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 Minneapolis, Minnesota?
A lot of jewelry and watch stores take great pride in being multi-generational and having a history that stretches back nearly a century (or more, in some cases). A counter-point to that is Wixon Jewelers who are quite proud to be a first generation store, thank you very much. But they are far from being “new kids on the block.” They have been selling watches since they opened in 1988. Prior to that, Dan Wixon had a job as a buyer for an antique and estate dealer. One day, it occurred to him that it was a lot easier to haul around antique jewelry and pocket watches than big oak dressers. Thus an idea was born. The idea started small by renting an office space in St. Louis Park. After a few years, he found the beautiful building on Lyndale Avenue in Bloomington, MN, that they have called Wixon Jewelers since 1988. Dan realized the importance of formal education, so he convinced Hope Wixon in the early 1990’s to get her Graduate Gemologist degree from GIA. Armed with street smarts, a graduate degree, and lots of hours of hard work, Dan and Hope steadily built the business into the elite store it is today.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): What types of watches are popular in your market? What makes Minneapolis a unique place to buy watches?
Wixon Jewelers: Being in the Midwest, our residents seem to be more conservative than other areas of the country. They appreciate understated luxury over bold and ostentatious. They prefer timeless brands like Jaeger LeCoultre and Patek Philippe that continue to be in style for many years to come.
Our strongest selling brands are Rolex and Patek Philippe, but we also carry many exclusive brands that our clients can’t find anywhere else. We often get comments from new clients that are surprised that a “store like this” is in Minnesota. Our Twin Cities residents have great taste in watches and we’re proud to have assembled the world’s top brands under one roof.
The Twin Cities [Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota] was the home to the oldest watchmaking school in the country that trained many veteran watchmakers. Unfortunately, the school was closed about four years ago due to lack of enrollment. We’re proud to have three of the most talented watchmakers in the country servicing our clients’ timepieces. With over 50 years of experience, our clients can rest assured that their timepiece is in the hands of some of the most talented craftsman in the country.
Wixon Jewelers: The watch scene in Minneapolis is booming and the collectors around here are very passionate about all things watch-related. About a year ago, an iteration of New York’s Red Bar was formed in Minneapolis as Red Bar MSP. It’s a local watch club that meets up at least once a month to share their collections, tell stories about their favorite pieces and brands, and to meet new people that also love watches. Minneapolis has a great mix of seasoned watch collectors that are eager to share their passion with the newcomers who are first time luxury watch buyers.
Wixon Jewelers: While we have a strong base of loyal watch clients who live in Minnesota, we have clients all over the country as well as international watch collectors. The exclusive brands that we carry coupled with our strong reputation has allowed us to reach new clients regardless of location. Our clients appreciate the incredible level of service that we provide, which continually brings them back to Wixon, even if they live thousands of miles away. We are located about 10 minutes from the MSP airport and Mall of America so we do get a fair amount of tourists stopping by our store.
We work with a wide range of clients, from the avid watch aficionado to the first time purchaser, so the knowledge level varies drastically. No matter their level when they walk into our store, they are sure to walk out with a wealth of new knowledge about timepieces. Our sales staff prides themselves on sharing the information and expertise they have spent years mastering.
ABTW: What is Minneapolis best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
Wixon Jewelers: The summers are what we live for in Minnesota and there are so many fun things to do! You’ll find a great combination of urban green space, countless lakes and friendly people! With miles of bike and pedestrian trails to explore, Minneapolis is rated one of most bike friendly places in the world. Minnesota is home to some fantastic golf courses and boasts the most golfers per capita, which is funny since we can only play the sport for a third of the year. We’re honored to have a vibrant cultural scene centered on great music venues, museums, and concert halls. Stop by to see the Cherry on the Spoon at the Walker Sculpture Garden for a look at the iconic sculpture that is uniquely Minnesotan.
From Downtown to Uptown, Minneapolis is an absolute foodies’ paradise! The sheer number of amazing new restaurants will make your head spin. Minneapolis has something for everyone—from casual dining that features upscale local ingredients to trendy specialty cuisine. If the weather is nice, take advantage of one of the many restaurants with rooftop seating. Whatever you do, don’t leave without trying a Minnesota original: the Juicy Lucy.
Wixon Jewelers: We are very active in the Twin Cities community, partnering with several philanthropic organizations and community groups, as well as event sponsorships. There is a long roster of charitable causes that are supported by Wixon Jewelers, but we believe that financial support isn’t the only way to give back. The gift of time is what sets our philanthropy apart; it is not uncommon to see us volunteering time and visiting with those in need. We sponsor a number of local events each year that help us connect with individuals in the Twin Cities. Earlier this year, we sponsored the 10,000 Lakes Concours d’Elegance, a vintage car and boat show at the Port of Excelsior. We are also a main sponsor of the Minnesota Fashion Awards, which is right around the corner.
Since watches are such a large part of our business, we plan watch specific events as well. In April, we hosted a private event for the local Red Bar MSP watch club. That was a lot of fun! Dan Wixon showcased his private collection including rare and vintage Rolexes, Pateks and his incredible collection of pocket watches. These aficionados have such a love for watches, and it’s great to share our passion with each other. Every October, we host our annual Watch Fair, which gets better each and every year. We have brand ambassadors on-site with expanded collections of new and limited release timepieces for our clients to view. This year, it will be held on October 23rd and 24th; we’re looking forward to yet another incredible event!
Wixon Jewelers: We’re known for carrying the best of the best in terms of Swiss watches. Each brand is carefully selected and chosen for its exclusivity, quality, reliability and consumer value. While each brand we carry is notable, we are best known for our collections of Rolex and Patek Philippe timepieces. Our showroom features beautiful watch salons for Patek Philippe and Rolex that showcase enhanced collections and offer our clients a shopping experience like no other.
The brand that best epitomizes the culture of Minneapolis would have to be Rolex. They have a classic look and are reliable and durable enough to withstand the rigor of the hardworking Minnesotan. Whether hunting, fishing, or sitting in the boardroom, Rolex is a solid choice for every one. wixonjewelers.com