A three floor Rolex flagship, first expected to open last year on London’s Old Bond Street, has been delayed for a second time and the ribbon-cutting is not now expected until 2025.
Watches of Switzerland Group will own and operate the three-storey Rolex showroom, which is taking over a historic corner property previously used by Gucci.
The fashion house has moved to a larger building on New Bond Street to the north.
Gucci’s move took longer than hoped, which delayed the start of work for Watches of Switzerland on the Rolex store, but building has now begun behind golden construction hoardings designed to look like the pie dish edge of a classic DayDate.
In a conference call that made global headlines because of a downgrade to Watches of Switzerland’s 2024 financial projections, the group’s chief executive, Brian Duffy, said that issues relating to the basement of the Old Street building would push the project’s completion date back to next year.
When WatchPro was first told about the Rolex megastore, it was being planned with 7,200 sq ft of retail space over three floors.
Back in 2022, Mr Duffy said he was delighted to be opening such a significant Rolex Boutique in partnership with Rolex, in the city that was the birth place of the Rolex brand.
Bond Street has been cleared of every Rolex point of sale in anticipation of the flagship opening except WoSG‘s 900 sq ft boutique, leaving the world’s biggest luxury watch brand under-represented on the UK’s most prestigious shopping thoroughfare.
Wempe closed in 2022 after losing both Rolex and Patek Philippe as anchor brands. Mappin & Webb, on the corner of Old Bond Street and Piccadilly, which also previously stocked Rolex, is being converted into a Tudor monobrand.