Harrods says that the redevelopment and expansion of its Fine Watch Room will begin later this month and be completed by Spring 2018.
The watch room will remain open throughout the project, with disruption for retailers and customers kept to a minimum.
Architect Rundell Associates has designed an entirely new environment that aims to keep Harrods at the forefront of global haute horology retail from its famous location in London’s Knightsbridge.
The new Fine Watch Room will expand across two floors, featuring a central sweeping, marble-lined staircase beneath a vaulted ceiling, with leather lined walls created by leather-expert Bill Amberg, a custom designed terrazzo floor and an entirely bespoke lighting concept.
The new room on the lower ground floor will include ten large boutiques, an elevated multi-brand area allowing each brand greater visibility, enhanced customer experiences and larger collections across each of the brands, Harrods promises.
“The redevelopment of the Fine Watch Room showcases our commitment and dedication to offering the best in class to our customers. There will be nowhere else like it in the world and we pride ourselves on retaining our position as the ultimate luxury shopping destination,” says Helen David, chief merchant at Harrods.
“The new space will pay tribute to our exceptional watch portfolio and will provide the perfect environment to showcase some of the world’s most sought after timepieces. The Fine Watch Room will be one of the first areas in-store to be redeveloped as part of Harrods’ masterplan and we’re very excited to unveil the new department once complete in 2019,” she adds.
There will be new boutique concepts, featuring a number of exclusive elements to Harrods from Rolex and Richard Mille, to Audemars Piguet and Hublot, as well as three dedicated VIP suites located across both floors.
There will still be just 10 full boutiques when the space re-opens, but each will be given more space, a Harrods spokesperson told WatchPro.
Harrods will also create a dedicated Fine Watch and Fine Jewellery entrance to the store, located at Door 1 on Hans Road.
Although there will be no new boutiques, it is expected that a number of prestigious names that currently compete from multi-brand counters in the centre of the current Fine Watch Room will be competing to grab additional space.
There will be an enhanced focus on service and after-care within the department, as well as introducing horological expertise with the addition of three dedicated on-site watchmakers, a first for Harrods.
Exhausted fine watch customers will also be able to refuel at a new outpost of the Italian restaurant Chucs, which has two other restaurants in the West End of London.