One of the biggest stories of 2018 is hiding in plain site in London’s Knightsbridge as the layout of Harrods’ refurbished Fine Watch Room becomes clear.
The ground floor, which will have its own entrance to the street, is dominated by a massive Rolex boutique that will open in April or May.
It will make Brompton Road in London’s ultra-wealthy enclave a Mecca for Rolex fans, with Bucherer running the UK’s biggest Rolex monobrand boutique 200 yards up the street from Harrods.
The Rolex space in Harrods, currently behind construction hoardings, stretches almost the full length of the ground floor, taking up at least the space of three of the old style boutiques that closed in 2017.
Richard Mille, Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet and Jaeger-LeCoultre are the only other brands on the ground floor.
Swatch Group brands Omega and Breguet, which previously had boutiques on the ground floor, are no longer represented in the Fine Watch Room. Harry Winston is presenting watches in its Fine Jewellery boutique.
A sweeping marble staircase is now open to the lower ground floor, where Hublot, A. Lange & Söhne, Roger Dubuis, IWC and Panerai have boutiques.
There is also currently a Breitling boutique, but Watchpro was told this may not be permanent.
The lower ground floor also has a multi-brand area housing cabinets for Tudor, Tag Heuer, Zenith, Montblanc, Baume & Mercier, Ulysses Nardin, H. Moser & Cie and Buben & Zorweg. There is also a small counter for Harrods Vintage pre-owned watches and clocks.
Harrods has also created a suite of rooms for private meetings with brands and its own watchmaking experts.
The Fine Watch Room is expected to be fully open by the summer, and will include space for pop-up events and exhibitions.