Luxury retailer Watches of Switzerland has unveiled a new flagship in New York City, located at 60 Greene Street, in the heart of the fashionable SoHo district. The Greene Street store is the first Watches of Switzerland showroom in New York City, and the second in its new USA portfolio, and has been designed by London-based design consultancy, CAPELO in collaboration with New York-based MNA.
The brief for the design team was to create a showroom synonymous with the luxury of premium watch brands, which would also reflect the character of the SoHo District and the fabric of the historic 1880s cast-iron building.
With a nine metre-wide street frontage, and more than 771 sq m of retail space over two floors, the boutique features a stylish palette of materials including exposed brickwork and polished plaster walls, oak floors, decorative tin tile ceilings, blackened steel architectural details and stainless steel fixtures. This creates an elegant yet inviting backdrop for the products on display, while remaining sympathetic to the local character of SoHo.
The store is home to an unparalleled collection of timepieces from long-standing Watches of Switzerland brand partners – Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, Tag Heuer, Tudor Bremont and Longines – along with a special offering of vintage timepieces, an inhouse cocktail bar, a curated library of collectible watch books and an evolving collection of photographic artwork.
'Our Watches of Switzerland SoHo flagship is a special achievement for us on many levels,' says Brian Duffy, CEO of The Watches of Switzerland Group. 'From our choice of location, to the design and architectural detailing in the store, to our exceptional products, partners and the talented team we’ve assembled – all come together to make this an experience unlike any other in the watch industry today. This is an important first step in what promises to be an exciting journey as we expand into the US market.'
Generous ceiling heights of more than six metres combine with original cast-iron columns, featuring decorative capitals, to create a spacious, elegant first-floor retail space, home to three branded in-store boutiques for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier. Blackened steel-frame glazed partitioning delineates the individual spaces, while maintaining visibility and cohesiveness across the floor. Shop-in-shop units for Omega, Breitling, IWC Schaffhausen, Hublot and Jaeger-LeCoultre are positioned around the perimeter, while other leading watch brands are located within the multi-branded area surrounding the central staircase opening.
Highlighted by a feature digital library and accessories wall, the elegant blackened steel and oak staircase encourages the customer to venture down the stairs to the lower-ground level.
Contrasting with the first-floor retail space a cocktail bar, designed in partnership with Death & Co – one of New York City’s cocktail lounges – provides the focal point to the lower-ground floor, its oak and marble counter, with brass and woven leather details, adding sophistication and complementing the high-end customer experience. Lee Broom pendant lamps and a decorative tin tile ceiling adds to the period feel.
A social gathering space, the WOS bar will offer artisanal cocktails crafted exclusively for Watches of Switzerland clients by Death & Co. bartenders. For the more literary-minded shopper, an intimate library/bookshop, curated by Esquire Fashion Director and noted watch enthusiast, Nick Sullivan, includes a range of books from biographies to anthologies to luxe coffee table favourites.
Recognising SoHo’s historic connection to art, Watches of Switzerland has also forged a partnership with non-profit arts foundation, Aperture, to curate a rotating exhibition of contemporary photography.
A dedicated service and repairs consultation area provides direct access to Watches of Switzerland’s team of expert watchmakers. This is complemented by the adjacent watch strap and accessories counter.
'With all needs catered for, the customer’s visit will benefit from carefully considered, luxury store design and the exceptional level of customer experience for which Watches of Switzerland is renowned,' says Lynda Murray director of CAPELO.