Knightsbridge is fast developing into the second most important watch destination in London after Bond Street.
Harrods’ Fine Watch room is a Mecca for visiting millionaires, Bucherer runs the biggest Rolex boutique in Europe on Brompton Road, Grand Seiko has just taken over naming rights for the previously Seiko-branded store, Audemars Piguet popped up on Sloane Street last year where Boodles already runs a Patek Philippe boutique.
With that sort of competition, the Watches of Switzerland showroom, also on Brompton Road, was in danger of dropping back into the peloton.
Which might explain why it has just announced a multi-million pound project to expand its Knightsbridge showroom.
The store will remain open throughout the refurbishment, which will see the three-storey store upgraded, modernised and expanded. Work is expected to be completed by May.
Rolex will be given a larger ground floor showroom and private viewing room, made possible by the retailer taking over the unit next door.
Patek Philippe will keep its window and ground floor space, as shown in the original plan from 2016 (found int the WatchPro archive and pictured above).
The first floor will be the main multibrand area with IWC, Omega and Panerai; Ulysse Nardin will have its own shop-in-shop; Cartier and Jaeger-LeCoultre will be expanding their space. Blancpain, Bremont and Zenith shop-in-shops will be refurbished.
Glashütte Original, Bovet and Breguet will be sold at the store for the first time and Watches of Switzerland will introduce its Designer in Residence concept, which provides opportunities for smaller independent watchmakers to spend time in the store, often with events at which the principals can meet and present their watches directly to customers.
There will be an event space, lounge and bar on the second floor.
“We are extremely proud of the partnerships we continue to enjoy with some of the most desirable watch brands and believe this expansion will give us the opportunity to elevate the presentation of those brands to our loyal and discerning clientele,” says Brian Duffy, chief executive of The Watches of Switzerland Group.
“The introduction of three beautiful brands to the showroom demonstrates how passionate we are about bringing the very best of luxury watchmaking to our customers, whilst the creation of the new entertaining spaces will enable us to further elevate the customer experience. This expansion will confirm Watches of Switzerland, Knightsbridge as the ultimate watch destination in this celebrated area of the capital,” he adds.