Betteridge Jewelers Acquired by Watches of Switzerland

Betteridge Jewelers, a mainstay of Greenwich Avenue’s retail shopping mix, has been acquired by Watches of Switzerland.

Betteridge at the corner of Greenwich Ave and Elm Street. June 21, 2021 Photo: Leslie Yager

While retail fell into a slump and the Ave was pocked with dozens of empty storefronts before the restaurant boom swept through, the rise and fall of downtown jewelry stores followed their own trajectory.

The storied Boston jeweler Shreve Crump & Lowe opened at the corner of Lewis St and the Ave in 2014.

Competition squeezed out Lux Bond & Green in 2017. At the time commercial realtor Ron Brien of Alliance Commercial Property said, ““They felt that the Avenue was saturated with jewelers.”

All the while Betteridge thrived.

Iconic clock outside the Betteridge’s former store at 117 Greenwich Ave.

Having opened in Greenwich in 1952, Betteridge relocated from 117 Greenwich Ave to its current, larger space at 239 Greenwich Ave which features roughly triple the amount of retail space.

In terms of square footage, the Betteridge location in Greenwich will become the largest boutique in Watches of America’s North American portfolio.

According to a PR newswire release, The Watches of Switzerland Group announcement details its largest expansion plan since its entry into the US in 2017.

Focused around building its presence in key markets and becoming the clear leader in the US market, Watches of Switzerland has acquired marquis properties held by three of the country’s leading timepiece retailers, including Ben Bridge at the renowned Mall of America outside Minneapolis-St.Paul, Timeless Luxury Watches located just north of Dallas in Plano Texas, and the Betteridge boutiques in Greenwich, Vail and Aspen, Colorado.

The Palm Beach Betteridge boutique remains under the family’s control.

According to the release, each location offers exceptional opportunities for expanded growth, along with a valuable influx of existing watch clientele. 

“The businesses will in turn benefit from The Watches of Switzerland Group’s unique and specialized approach to sales and customer service that includes creating immersive retail environments, supported with dynamic marketing, experiential activations and social engagement, along with its significant network of global resources that includes Watches of Switzerland, Analog Shift, Mayors, Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths,” the company said in the release.

Photo courtesy of Watches of Switzerland.

As Watches of Switzerland looks to become stewards of the multi-generational Betteridge family business, Terry Betteridge will take on an advisory role in conjunction with the three acquired locations.

His insight as a fourth-generation jeweler will help ensure success, as the boutiques will continue to carry jewelry from leading brands including Chanel, Buccellati, Verdura, and Marco Bicego.

Terry Betteridge was quoted in the release saying, “In many ways this seems like a return to our roots for Betteridge, with my family coming to the US from England in 1892, bringing with them generations worth of metal working skills… I’m honored to be able to bring the experts of my house, the craftsmen and generational tradition of excellence, to join Watches of Switzerland. Being a valued part of their global network will allow for the greater world to experience what makes Betteridge so special.”

Director of the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Marcia O’Kane said, “There simply are not enough accolades to give to Terry and the Betteridge family as they have supported our town for decades.”

“The store has been a mainstay and an integral part of our town’s history,” she added. “There is no better iconic symbol than the clock on The Avenue which has always represented the true quality and class of the Betteridge name.”