A l’Emeraude Lausanne’s family-run fine watch store
The Olympic capital has a family-run watch and jewellery store with over 100 years of experience and an enviable reputation.
Stores like A l’Emeraude in Lausanne are a rarity nowadays. Not only is it a bricks-and-mortar-only watch and jewellery store, it is also independent and family run. It has been present around the central Place St. François area of Lausanne since 1909, serving a primarily local and loyal customer base. The Cremers family, who acquired the store in 2004, are only the third owners of this well-known address among watch fans in Lausanne. Since taking over the business, they have expanded it considerably, growing from a 60m2 premises to more than 250m2 in 2017 and doubling the workforce. A l’Emeraude is the only watch retailer in Switzerland with a separate boutique for Patek Philippe and Rolex watches.
© A l'Emeraude
The Cremers family also positioned A l’Emeraude as a purveyor of high-end watch brands. Building on a relationship with Patek Philippe that dates back almost to the store’s beginnings (the earliest records of Patek Philippe representation in the company archives date back to 1920), the family has added some of the best independent brands such as François-Paul Journe, Voutilainen, De Bethune and Romain Gauthier, as well as major luxury brands Hublot, IWC, Panerai, Ulysse Nardin and Tudor to its long-standing representation of Breitling and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
Boutique for Rolex watches © A l'Emeraude
Customers entering A l’Emeraude are greeted by light wood finishes that are bathed in natural light flooding in through first-floor windows that immediately draws attention to a two-storey wall of Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos clocks. From there they can explore the discreet display cases of the ground floor and wander up to the “Salon Atelier” on the first floor. This generously sized area has the feel of a lounge, complete with comfy sofa, chairs and reading material. But there is also a specially made watchmaker’s workbench with a wide surround at chest height for customers to lean on for a relaxed chat with the watchmaker. For Derek Cremers this is important for two reasons: first, customers can watch the watchmaker at work and chat with him (this is itself unusual, since the watchmaker is often hidden away behind closed doors); second, the two watchmakers at A l’Emeraude, like all other staff in the store, are also sales advisors.
© A l'Emeraude
Customers can be certain of unparalleled after-sales service, too, since A l’Emeraude is equipped with machines that are specifically for polishing Rolex watches and testing their water resistance up to 1200 metres. As a result, standard service work on Rolex watches can be carried out on site, which means that the watch does not have to be sent to Rolex and that the customer therefore enjoys shorter service times. A master watchmaker with over 30 years’ experience at A l’Emeraude is also available for repairs to and restoration of any antique and vintage grande complication watches up to grandes sonneries.