In the 150 year history of Dublin’s Weir & Sons it has survived through the Easter Uprising, the Irish War of Independence and two World Wars, but it has been forced to close its doors today because of growing concerns over the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus.
It will, however, be trading online from Weir.ie where its spectacular portfolio of watches ranging from high volume affordable brands up to grand complications.
On a visit to Dublin last week, WatchPro sat down with Weir’s legendary owner David Andrews and his son Chris, and found a family ready to face any challenge, not least because of their extraordinary investment in stock from around 70 brands including Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega and Cartier.
The interview will be out in April.
Retailers are making their own decisions on whether to remain open during extremely challenging circumstances, and all owners are putting the safety of their staff and customers ahead of commercial considerations.
Customers should be reassured that every measure is being taken to minimise the risk of catching the virus when they visit luxury stores that are, by the nature, exclusive, pristine and where contact has always been carefully controlled.
At Prestons, one of the country’s foremost independent retailers of Rolex, Patek Philippe and Tudor, the company is remaining open, while saying it will not hesitate to close if required.
It has boutiques in Wilmslow, Cheshire, two in Leeds including its new Rolex boutique, and Guildford, Surrey.
David Christopher Jewellers is also open, and says it is following all guidelines issued by the government to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
All of its stores are employing rigorous cleaning routines, and the business is continuing to monitor the situation daily to see if additional steps are required.
David Christopher stocks more than a dozen watch brands including Olivia Burton, Michel Herbelin, Citizen and Elliot Brown from 11 stores in the West of England.
Its website offers free delivery on all UK orders.
The Channel Island of Jersey has had only six confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the current social distancing advice is almost identical to the UK’s.
Jersey’s only Rolex and Patek Philippe authorised dealer, Hettich, remains open while following that advice.
It has also gone further by increasing the frequency of cleaning throughout its store and building. It is no longer accepting cash and is not serving refreshments to customers.
The number of customers allowed in store is being limited to give customers and staff sufficient space.
Dipples Jewellers, which offers over 45 watch and jewellery brands online and at its stores in Dareham and Norwich, is still open for business as usual, it says.
It says it has more hand sanitiser than normal available for staff and customers.
A notice from the business says it is reaching out personally to customers that have watches in for service or repair so that people do not have to come into stores to collect them if they would prefer not to.
It is keeping its policy under constant review, and accepts that there is a possibility it may have to close its doors.
Finally, for today, we have news from Christopher George, which is notifying customers that its store in Cardiff remains open, but it is making provisions for people that would prefer not to come into the city centre at this time.
The jeweller, which has a line in pre-owned watches as well as stocking pieces from Bering and Seiko, has a lively repair business, and says it will arrange delivery for any items that are in its workshops.
WatchPro urges customers to keep speaking and shopping online with all its local jewellers. What better way to get through weeks in self-isolation than cheering yourself up with a gift to yourself that could last a lifetime!