If you take a walking tour of New York or drive around Los Angeles, you’re bound to spot mono brand boutiques for just about every watch brand. Go for a stroll along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and you’ll find few and far between. But what Chicago may lack in quantity, they make up for in quality, in the form of several world-class retail concepts housing a selection of the industry’s best and brightest – all under one roof. Swiss FineTiming/Atelier Jewellers is one of those destinations. They’re the only authorized dealer in the Midwest for several prominent manufacturers, including the eponymous F. P. Journe and the latest independent to turn heads – Laurent Ferrier.
Over twenty years ago founder Gene Stern left his career as an attorney and CPA to channel his passion for watches into a new line of work. His idea started out small in the suburb of Highland Park before it expanded into Chicago proper with a second flagship location nestled among the luxury fashion shops on Michigan Avenue.
Last week I was power walking down Michigan Ave, trying to dodge tourists, when I decided to pay a visit to Swiss FineTiming. Too much time had past since I last checked in with store manager, Daniel Jordan, and his team. Whenever I step foot inside, it’s like I have tunnel vision: Even with all the brands they carry, including Nomos, Tudor, Audemars Piguet, and Breguet, all I ever seem to see and try on are F. P. Journe and Laurent Ferrier. This time around Ferrier’s Galet Traveller had my attention. That was until Daniel showed me a particular Galet Micro-Rotor – pointing out its steel case. Personally, I love when these two worlds collide: The grandeur of haute horology and the normalcy of steel. In my opinion, this design execution makes the watch humble – a quality I respect.
You may not know that Swiss FineTiming has always been a supporter of independent watchmaking. And of all the brands they’ve helped introduce to the Midwest market, perhaps none is more well known than F. P. Journe. Gene and Swiss FineTiming were one of the 5 original U.S. dealers to purchase his creations and take a chance on the avant-garde watchmaker. Over the years the relationship between Journe and Swiss FineTiming has grown stronger, highlighted by a collaboration several years ago: Gene had a hand in designing the look of two very-limited production Journe models sold exclusively at Swiss FineTiming: An Octa Chronograph and Chronomètre Souverain, both with dial and hands colored in Swiss FineTiming’s signature palette of red, white, and black.
Which brings us to this 40mm Laurent Ferrier Galet Micro-Rotor currently for sale… It’s the latest customized timepiece produced for Swiss FineTiming. Daniel says the dial color came out late summer/early fall of last year. It was a new hue officially classified as “red gold toned,” but called a number of other shades by enthusiasts, including “copper-ey” by Daniel. You’ll find this dial color installed on timepieces across Ferrier’s collections. And Ferrier has cased movements in steel before – although in very limited quantities. But this particular watch represents the first time a steel case and a red gold dial were put together. Hence why the caseback is engraved “No. 1” to signify the first rendition of this combo – for Swiss FineTiming.
To inquire about purchasing, please contact Daniel Jordan at Swiss FineTiming via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (312) 337-4700.