Officine Panerai has given its first official glimpse inside its London Bond Street boutique that opened in December.
The store, located at 30 New Bond Street, is the brand’s first standalone store in the UK, and the second largest in Europe after Panerai’s flagship in Florence.
The boutique was created by architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. The 150 square metre space is spread over two floors, with VIP areas for quiet consultations and even access to a watchmaker who will be permanently located in the store.
WatchPro was given a quick tour of the store this week by assistant boutique manager Alberto Pellizzato and discovered a minimalist space with walls and cabinetry created mainly in bronze-coloured metals. The floor and stairs are made from Florentine marble, and the furniture also has a contemporary Italian feel.
A key feature of the store is a circular cabinet in the centre of the shop where several Panerai models are displayed beneath a rotating viewing glass with a magnifying panel similar that lets you examine the watches in close up.
The overall feeling — intentional or otherwise — is of being on an uber-luxury submarine; possibly not a coincidence given Panerai’s historic association with the Italian navy.
“I am very pleased to announce the opening of our first UK boutique in London. We have been waiting for this moment for a long time and it is a way for us to show our confidence in the future of a market which is really important to us” said Angelo Bonati, Officine Panerai CEO.
To celebrate the opening, Officine Panerai teamed up with Sotheby’s to auction off a unique bronze watch, the Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Bronzo — 47mm, which generated £75,000 for OnBoard, a charity programme by the Royal Yachting Association that encourages young people to take up sailing.