London still trails Paris for the number of luxury watch brands that have monobrand stores in their city centres.
Research from international real estate advisor Savills says that 44% of brands that currently operate standalone boutiques in other parts of the world, do not do so in London.
By contrast, the firm says 73% of such brands already have a boutique in Paris.
The total number of new luxury watch store openings fell globally in 2017, with 37 compared to 44 in 2016.
The year also saw openings veer away from the traditional Asia Pacific markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore to focus more on core destination markets in North America and Europe.
TAG Heuer and Panerai both opened boutiques in London last year.
Anthony Selwyn, head of London & international retail at Savills, comments: “Changes in the luxury market mean there may not be the same level of watch brand store openings going forward, but rather a focus on key destination markets. In particular, those where gaps remain could provide opportunities for expansion even in the more developed markets such as London and New York. “
Savills reports that the greatest increases in total luxury watch store openings in 2017 were North America with 19 new stores and Europe with 15 new stores.
Marie Hickey, retail research director at Savills, adds: “Geographically, luxury watch store openings appear to be undergoing a shift. In North America watch brands have begun to focus on more emerging markets, with five openings in Toronto and three in Vancouver last year. In fact, Toronto was the top city globally for luxury watch store openings in 2017.”