Harrods, with its magnetic attraction to overseas visitors, treats summer as its peak season as visitors from the Middle East, Asia and America flood into London to take advantage of VAT-free shopping, especially for rare prestige watches that they struggle to find in their home countries.
Watches are not the only category in the world’s most famous department store that ramp up activity over the summer. Every part of the Knightsbridge institution puts on special events that are marketed across the globe.
The Harrods Season is becoming an institution in its own right, as a calendar of events stretching from June until August are rolled out. Watches are having their moment in the sun from June 13 to 16, Harrods head of watches, Beth Hannaway, reveals.
“It’s a real in-store celebration of all things haute horology, from inspiration and design to how watches play a role in Sports and Adventure, and which are the most collectable and sought after creations for watch lovers today,” she describes.
It won’t just be watches pulling in the crowds. Many watchmakers are hosting events with their celebrity brand ambassadors in the store as well. “A number of our brand partners will be collaborating with us to discuss and explore the art and technical innovations in watchmaking, the secrets of which Harrods clients will be invited to uncover with us. Ambassadors from AP, IWC, Breitling and Roger Dubuis, amongst many others too, will host conversations and explorations into the history and provenance of their craft, encompassed within four main themes – Sport, Adventure, Design and Style,” Ms Hannaway tells WatchPro in an interview that will be published in the June edition of the magazine.
“This celebration marks the first event of The Harrods Season – a calendar of in-store activities spanning across fashion, fine watches and high jewellery as well as food and interiors, running from June to August this summer. Our intention for this, and all other events throughout The Season, is to create a programme of activities for our clients, to really engage within their chosen communities of passion. For watches in particular, we will be bringing together a group of industry experts, thought leaders and watch collectors, to share their knowledge and encourage a conversation, which is something we believe will truly appeal to our international client base, to any local or international watch fans, as well as to our many visitors to the store each day. It is our ambition to create lasting memories for both our local and international customers, with the Fine Watches Celebration as a must-visit event for novices and horology experts alike,” Ms Hannaway promises.