Watch Retailer Wempe Signs Lease in Rolex Building on Fifth Avenue


German luxury watch and jewelry retailer Wempe signed a 15-year lease in the Rolex Building at 665 Fifth Avenue—on the corner of 53rd Street.  According to public records, the deal was sealed on Sept.16 and the Wempe store is set to open in time for holiday shopping.

Wempe, which has had a store in the Peninsula New York for decades, will move into the 1,600 foot space on the ground floor and 1,277 square feet on the lower level of the Rolex building; a space previously occupied by retailer Just Cavalli.  The asking rent for the space was $2,400 per foot. Other public documents indicate that Rolex paid Just Cavalli’s American affiliate $1.23 million as part of lease termination.

The venture is opportune for both Rolex and Wempe; Wempe has reportedly been seeking to expand for decades in its Peninsula Hotel location, at 700 Fifth Avenue, but was unable to do so.  Simultaneously, Rolex has long been interested in having a retail presence in the city but never opened a store.  Wempe, which sells a significant amount of Rolex merchandise, will be a new retail hub for Rolex.