Watches of Switzerland has opened its first New York showroom today, an 8,000 square foot store in Manhattan’s SoHo neighbourhood.
Housed in a former ironworks building, the flagship has the feel of a fashionable loft apartment with its 25-foot ceilings, wooden floors, ornate columns and exposed brick spread across two floors.
The lower level has a cocktail bar created in partnership with Death & Co., one of New York City’s most influential cocktail lounges.
“Our Watches of Switzerland SoHo flagship is a special achievement for us on many levels,” states Brian Duffy, CEO of The Watches of Switzerland Group. “From our choice of location, to the design and architectural detailing in the store, to our exceptional products, partners and the talented team we’ve assembled — all come together to make this an experience unlike any other in the watch industry today. This is an important first step in what promises to be an exciting journey as we expand into the US market.”
The showroom is authorized to sell watches from Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Breitling, IWC, Jaeger LeCoultre, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, Tag Heuer, Tudor Bremont and Longines, many of which are producing special editions for the opening. It is also selling vintage timepieces in partnership with Analog/Shift and books from a library curated by Esquire magazine fashion director and watch enthusiast, Nick Sullivan.
The store looks very much like a place to hang out in the most stylish surroundings as much as go shopping for prestige watches, and will be used for pop-up events and presentations, the first of which is a four month residency for Grand Seiko.
The opening of the Watches of Switzerland SoHo flagship is part of a strategic US expansion plan that includes last year’s acquisition of Mayors Jewelers, as well as additional Watches of Switzerland flagship boutique openings at The Wynn in Las Vegas and a second Manhattan location in Hudson Yards set to open in March 2019.
Watches of Switzerland will also open a boutique in the new American Dream shopping complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands, the group has revealed today.
Executives from the world’s leading watch brands that are supplying Watches of Switzerland have lined up to support the expansion. Jean-Claude Biver, non executive chairman of TAG Heuer and LVMH’s watchmaking division, says: “We are excited to be a partner, with TAG Heuer and Hublot, for the opening of two new Watches of Switzerland flagship boutiques in New York and Las Vegas this week. The experience that Watches of Switzerland is creating and the amazing timepieces that they will be selling, along with their approach to staffing, training and new systems, will for sure attract even the most sophisticated and discerning customer. We are convinced that the extraordinary experience we have had for many years in the UK will raise the same interest and success in the USA.”
Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, adds: “We are thrilled to be a partner of Watches of Switzerland in their new SoHo flagship, in Las Vegas, and in their many other US initiatives. They are a true pioneer in the industry and their expertise and passion for watches, combined with their innovative approach to retail and exceptional customer service is raising the bar.”
Cartier North America president and CEO Mercedes Abramo says the store is “sure to become a true destination for the finest timepieces”, while Jean-François Sberro, president, Hublot North America, also welcomes extending a partnership that is already delivering results around the world. “We are excited to announce our partnership with Watches of Switzerland in their newest location in New York City. Considering our success at the Wynn in Las Vegas, and in the UK, joining forces with Watches of Switzerland for their new footprint in the SoHo neighborhood was an easy decision. We look forward to offering a downtown option for our customer in this premiere shopping destination in New York, which continuously proves to be a thriving market for our brand,” he says.