In terms of watches it has been perhaps the busiest 12 months in the hallowed history of the world’s most famous department store. Harrods expanded and completely refurbished its Fine Watch Room to include thirteen own-brand boutiques and represent a total of 35 watch brands, offering one of the largest watch collections in Europe.
The entirely new room doubled the size of the existing offering, creating a total of 18,000 square feet of luxury retail space and since opening in November last year it has played host to pop-up exhibitions for the likes of DeLaneau, Ulysse Nardin and Jacob & Co.
Not content with offering an unrivalled selection of new luxury watches in London, Harrods also moved into the booming market for vintage watches in April this year by curating and launching its own retail collection.
Rare and limited-edition Rolex and Omega pieces dating back as far as 1939 were brought together by Harrods’ watch buying team, where Roanne Orlebar serves as fine watch buyer. The collection was put on sale in the Fine Watch Room with prices starting below £1,000.
Jason Broderick, promoted to fashion director of menswear, sportswear and fine watches in November, commented: “The launch of the vintage watch collection is an important step within the evolution of Harrods fine watch offer. There are few places in the world that can compete with the breadth and depth of brands offered within our fine watch room.
“The vintage watch collection further strengthens our commitment to offer an unparalleled selection of horology to our customers. Vintage watches are an increasingly popular and important category of the fine watch market and we expect this collection to perform well with our clients who value the rarity and individuality of unique pieces like these.”
The most recent move from Harrods, that only served to strengthen the inclusion of Jason and Roanne in this year’s Hot 100, came just a few short weeks ago when Harrods opened its first Fine Watch Room outside of the Knightsbridge department store.
The departure lounge of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 now plays host to a 1,700 square foot travel retail space that reflects the glamour and grandure of the inspirational, original Fine Watch Room. A collection of 30 watch brands, offering a wide cross section of styles and price points, was carefully curated by the Harrods watch team.
Harrods may be a national institution with international appeal and a grand history of its own, but that hasn’t stopped the store from presenting one of the most dynamic and fast-moving retail operations in London.