An Inside Look At F.P.Journe’s Unique Miami Boutique And Bar, Maison F.P.Journe
F.P.Journe’s newly opened Maison F.P.Journe promises to be THE gathering space for Miami’s collectors, enthusiasts, and aficionados. Learn more!
The United States is one of the most critical markets for F.P.Journe. Accordingly, the brand has raised the bar (literally) for its new Maison F.P.Journe concept in Miami. Watchonista was recently treated to a behind the scenes tour of this new retail concept, which the brand is calling Maison F.P.Journe.
The newly christened Maison F.P.Journe promises to be a next level experience for collectors and patrons. Patrons, you ask? That's correct, F.P.Journe's new Miami boutique, located in the lobby level of the EPIC Hotel, features a fully functional bar! Bar Journe is what they're calling it, and based on the menu, it's not going to disappoint.
F.P.Journe is more than just a luxury brand and Maison F.P.Journe promises to elevate the experience, as François-Paul Journe explained, “What sets us apart from other horology brands is that we’ve taken retail experiences to another level by creating what no other watchmaker has done yet, and that is to bring a one-of-a-kind destination combined with a heightened beverage experience to the city of Miami. We are confident that it will be a great success and hope to become the #1 place to gather in the luxury world!”
If you’ve ever visited an F.P.Journe boutique, you’ll understand that the experience is far elevated from your typical watch boutique. Journe’s boutiques have always been welcoming and inviting to collectors and enthusiasts from all walks of life. For years, the formula has been quite simple – create an inviting space in a hot location (there are only nine F.P.Journe boutiques in the world) and fill it with everything us watch guys (and gals) love. Accordingly, the lounge feel of a Journe boutique has been one of the hallmarks of the brand. However, with the brand’s new Miami store, Maison F.P.Journe takes Journe’s retail concept to the next level.
Located at Miami’s EPIC Hotel F.P.Journe’s new two-story 3,200 sq. foot boutique is more than just a boutique. In fact, selling watches almost comes secondary to the other experiences on offer at Maison F.P.Journe. This new concept is meant to be a gathering space, a place for education and awareness, and a community center of sorts which promises to bring Miami’s thriving collector community under one roof. With a 10-seat bar, outdoor patio space on the Miami River and a lounge filled with books and antiquities, trust me, you’re not going to want to leave.
The overall concept for Maison F.P.Journe is perhaps best explained by the man himself, “We are thrilled to announce the opening of Maison F.P.Journe at the EPIC Hotel in the heart of downtown Miami. It is an honor to be partnering with brands who share the same values as we do; entities that are family-owned and highly passionate in their respective crafts. We are excited to offer the finest bar and lounge experience to watch enthusiasts and connoisseurs,” François-Paul Journe.
Honestly, when Pierre Halimi (General Manager of F.P.Journe Americas) first explained the concept to me, I thought they were crazy. How could a watch brand open a bar and yet still manage to sell watches? While this dichotomy may seem complicated, upon visiting Maison F.P.Journe, it really feels natural. As Halimi explained, “the US is a mature market for the brand, people are eager to learn more, Maison F.P.Journe is an ‘enhanced’ version of principles the brand had put in place decades ago.”
Located just steps away from the entrance to the EPIC Hotel – a quickly emerging Miami hotspot – the first thing you see when entering the boutique is a 10-seat bar topped with a stainless steel bar which is finished with large circular graining (reminiscent of a watch movement) a nod to the brand’s watchmaking. The ambiance of Bar Journe is hip yet refined.
While the bar itself is impressive, it’s what’s behind the bar that perhaps fascinated me most. Pre-Fidel Castro rums, USSR labeled Moskovskaya vodka and a scotch collection which would impress even the most astute connoisseur. Also behind the bar are club style lockers for storing liquor and wine for the brand’s most important clients. Front row center? The personal locker of François-Paul Journe, fittingly storying a beautiful bottle of Pastis from Marseille.
Credit is due to the legendary beverage consultant, Jennifer Massolo, who has assembled an impressive menu which runs the gamut from fine Petrossian caviar to a cigar lounge component built in collaboration with Spanish yacht builder Astilleros Astondoa.
As Massolo explains, “Bar Journe is a dream project for me where I developed a concept that emulates the level of quality and exclusivity of the F.P.Journe timepieces and brand. We will feature the finest expressions in all areas of beverage including wines, beers, coffees, and teas but especially distilled spirits. A highlight of the Bar Journe program will be vintage spirits including Soviet-era vodkas to go with our Petrossian caviar program as well as pre-embargo era rums from Cuba.”
The best part about Bar Journe? You don't need to be a watch collector to enjoy Maison F.P.Journe. It's fully open to the public! The new boutique promises to be an unpretentious and welcoming place for all. It's important to note that Bar Journe is by no means a generic watch boutique "bar" either. It's very much a fully functional bar, and guests can walk in, place an order for their favorite wine or cocktail, sip and relax, or enjoy a cigar on the patio. Should you want to look at watches, you’re more than welcome, but this no-pressure approach will assuredly bring more and more collectors into the fold and raise the visibility of F.P.Journe in the US market.
How to visit
Throughout the year, Maison F.P.Journe and Bar Journe will be offering special experiences, tasting menus, guest bartenders and more. Whether you’re in the area and in need of an espresso prepared by the on-staff barista, or in need of something stronger, Bar Journe has you covered.
Maison F.P.Journe is now open for business and fully open to the public. They are located inside of Miami's EPIC Hotel (270 Biscayne Blvd Way, Miami, FL). Inside, collectors and visitors can experience all of the brand's latest novelties while at the same time enjoying the extensive menu on offer at Bar Journe.
(Photography by Kris Tamburello & Liam O'Donnell)