call it the "horse-shoe circuit"...
Start at Kenjo, on 57th St, btw 5th & 6th Avenue. This one will get you 'warmed up' - mostly mid-to-upper-mid-level stuff (Tags, Oris, Omega, Breitling, ML, Bell & Ross, DJR); but they do have some higher-end toys (GP, Zenith, UN). No Panerai. Manager's an idiot - yes, you can quote me on that.
After that, you should be starting to salivate Next stop... Wempe, on 5th Ave, btw 54th & 55th. Like a typical European store - an awesome window display, with some added baubles inside. Nice stuff, including Patek, VC, Breguet, JLC, IWC and of course - Panerai ~
Walk up to 57th, then make a right (heading east) and head towards the Tourneau 'Time Machine' on 57th St, btw Mad & 5th Ave. The big kahuna... no kidding; 4 stories of watch nirvana. Inventory of Panerai's is luck of the draw; no where else on the planet is the distribution model of Panerai shown as bluntly as it is here - one week, you can find 15 Panerai's; 2 weeks later, there's maybe 1 40mm left (and it stays that way for a month). So it's timing on your part. Either way, it's worth a visit; strap selection these days has been vastly improved, too
That one will take at least 60-90 mins. When you're done, you can move out onto 57th St. again, and make another right (again, heading east) to the Audemars Piquet boutique - located on 57th St, btw Madison and Park Ave. AP, baby - do I need to say anymore? Say "hi" to Margot for me... ooof
Then work your way back to Madison Ave, then down (or south) to 52nd St...
Yes, another Tourneau... this one's on Mad, off 52nd. Divided into 2 stores - mid-line goodies (Think Breitling, Oris, Baume-Mercier, Omega, Invicta, Hamilton, etc.), and then the other for higher-end toys (JLC, Cartier, IWC, Rolex, Panerai). This is a quickie, IMO.
Across the street, you'll find 1 of the two Cellini's (Mad Ave, btw 52nd & 53rd). Smaller than the W-A location, but still has a great mix for the little space. High-end goodies, not to be ignored. But don't stuff yourself... because the sweetest part is always dessert
Wrap it up at the Cellini, inside Waldorf-Astoria (Park Ave, off 50th St.). Anyone can help you, but Philip is the best - make sure you ask for him, and tell him I sent you Used to always wear his 22, but the wacky bugger just picked up an RM 005, so I can't fault him The other cats are also Panerai fans (one has a 196; the other has a 183). Store is small, but don't let size decieve you: it ALWAYS has a strong amount of tuna cans to look over - as well as some others that will blow your mind. Name something that's funky, ultra-high end, expensive or all-of-the-above - they got it A MUST VISIT!
Off the beaten path:
Also, if you're able to make more time - or just happen to be in the neighborhood - there's 2 more Tourneau's; 34th St, at the corner of 7th Avenue (small, and never any Panerai's) or the one at the Time-Warner bldgs at Lincoln Circle - small also, and a few Panerai's at most...
If you're around on a Saturday with time to kill in the AM, you can check out some of the antiques and/or vintage stuff selling at this big parking lot on 6th Avenue, btw 25th & 26th St. They convert this lot on Saturdays just for this - I mention this, because a couple ofthe vendors sell watches also, so you might be able to pick up something unusual...
Lastly, if you have time during the week (closed up late Fri PM and all day Sat, in observance for the Sabbath), check out the 'Diamond District' on 47th St., btw 5th & 6th Ave. There's one dude inside bldg # 10 that always has at least 25 Panerai's on display. E-mail me for his contact info... prices aren't cheap, but not OJ-crazy, either. However, he does have a great selection and he's a good guy to deal with.
Enjoy the city!!
"At the one-lane bridge I leave the giants stranded, at the riverside.
Race back to the farm, to dream with my uncle... at the fireside ~ "
~ Geddy, Neil & Alex ~
A true friend stabs you in the front.