immigrant Jack Feldmar started a repair business fixing the broken, relinquished watches of Newark, New Jersey pawnshops. He repaired neglected timepieces for 15¢ apiece. When Jack’s wife became ill, the family relocated to Los Angeles, where Jack established his own shop downtown on 4th and Broadway and continued working with pawnshop owners.

Jack educated his son Barney in the art of watchmaking and repair, and the two formed a partnership that would become the foundation for the present day Feldmar Watch Company. They started selling out of the Stack Building in Los Angeles in the 1930’s and have been in their current location at 9000 West Pico Boulevard  since 1956.

Feldmar Interior 2 LargeaBlogtoWatch: What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Los Angeles a unique place to buy watches?

Feldmar Watch: We sell a great deal of watches in all categories.  We sell to the first time buyer, looking for something to wear as they enter their professional careers.  Sport, casual, and dress alike. I think LA is a very unique market, based on the blend of locals and transplants from other areas.  The city is truly a blend of cultures and influences.

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ABTW: What would you tell watch lovers in other cities that watch lovers in Los Angeles are like?

Feldmar Watch: I would tell watch lovers from anywhere that people in LA have a great sense of watch style.  They aren’t always motivated to buy based on trends and advertising.  I think our LA clients are very particular about buying what they love to wear and not just to impress.

Feldmar Exterior 1 LargeABTW: 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?”

Feldmar Watch: Since  we are  a 4th generation business, we have a great mix of locals and tourist, watch tourists, if you will.  If you were to play 6 degrees of separation, it would be hard to not end up at Feldmar at some point.  We have a fair amount of people new to watches, as well as collectors.  We love both experiences. In one case, you get to talk shop with a collector and with the other you get to introduce someone new to a brave new world.

ABTW: What is Los Angeles best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?

Feldmar Watch: Movie stars, great weather, and terrible architecture. We tear everything down! I think people should see the Santa Monica Pier and/or Venice boardwalk.  The Griffith Park Observatory and Griffith Park are a great oasis in an otherwise busy city.  There are a great deal of cultural areas that have amazing food these days, like a myriad of Korean BBQ places, like Soot Bull Jeep. Grand Central Market is new to the scene, but great as well. Places like Eggslut and Horse Thief are quite good.  Typhoon, in Santa Monica, has a great view of the runway and a nice mix of Pacific Rim cuisine.  I send a lot of adventurous clients and tourists to my favorite dives, like Mario’s Peruvian Seafood, Honey’s Kettle, The Kitchen, and Baby Blues.  As a born and raised local, I love some places that are near and dear to my heart, like the Bob Bakers Marionette Theater, the George C. Page Museum, and Carroll Avenue (old Victorian homes).

Feldmar Interior 4 LargeABTW: As a business, do you sponsor or participate in any local events, watch-related or otherwise?

Feldmar Watch: We have a number of watch events throughout the year, with a few community based ones scheduled to start in 2014, like Toys for Tots, SOVA pantry food drive, and blood drives. And in-store, we have special “Brand of Month” displays. Earlier this month, we had an amazing time celebrating the launch of the Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement.

Feldmar GP Event 4 LargeABTW: 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 Los Angeles, what would it be?

Feldmar Watch: We originally bought our Breitlings from Willy Breitling and our Heuers from Jack Heuer.  We have been a long standing Omega dealer as well.  We also have a strong representation of carrying brands from their US launch like Glycine, Chronoswiss, Grand Seiko, and Bell & Ross.

I would pick a Maurice Lacroix Squelette to represent LA Style.  Big, bold, a look of complexity, yet transparent at the same time and, like all things in LA, it is a manual wind, so without daily effort, nothing in LA works! feldmarwatch.com

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