Watch retail Art in Time
There’s a new address in Monaco for those seeking the very best in fine watchmaking and related art.
You may be familiar with the M.A.D. galleries that showcase MB&F timepieces alongside all kinds of quirky objects. Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, CEO of Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud, a customer of the M.A.D. gallery and MB&F, has now borrowed from the idea and extended it with the opening of the Art in Time gallery. In a prime location in Monaco’s brand-new “One Monte Carlo” complex, near the casino and just a few minutes’ walk from the Principality’s best hotel, the Hermitage, the new gallery catches the eye from afar thanks to the huge wall clocks of Swiss craftsman Florian Schlumpf. In the light and airy space inside, visitors can see some of the best examples of fine watchmaking currently available on the market in a collection that covers both ends of the spectrum, from the thoroughly classical pieces of L.U.C by Chopard, Ferdinand Berthoud and Greubel-Forsey to the avant-garde technology and designs of MB&F, Urwerk and Ressence and the eclectic objects of L’Epée.
Object of L'Epée © All rights reserved
This unique new retail concept has been refined over the past 18 months, after Karl-Friedrich Scheufele had to decide whether or not to keep the prime retail location that he had been guaranteed four years earlier. “We took over a company a few years ago that had two retail locations in Monaco, one of which is the current location of our Chopard boutique, the other was in a building that was subsequently demolished,” he explains. “But at the time all the tenants were given a guarantee of another good retail location four years later. Once this was confirmed a year and a half ago, we had to decide whether we wanted to keep it. But a second Chopard boutique did not make sense and I wasn’t convinced about having a retail concept with the L.U.C collection and Ferdinand Berthoud. This is when I thought that if we could offer a wider product range then it would be more viable.”
© Ferdinand Berthoud
Each showcase contains just one watch, and with the futuristic designs of Urwerk sitting right next to the traditional interpretations of Ferdinand Berthoud, there is at first sight no apparent link between the two, other than that they are both example of watchmaking art, which is precisely what Art in Time aims to promote. But there are other, more deep-rooted links. “Thanks to the Carré des Horlogers at the SIHH, but also because I am a customer of the M.A.D.Gallery and Max Büsser, I could see that there was a desire among these brands to develop together,” says Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. “We all have the same concerns and the same qualities, too, so I thought why not suggest it to them? Max was immediately on board, so was Stephen Forsey and it grew from there. I think we have brought together a high-quality selection of brands that are representative of fine watchmaking.”
Given the unique concept and its successful implementation in a format that definitely stands out from the usual watch retailers, it naturally begs the question of whether there are plans to develop it further. “To be honest, I haven’t even thought about it,” answers Mr Scheufele, somewhat surprisingly. “Several of your colleagues have asked me the same question but at the moment I would like to see how this first store develops. But if it works, why not expand the idea. I think all our partners would agree.”
Inside view of the Art in Time gallery © DR
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