By  on November 6, 2006

Placing its first U.S. store in a laid-back California locale worked out so well for Charriol that the Swiss fine jewelry and watch brand decided to do it again.

Charriol last month opened a 1,000-square-foot boutique, the company's third in the U.S., at Fashion Island, an open-air shopping center in Newport Beach. The store marks a return to Charriol's retail roots in California, where it opened a La Jolla store in 1994.

"Newport Beach and La Jolla embody who we are," said Ori Zemer, vice president of Charriol USA. "The reason why we picked Fashion Island is really because it is a lifestyle center and Charriol is a lifestyle."

With help from Robinson Hill Architecture, based in Costa Mesa, Calif., the Fashion Island location's look was tweaked slightly from Charriol's La Jolla and Atlanta stores. Charriol's plum corporate color is played up in showcases illuminated by fiber-optic lighting.

Zemer estimated first-year store sales would reach the "mid-seven figures."

Charriol's next location, set to open in Las Vegas in 2007 in an expansion of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino and Sands Expo & Convention Center complex, will be designed similarly. Existing stores will be remodeled to match in a year.

The Fashion Island store carries Charriol's complete collection: from white gold and diamond charm necklaces in the recently unveiled Bacci line to leather goods and eyewear. Shoppers seeking special items can purchase one-of-a-kind selections, including yellow diamond rings that retail for $8,000 to $20,000. On average, watches cost $1,800 and jewelry pieces go for almost $2,200.

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