Since the era when pocket watches were en vogue, a stunning timepiece has served as a dependable way to keep track of the hour and also a fashionable accent to any outfit. From diamond-encrusted rose gold to sporty steel, today’s luxury chronometers are as individual as the wearer.
Whether purchased for yourself or as a gift to mark a special occasion—such as a graduation or milestone birthday—timepieces make a long-lasting addition to both men’s and women’s wardrobes and may serve as an heirloom that’s handed down for generations to come. Today, watches do more than just tick away the seconds with precision. Many are equipped with impressive features showing the different time zones, moon phases or movement of the constellations across the sky.
With top brands like Officine Panerai, Audemars Piguet and Breitling represented throughout the city, it’s impossible to go wrong as quality timepieces go hand-in-hand with excellent service at bespoke shops in Miami. Here, concierges at local hotels advise which stores are their top picks to find a piece that will suit any shopper.
“[Officine] Panerai is an exclusive, high-end … brand of watches with an amazing blend of Italian design and Swiss technology. It is a watch with history and elegance, a truly valuable timepiece only for those who can understand and appreciate it. The Panerai store is located inside the exclusive Bal Harbour Shops.” (9700 Collins Ave., Ste. 225, Bal Harbour; 786-735-6446; panerai.com) —Mariana Malek, chef concierge at Trump International Beach Resort
“When I get the question of top-notch jewelry, I automatically tell my guest about Montica Jewelry. Montica is a well-established jewelry [store located in downtown Coral Gables, featuring the best selection of watches and diamond jewelry. Montica offers collections from today’s top jewelry and watch designs along with custom design services. … Montica stands out from other shops for their quality selection … their exceptional service, [and commitment] to detail and perfection.” (75 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables; 305-446-2957; montica.com) —Joaquin Pastora, head concierge at The Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables
Shoppers can find Breitling, a longstanding brand with quality pieces, in the Aventura Mall. One of the last independent Swiss watch brands, this family business still develops and manufactures its own mechanical chronograph movements in its workshops for unrivaled perfection. (19501 Biscayne Blvd., Aventura; 305-935-9350; breitling.com) —Mariana Malek, chef concierge at Trump International Beach Resort
“CRM Jewelers, located in the heart of downtown, is a must … to visit in Miami if you love to buy, sell and trade watches. Their exceptional staff has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. They always go out of their way to provide customers with the most value possible for their investment. The staff is always honest and transparent with the clients. The advantages, in my opinion, from other stores are exceptional value in watches and jewelry. [Find the] best luxury brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe, [plus] industry knowledge and expertise.” (22 N.E. First St., Ste. 103; 305-349-5000; crmjewelers.com) —Joaquin Pastora, head concierge at The Westin Colonnade, Coral Gables
“IWC Schaffhausen boutique is … at the new location in the Miami Design District. This shop just opened up in the new Palm Court, which is a tourist destination in itself. This is a magnificent space for travelers and locals alike to purchase a timepiece that they will have forever.” The company, which began in 1868 by Boston watchmaker Florentine Ariosto Jones in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, continues to turn out timekeeping masterpieces. IWC also maintains a commitment to the environment by using green energy for its carbon-neutral operations. (140 N.E. 39th St., Ste. 125; 305-507-7488; iwc.com) —Ralph Chaoul, W insider at W South Beach
“Lexor Miami … carries most upscale brands such as Movado, TechnoMarine, Invicta, Burberry and much more, for discount prices. They are authorized retailers for the wide variety of brands they carry, which makes them perfect for those guests who are wishing to purchase for themselves or for gifts. … Best of all, they offer free transportation for customers as well as free delivery to the hotel or wherever the guest is staying in Miami.” (2371 N.W. 20th St.; 305-633-0950; lexormiami.com) —Mariana Malek, chef concierge at Trump International Beach Resort
V.A.U.L.T (Valuable Assets Unique Luxury Toys)
“V.A.U.L.T (Valuable Assets Unique Luxury Toys) … offers a worldwide collection of high-end sunglasses, writing instruments as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry.” The upscale shop carries premier watch brands such as Richard Mille, Bell & Ross and Giuliano Mazzuoli, while binoculars, cameras and knives round out the selection of luxury goods. (1024 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach; 305-673-5251; vaultworldwide.com) —Vicky Reyes, chief concierge at SLS South Beach
“Audemars Piguet at Bal Harbour Shops is a must-see for visitors of Miami and Bal Harbour. It houses some of the most unique and beautiful watches I have ever seen.” Since Jules Louis Audemars teamed up with Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875, the watchmaking company has continued to push boundaries in this precision art form, marking several firsts such as the world’s thinnest wristwatch in 1946. Still in the hands of its founding families, the business prides itself on quality workmanship. (9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour; 305-864-6776; audemarspiguet.com)
—Ralph Chaoul, W insider at W South Beach
Chopard is a renowned watch and jewelry brand recognized for its creative designs. “It is literally a time-honored family tradition since 1860. We are fortunate to have Chopard located just a stone’s throw away at the world-renowned Bal Harbour Shops. The general manager is Alejandro Cuellar and [he] will be more than happy to privately showcase the current, classic and upcoming collections [to shoppers].” (9700 Collins Ave., Ste. 127, Bal Harbour; 305-868-8626; chopard.com) —Felipe Toro, concierge at The Ritz-Carlton Bal Harbour, Miami
H & H Jewels
“Open for more than 30 years, H & H Jewels—this hidden gem—keeps delighting guests with their service and gems. In the middle of Coconut Grove, one of the most attractive neighborhoods of Miami, you will be lured by the luxurious timepieces that H & H Jewels has to offer. Not only can you discover brands such as Chopard, Corum, Baume & Mercier [and] Breitling … , but also acquire that unique custom-made jewelry that can create everlasting memories.” (3434 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; 305-442-9760; hhjewels.com) —Paola Peschiera, concierge at Mandarin Oriental, Miami
—Written by Sharon Stello