Swiss watchmaker secures flagship location on Madison Ave.

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New York City F.P. Journe announced it has signed a 10-year lease for an 800-sq.-ft. space at 721 Madison Avenue, between East 63rd and 64th Streets (the former Graff store), where it plans to open its first New York store and U.S. flagship.

Surrounded by some of the most esteemed brand names, the high-profile space features soaring ceilings in an elegant pre-war building, according to the retailer’s real estate broker The Lansco Corp., which is a member of the X Team Retail Services Network.

“One year ago, vacancies on Madison Avenue were few and far between, and factors such as sky-rocketing rents and high competition for the small number of spaces available on the market kept many retailers on the sidelines,” said Diane Mandel, a managing director at Lansco. “F.P. Journe timed the market perfectly. The exclusivity and high-quality design of their watches has kept the retailer recession-resistant and has given them the edge in securing this prominent location to grow their U.S. presence.”

F.P. Journe currently has boutiques in Boca Raton, Fla., Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris and Geneva, and will be opening in Beijing in the fall.

“We always had New York planned in our development. We consider New York as one of the very few ‘centers of the world’ and Madison Avenue is its quintessence in terms of a true luxury retail avenue,” said Pierre Halimi Lacharlotte, the partner for F.P. Journe’s New York store. “When we were offered the Graff store location, it became a priority for us.”

The landlord in this transaction is The Winter Organization.