Shoppist Guide: 6 Best Watch Shops in Philly
Though horology has been whittled down to a glimpse at an iPhone, classic watches (with faces, not screens) will never lose their luster. Here’s how to get back to basics.
The selection on the ground floor of this Center City stalwart includes Rolex and Cartier, but one flight up is where you’ll find the really impressive stuff: Patek Philippe, Jaeger-LeCoultre and other ritzy collections ($5,000 to a million-plus). Too busy to visit the store? A concierge service will come to you with a variety of watches curated to your style and price point.
Go Here For: All-out luxury. // 1521 Walnut Street, Rittenhouse, and 65 St. James Place, Ardmore; govbergwatches.com.
Watches by Nick
At just 25 years old, Philly-based Nick Harris has created a cult following for his quasi-custom, affordable watches ($250 to $500). He collaborates with clients on the design, changing the hands, straps or crystals of run-of-the-mill Seikos. Two to three weeks later, the modified watch is barely recognizable—but in the best possible way.
Go Here For: Custom. // watchesbynick.com.
Boys like toys, hence the cars, trains and action figures artfully displayed amid Pulli’s array of unique—and men’s-only—watches. The colorful, quaint shop features the work of independent, classically trained craftsmen, including Geneva’s Laurent Ferrier and Finland’s Stepan Sarpaneva, and specializes in handmade mechanical watches (the ones you wind). It’s a fresh combination of art and tradition by risk-taking watchmakers who linger under the radar.
Go Here For: Off-the-beaten-path finds. // 4337 Main Street, Manayunk; martinpulli.com.
Analog Watch Co.
UArts grad Lorenzo Buffa is making a name beyond his East Passyunk storefront with his modern, minimal watches made from flexible strips of wood. (Museum shops including MoMA sell Buffa’s one-of-a-kind pieces.) Look for a new line of marble watches at the end of the year; they’re 80 percent biodegradable, and all proceeds support nonprofit partners.
Go Here For: Eco-friendly designs. // 1214 Moore Street, East Passyunk; analogwatchco.com.
Neighborhood Watch Repair Company
Nestled in the back of NoLibs barbershop The Duke Barber Co., you’ll find trained watchmakers Andy and Christina Tempalski, a married duo who tinker, fix and handcraft parts for antique and new watches. They’ll throw a battery into your Seiko while you wait, are hailed for quartz movement repairs, and carry a stash of watches for sale. Bonus: Barbershop clients get a 10 percent discount.
Go Here For: Tricky repairs. // 1001 North 2nd Street, Northern Liberties; nwjrco.com.
The DoughBoy Watch Company
Philly watchmakers Tom Lovelund and Adam Feld painstakingly rehab turn-of-the-century mechanical timepieces, pairing them with custom leather straps and modeling them after WWI trench watches. It’s history, just better.
Go Here For: Antiques. // $400 to $5,000; doughboywatchco.com.