LONDON — Watches of Switzerland is expanding its Knightsbridge location, the brand announced at a press event on Friday. The luxury retailer has moved from its 2,000-square-foot space on 61 Brompton Road down the road to 47-51. The store, which opens on June 27, will be the largest boutique for the retailer, which also has stores on Regent and Oxford Circus streets.
Designed by CallisonRTKL, the 8,000-square-foot store spans three floors and will carry the U.K.’s largest Patek Philippe and Rolex in-store boutiques. The location will also showcase timepieces from Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Panerai, Chopard, Breitling, Zenith, TAG Heuer and Longines.
New names that will join the roster of brands include Clerc and L. Kendall. Clerc is a family-owned brand specializing in men’s diver’s watches while L. Kendall designed the K1 watch used by Captain Cook during his 18th century voyages. The space will also house a special VIP area on the second floor.
In terms of retail initiatives, according to Aurum Group’s chief executive officer Brian Duffy, the retailer has been following its formula of housing shop-in-shops then expanding its space as they did with their shops in Oxford and Regent streets.
“Our decision to expand was following this formula,” Duffy told WWD. “We think this is how you present a brand. It’s not the way it used to be; a lot of brands cater to a lot of products, which is where the industry came from. So we are really and present in shop-in-shops. We’ve been following that so that’s why the relocation of a small store to Bond Street. It’s nearly 20,000 feet. Oxford Street was the same — we relocated. So we’ve been following that formula.”
This opening is a part of the company’s “Golden Triangle” strategy, which includes the retailer’s Regent Street and Oxford Street locations. The brand’s future initiatives include focusing on multichannel and VIP customer services.
Launched in 1924, Watches of Switzerland began as a mail-order business operating under the name G & M Lane. The company is a part of the Aurum Group, which includes Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb and boutique. Its 15 stores and showrooms in the U.K. generate approximately 500 million pounds or about $761 million, at current exchange annually, with Rolex among its bestsellers.