By  on January 20, 2006

NEW YORK — Franck Muller is joining jewelry row.

The Swiss watchmaker has signed a lease to open a multilevel store here at 38 East 57th Street between Madison and Park Avenues directly west of the Audemars Piguet boutique and on the same block as Buccellati and Jacob the Jeweler. The store is directly opposite the Four Seasons Hotel.

"Our customers are the same as Four Seasons' customers," said Hratch Kaprielian, president of Franck Muller USA.

Franck Muller Watchworld, as the store will be called, will occupy 1,750 square feet on the ground floor, 800 square feet on the mezzanine level and 1,000 square feet in the basement, which may be used for a restaurant or gallery, Kaprielian said. The store's design will be similar to the company's Milan flagship, which has stone and marble floors and light, open interiors. The New York store is scheduled to open in July.

Franck Muller is sold here at Bergdorf Goodman and Cellini. The only other Franck Muller store in the U.S. is in Aspen, Colo. Muller has four locations in Japan, two in Geneva, one in Hong Kong and one in Singapore.

The company is known for oversized, slightly vintage timepieces in vibrant colors with prices ranging from $4,000 to $1 million. There is also Franck Muller jewelry for men and women, which features elongated numbers taken from the dials and rendered in gold and diamonds. The company, which was founded in 1991, also controls the Pierre Kunz, ECW, Rodolphe and Alexis Barthelay brands, which will be represented on East 57th Street.

Kaprielian declined to provide a sales projection for the New York store, saying the company views the store primarily as a billboard. "It's mostly for advertising purposes," he added. "It's so people can see what we have. We have a very vast line. There's 400 to 500 stockkeeping units in the collection. The store will help them make better decisions."

Marc Simon of Isaacs & Co. represented Franck Muller Retail Inc. and Michelle Ball of Prudential Douglas Elliman represented the landlord, Sovereign Partners.

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