Five thousand miles from home, Audemars Piguet is bringing Switzerland to life in Miami. After becoming a bastion of the haute horlogerie scene in Miami, luxury watchmaker Audemars Piguet refreshed its presence in the city with a new boutique at the prestigious Bal Harbour Shops. The Miami Beach space is one of two Audemars Piguet boutiques in the United States.
When the boutique opened this May, Xavier Nolot, the CEO of Audemars Piguet (North America), said the space would help the 138-year old watchmaker communicate its essential DNA to a new audience. “By bringing the manufacture to the boutique, Audemars Piguet tells the story of its history, craftsmanship and exclusive relationships in the new Bal Harbour boutique,” Nolot said. “We’ve created a warm and inviting environment to satisfy our discerning clients’ every need.”
Indeed, the space goes beyond even the most luxurious traditional definition of a ‘store’. Located next to the Chanel boutique, Audemars Piguet’s first-floor Bal Harbour space is all warmth and quality, as if the village of Le Brassus has been encapsulated just a stone’s throw from the sandy beach. Audemars Piguet’s birthplace in the Vallée de Joux region is captured in wood and metallic landscapes in a design developed by the Creative Circle International Corporation of Switzerland in collaboration with Audemars Piguet’s Creative Director Octavio Garcia.
In addition to the displays of more than 100 timepieces from Audemars Piguet’s collections, the boutique boasts two unique spaces: “The Manufacture” and “The House”. The former includes a watchmaker’s station, information about how each timepiece is created, and a virtual tour of Audemars Piguet’s actual Swiss manufacture. The latter is a bar and lounge area where clients can relax, decorated by an exhibit of photographs and reminiscences of the many friends of the Audemars Piguet brand (including the Miami Heat’s star forward, brand ambassador LeBron James).
Although the village of Le Brassus is nearly 5,000 miles away and a world apart from Miami, the Audemars Piguet boutique at the Bal Harbour Shops is the best kind of embassy the Swiss could hope for; warm, inviting, and perfectly executed. We’re happy to see the brand stronger than ever in the city.
This article originally appeared in Haute Living Miami August/September 2013. To read the rest of the issue, including our interview with cover star Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee, visit Haute Living.