On Tuesday Sotheby’s will cut the ribbon on its first retail destination inside Bucherer’s Zurich flagship at Bahnhofstrasse 50. Bucherer, which was acquired by Rolex last month, said the salon is the first in a series that will open at its stores around the world.
Sotheby’s described the salon as “elevated new shopping experience where auction expertise meets retail excellence” and said the store at Bucherer would showcase the breadth and depth of its offer.
Two years in the making, the salon is also meant to be a meeting place for collectors, product enthusiasts and shoppers to commune, learn “and share their passions in an environment that ensures a discreet and private experience,” the auction house said.
The Zurich store will offer one-off items such as “The Last Dance” game jersey worn by Michael Jordan at the 1998 NBA playoffs. It’s expected to fetch between $1 million and $2 million, Sotheby’s said.
The jersey will be on show in the Zurich salon until Friday, Sept. 22. Sotheby’s is inviting people to bid on it in person or online at sothebys.com as part of a sealed auction.
The salon is the latest in a series of collaborations between Sotheby’s and Bucherer. The two brands have worked together in New York and Switzerland on in-store activations and Bucherer sells its Certified Pre-Owned Watches inventory through Sotheby’s online marketplace.
Sotheby’s said it chose Bucherer as its retail partner because of its expertise in designing and operating luxury boutiques for top watch brands in Europe and North America.
The Sotheby’s salon is located on an entirely new third floor of Bucherer’s Zurich flagship, and spans 1,720 square feet.
The products on offer include jewelry, watches, handbags and accessories, sneakers and high-end streetwear, artwork and sports memorabilia. There is also a custom-designed wine and spirits bar with an assortment curated by Sotheby’s Master of Wine, Vanessa Conlin.
Clients can purchase items directly from the space; bid during live and online auctions, and take part in Sotheby’s Sealed, a hybrid way of selling that’s part-auction, part-private sale.
Sotheby’s said the salon will draw on a large inventory of product that’s already available for international shipping. Clients can order online directly from the boutique or anywhere else via smartphone or tablet. Orders are home delivered to more than 70 countries, the company said.
Clients will also be able to meet with Sotheby’s specialists, receive valuations and consign directly for sale at auction, retail or private sale.
Sotheby’s said, going forward, it plans to host educational events, exclusive previews, masterclasses, and tastings and dinners with in-house experts.
Josh Pullan, head of the Global Luxury Division at Sotheby’s said the two companies have used their combined 400 years of experience “to create a truly differentiated concept. Our shared vision was to create an experience that brought clients together to celebrate the joy of collecting, and to expand their knowledge.
“Every detail has been designed to deliver an ultra-luxury experience and ensure we go beyond clients’ expectations of luxury shopping. We could not have wished for a more experienced and committed partner than Bucherer, and we’re delighted to open our first salon here in Zurich.”
Patrick Graf, chief commercial officer at Bucherer, said the retailer’s “strong local roots and our many years of proven expertise in the areas of luxury watches and jewelry, as well as lifestyle,” make the Zurich flagship store “a center of attraction for lovers of the special and exclusive.”
Bucherer has more than 100 stores worldwide, of which 53 distribute the Rolex brand and 48 distribute the Tudor brand. Under the new Rolex ownership, Bucherer will keep its name and continue to run its business independently.
Rolex announced last month that it had purchased Bucherer. The retailer’s integration into the Rolex group will be effective once competition authorities have approved the transaction.