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 Miami, Florida?
I remember seeing an ad for a watch a few years back where among the locations where it was available was “Bal Harbour,” and I had to do a bit of research to see where that was. Whether you call it Bal Harbour or Surfside, this is an upscale shopping area of Miami, Florida, and home to Gray and Sons Jewelers since 1980. They are a family-owned (and pet friendly) business which has been selling watches since they opened over 35 years ago.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Miami a unique place to buy watches?
Gray & Sons Jewelers: We would have to say that the most popular style of watches in Miami are sport-styled watches. This is most likely a direct result of our tropical weather because people need to dress more casually, since temperatures regularly reach 85-90 degrees on any given day. On some days, it’s just unbearable to wear a suit, but luckily all you need is a good luxury watch on your wrist to make any outfit look good. Some of our more popular sports models include the Rolex Submariner, Rolex Daytona, and even the AP Royal Oak. Miami is such a unique place to buy a watch because there is an association with diversity and uniqueness with our city that extends far beyond just our population. No matter what you’re looking for, be it vintage, one-of-a-kind, or fully customizable, you can bet it can be found right here in Miami.
ABTW: What would you tell watch lovers in other cities about the tastes of watch lovers in Miami?
Gray & Sons: The most beautiful aspect of Miami is the fact that it is a melting pot of diversity. There is no standard of preference or taste because the people who call this home are as eclectic as they come. On one end of the spectrum, we have the sophisticated and refined population who tend to lean more towards watches that embody a sense of elegance and luxuriousness. For them, class trumps perception. On the other side of the spectrum is the grandiose community that Miami is better known for. This lavish and exuberant population epitomizes what Miami is all about – looking good and feeling good. They favor bold, statement timepieces that are both stylish and flashy. You will often see larger models of watches worn around such as Hublots, Breitlings, and Audemars Piguets because here in Miami, big, bold, and blingy, are more than just a style – it’s a way of life.
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?”
Gray & Sons: Our typical clientele averages out to about 50/50 between locals and tourists, again thanks in large part to being centrally located in one of the most tourism-friendly cities in the world. The majority of our local clients are repeat customers who have been coming to us for years.
Our tourist visitors, however, tell a more interesting tale. We have had people from all over the world come through our doors – from the far reaches of the sands of Dubai, to the exotic capital of the world, Brazil. Only about half of our customers are avid, knowledgeable watch collectors who consider buying luxury watches a hobby. The other half are all people who are certainly still knowledgeable, but whose watch collecting journey is only just beginning.
ABTW: What is Miami best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
Gray & Sons: Once you look past the flashing lights and energetic nightlife, Miami is truly a serene haven of natural beauty. Our beaches are unmatched by any, with incredible wildlife and vegetation to boot.
If the beaches aren’t for you, there are plenty of other unique activities to do such as visit the world’s only Everglades and have a close encounter with alligators; visit an orange grove and handpick one of the best-tasting oranges you will ever eat; take a boat tour of Star Island that some of the most famous and wealthy A-list celebrities call home – and so much more. And don’t forget to fuel up with some of the finest Cuban cuisine outside of Cuba. As we like to say, come for the weather, stay for the empanadas.
ABTW: As a business, do you sponsor or participate in any local events, watch-related or otherwise?
Gray & Sons: We consider it a top priority to be socially engaged with not only our watch community, but also our local community. We have always made an effort to be involved with events in Bal Harbour (our backyard), including a recent AIDS Walk that several members of our staff participated in. We have also sponsored several local fundraising events for non-profit organizations such as Boys And Girls Club and Actors Play House.
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 Miami what would it be?
Gray & Sons: The safer question here would probably be, what are some luxury watch brands we are NOT known to carry, because we have so many options available. Of course, most of our inventory consists of the top 4 leading brands, (Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet), but we also carry plenty of options for Omega, Panerai, Breitling, Corum, Piaget, and so much more. If you’re looking for a particular luxury brand, there’s a good chance we have something for you. If we had to pick one watch that truly defines what Miami is all about, it would have to be the Rolex Daytona.
With Daytona, Florida, only a short drive away, the internationally renowned racing event that takes place there, the Daytona 500, is arguably the most important and popular racing event in the world. It’s the perfect watch to represent the culture of Miami: Casual, yet refined. Active, yet elegant. And of course, always prepared to switch from business to pleasure. The Rolex Yachtmaster deserves an honorable mention, though, because we are within earshot of the yacht capital of the world, Ft. Lauderdale. It never ceases to amaze us how we can feel like tourists in our own city because between the extravagant yachts, luxurious homes, and astonishing sports cars of the super wealthy, everyday is just another day in paradise. grayandsons.com