New York—Luxury watch retailer Tourneau is undergoing a name change.
Following its 2018 acquisition
by Swiss watch retailer Bucherer, the company will gradually transition to using the Bucherer name.
First reported by WWD, the company did not respond to National Jeweler’s request for comment.
Beginning this summer, Tourneau’s network of 31 U.S. stores will be rebranded as “Tourneau Bucherer” for one year.
Following that one-year period, the name will permanently change to “Bucherer.”
The new name will also carry over to its packaging and advertising.
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The rebranding plan
has been in the works since 2018, shortly after the acquisition.
Bucherer’s acquisition of Tourneau was its first step outside of Europe, giving the luxury retailer a foothold in the U.S.
Bucherer was founded in 1888 when Carl-Friedrich Bucherer and his wife Luise opened a jewelry store on Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.
Tourneau’s story began in 1900 when the Wexler family opened their first jewelry store in Eastern Europe.
Between 1924 and 1925, M. Wexler Watchmakers & Jewelers opened in Manhattan, and the Tourneau family emigrated from Paris to New York and opened a watch counter in the Berkshire Palace Hotel.
As Tourneau’s business began to grow, the Wexler family took note and acquired the company in 1975, later selling to Green Equity Partners in 2006 but retaining part of the business.
The investor group, an affiliate of private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners that also included members of the Wexler family, sold to Bucherer in 2018.
Ahead of the name change, Tourneau is renovating seven of its stores, including its flagship New York City location on 57th Street, famous for its clocks of the world display.
As part of the renovation, the clocks will be replaced with something more high-tech, said Ira Melnitsky, CEO of Tourneau and president of Bucherer USA, in an interview with WWD.
Tourneau has plans to give the whole fleet of stores a makeover.
The company intends to open new stores in the coming years, said Melnitsky, noting that physical retail is still an important element of its strategy.