Retailer Prestons of Bolton is set to open the first Rolex standalone boutique outside of London tomorrow, located on Commercial Street in Leeds, following £2 million investment in the project.
The new space, dubbed Rolex at Prestons, will operate over several storeys and includes a ground floor retail gallery and a watch repair mezzanine.
The store opening was announced earlier this year when Prestons of Bolton revealed it had won a franchise license from the famous luxury Swiss watch brand.
After a six month fit-out the space will be opened to the public tomorrow.
Karl Massey, director of Prestons of Bolton and new the Rolex at Prestons store, met with WatchPro‘s editor Rachael Taylor in Leeds today. He said that he wouldn’t have opened the space anywhere else.
“I’ve walked around Leeds for the past year, looking in shop windows, counting people, looking for empty shops and it’s always busy, there are no empty shops.
“Leeds is a thriving, dynamic city and there is no other city in the UK that I’d rather be in with Rolex at Prestons.”
HSBC have helped Prestons with the development of the store space and investment in stock and its interior design, which includes a glass staircase that weighs a tonne.
The Leeds boutique is also the first global Rolex retail space to have a Champagne bar. The second floor of the shop will be host to the bar, as well as an area with sofas, a television and the first ever in-house library in a Rolex store, allowing customers to relax while making a purchase or waiting for a repair.
The mezzanine level is set to be home to a watchmaker, who will be on hand to oversee watch repairs or adjustments for the boutique’s customers.
The store’s floor manager will be Andrew Duffy, who joined the company earlier this year.
A Goldsmiths store operates on the same street as the new Rolex boutique and to date has been the city’s exclusive retailer of the brand. At present it is closed for refurbishment for six weeks but will remain an official Rolex retailer.
Beaverbrooks and Watches of Switzerland also operate on Commercial Street.
For a more in-depth interview with Karl Massey look out for WatchPro’s July edition, due out in the first week of next month.