Here’s where to buy the best watches in the Windy City
It’s not a horological destination like Geneva, New York, or even Miami. But you can still do some first-rate browsing, window shopping or purchasing in Chicago. So where can you find the best watches and timepieces in Chicago? Let us run down a list of the best shops and boutiques. We’ve highlighted a variety of options that offer both new and vintage watches.
Razny Jewelers, 109 E Oak St (at Michigan and Oak)
An authorized dealer of Rolex and Patek Phillipe, Razny is one of the most well-recognized names in timepieces and jewelry in the Chicago area. You’ll also find brands like Breitling, Cartier, and Frederique Constant in their boutique, and you might be able to find a deal on a pre-owned Rolex if you’re searching on the right day. Razny is also known for professional and attentive service, no matter the amount of money you’re looking to spend.
Marshall Pierce & Company, 960 N Michigan Ave (at Michigan and Oak)
Marshall Pierce is an authorized dealer of almost any luxury brand you’ll be lusting over: A. Lange, Cartier, IWC, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Omega, Panerai, Vacheron, among others (no Rolex though). At times, they also offer a small collection of pre-owned or vintage timepieces. It’s been run by the Bern family since 1928, and the family traces its roots of selling jewelry and watches in Chicago back even farther than that. Visitors consistently say they feel like family when dealing with Marshall Pierce.
Swiss Fine Timing, 70 E Walton St (at Michigan and Walton)
Swiss Fine Timing carries some brands you won’t find at other shops on this list. We’re talking about Audemars Piguet, F.P. Journe, Girard-Perregaux, Nomos Glashutte, and Glashutte Original. Names that one has to really have gone off the horological deep end to recognize. Some complain about the selection here, but if you know what you’re looking at, you’re in for a treat. They also carry vintage and pre-owned watches for the nostalgic.
Geneva Seal, 112 E Oak St (at Michigan and Oak)
Another gem on Oak Street, Geneva Seal adds some more variety to the brands you can browse while making your way around Michigan Avenue. An authorized dealer of Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breitling, Hublot, IWC, Omega, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, and a few smaller brands, Geneva Seal offers a little bit for everyone. From a gaudy Hublot Big Bang to a classic and understand Blancpain Villeret, you’re sure to find something to put on your Christmas list.
B. Young & Co., 834 N. Rush St. (at Rush and Pearson)
You won’t find a bunch of well-known luxury brands here – Ulysse Nardin being one – but B. Young & Co. also serves as an authorized dealer for a few smaller brands. If you’re looking to find something off the beaten path, this might be the place. They also serve as an authorized dealer for Bamford, a dealer known for making customized Rolex and Audemars Piguet timepieces.
Legend of Time, 3 S Wabash St. (The Loop)
Unlike B Young & Co., going to Legend of Time is a quintessential Jewelers’ Row experience. Tucked in a small shop beneath the L, Legend of Time offers a wide variety of pieces, from Breguet and Blancpain to Audemars Piguet and Hublot. It also offers a variety of vintage and pre-owned pieces, and you never really know what you’re going to find in its cases. This was the first place I saw an Eone (the watch that lets you tell time by feel) in the metal.
Sydel and Sydel, 222 W Adams St (The Loop)
Sydel & Sydel offers a unique array of brands: Bremont, H Moser, Grand Seiko, Maurice La Croix, and Oris among them. You’ll also find more accessibly-priced options from Shinola and Seiko. There’s something for everyone, so if you want to window show during your lunch hour downtown, pop inside.
Howard Frum Jewelers, 5 S Wabash (The Loop)
Howard Frum has quite possibly the largest selection of pre-owned Rolexes in Chicago. They’re known for great customer service and being very personabe with customers to help them find whatever they’re looking for.
Father Time Antiques, 2108 W Belmont Ave (Roscoe Village)
Now, Father Time is not like the other shops on this list. Run by a man with a true passion for horology, this store is packed with vintage timepieces of all types. You truly never know what you’ll find (though you can browse the selection on their website), but it’s a true experience to visit this establishment. Far from the glitz and glamour of Michigan Avenue, this is real horology.
The Brand Boutiques in Chicago
Along Michigan Avenue, you’ll also find boutiques for many of the luxury watch brands you know. From north to south, there’s Bulgari, Omega, Rolex, Cartier, and Swatch (does Apple count?).
We hope this guide helps you in your hunt for your next timepiece. Happy hunting!