By  on November 15, 2004

NEW YORK — It’s easy to lose one’s sense of time in Las Vegas. Nights seem like days in the glaring lights of the Strip, while days could just as well be nights in clock-less casinos. But that should no longer be as much of a problem now that Tourneau has landed with a mammoth thud.

On Nov. 4, the watch retailer opened the doors to Time Dome, an almost 18,000-square-foot watch emporium at the Forum Shops in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where it had a smaller unit. The newest addition to Tourneau’s growing retail chain will surpass its 16,000-square-foot 57th Street Time Machine here as the largest watch store in the world and likely will secure a special place in the “Guinness Book of World Records.”

The Las Vegas opening comes at a time of heavy expansion for the privately held watch retailer, which was founded in 1900, and will count 26 stores nationwide with this week’s scheduled opening of a 1,500-square-foot unit in Alexandra, Va. This week also will see the publication of Tourneau Times, a joint venture with Jason Binn’s Niche Media LLC, publisher of Gotham and Hamptons. Tourneau plans to open stores at The Westchester in White Plains, N.Y., and in Atlantic City, N.J., next year, and build its assortment of private label merchandise, which now includes watches, fine jewelry and sunglasses.

The new Las Vegas store is located in the original Forum Shops (the mall recently added a 175,000-square-foot wing).

“The shoppers that come to the Forum Shops originate from all our markets,” Andrew Block, senior vice president of marketing, said of the decision to open Time Dome in Las Vegas. “They are from California, New York, Florida, Texas, Chicago…areas where we have existing stores.” Also, he added, “The Forum Shops has the highest dollar-per-square-foot sales of any mall. The amount of traffic every day is 50,000 to 60,000, so when we looked for a location for another Time Machine, the only city really could be Las Vegas.”

To give Las Vegas a store worthy of its Sin City reputation, Tourneau went all out. The store was designed like an amphitheater with a huge, 38-foot-high dome hovering above the main floor. There are two levels beneath the mezzanine.

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