Rolex is taking its sweet time with its new London flagship.
The epic three-story boutique was originally slated to open last year but the ribbon cutting has been pushed back twice for various reasons. The opening is now not likely to occur until 2025, as reported by Watchpro.
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The Watches of Switzerland Group first announced plans to relocate the existing 900-square-foot Rolex boutique on Bond Street to a new 7,200-square-foot location on Old Bond Street in 2022. Located in the West End of London, Old Bond Street has housed many upscale fashion retailers since the 18th century and remains a popular shopping destination for the upper crust.
The new showroom will be located in a historic corner property that was previously the home of Gucci. The Italian fashion house took longer than expected to relocate to a larger site on New Bond Street, which caused the first delay to the Crown’s construction work. Building has now begun, but isn’t going as smoothly as anticipated.
Watches of Switzerland’s chief executive Brian Duffy recently shared in a conference call that issues relating to the basement of the Old Bond Street building would push the project’s completion date to next year. Until then, the world’s biggest luxury watchmaker has pretty much no presence on the U.K.’s most prestigious shopping thoroughfare.
Fortunately, it sounds like the flagship will be worth the wait. Designed by Rolex and Watches of Switzerland, the sprawling showroom will focus on client hospitality and the crown’s storied history. It will also be situated a stone’s throw from other horological heavyweights, including Jaeger LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Söhne.
The Watches of Switzerland Group has a century-long history with Rolex. The group opened the Rolex boutique in the mid-1980s and has represented the Crown on Bond Street ever since. It has also partnered with Rolex on seven other branded boutiques in prestigious locations across the U.K. and U.S. (The outpost in the Wynn Resort, Las Vegas, recently underwent a significant refurbishment.)
“We have been looking for some time at opportunities for a larger space to present the Rolex brand in the way it deserves,” Duffy said in a statement back in 2022. “We are delighted to be opening this significant Rolex boutique in partnership with Rolex, in the city which was the birthplace of the Rolex brand.”
Fingers crossed there are no more delays.
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