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PARIS — With high-end watches enjoying strong business, more luxury watch brands are opening shops in the City of Light.
Executives said Paris attracts just the right mix of clientele, from rich Russian oligarchs to high-flying oil moguls from the Middle East.
Emblematic of its faith in the luxury segment, Swatch Group opened a sprawling flagship for its most prestigious brand, Breguet, on the Place Vendôme this summer. At 5,000 square feet, it is the largest to date for the brand and offers watches costing as much as 500,000 euros, more than $700,000 at current exchange.
With a clean, modern decor, the store displays some 150 different Breguet styles.
The store spotlights the brand’s provenance in a museum on the second floor.
Across the Seine, on the Left Bank, one of Rolex’s distributors, Jean Lassaussois, has opened the first shop in Paris exclusively dedicated to the prestigious Swiss brand.
Though Rolex doesn’t operate its own retail locations, the shop’s decor was supervised by the company. With green marble floors and walls covered in leather, the shop is a chic frame for the ultimate power watch.
Back on the Right Bank, the Rue Saint-Honoré is shaping up as a watch-lover’s paradise. In February, Hublot opened there and this month, Audemars Piguet is launching its first shop on the street. Although the brand refused to provide details, preferring to create a surprise when the store opens, it did let slip that a special watch line had been designed to celebrate the kickoff.
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.