As you may know if you’ve been here before, I love buying pre-owned watches. The variety, the serendipity, and the story behind each piece are a lot more magical to me than a thick carpet, engineered lighting and unscratched, shiny cases. For that reason, you’re more likely to find me sniffing around the shelves at Dario’s, Charles-Louis Muri’s or the Bienne Cash Converters than sipping champagne to celebrate a purchase at an authorized dealer.
The Swatch HQ boutique in Bienne is officially a Drive-Thru. You can come with your car, order via an intercom and collect your watch at the window a few meters away without leaving your seat. Some special boutique watches are even delivered in a burger box!
Of course, you can also just walk into the store, and, most importantly at a time of much needed eco-consciousness, there is a bus stop and a shared bike station on site. You can also drive over and park right in front, or, if it’s full, on the free “blue” spots a 2 minute walk away, by the Suze river. Unlike just about everything else in Switzerland, the store is open 7 days a week.
Almost exactly one year ago, Swatch and Omega, both owned by Bienne-based Swatch Group, took the industry by storm with the launch of the MoonSwatch: a variant of the Omega Speedmaster made by Swatch with a quartz movement in a bioceramic case. We all know what happened next, from the insane waiting lines to Groundhog Day-esque store visits over the weeks and months by hopefuls trying to get their hands on their favorite pick among the 11 models.