Watches of Switzerland
CAPELO & MNA have designed the Watches of Switzerland flagship store in SoHo, New York City. Established in 1924, The Watches of Switzerland Group is the largest luxury watch and jewellery retailer in the UK. The Greene Street store is the first showroom in New York City and the second in its new USA portfolio, and contains many brands, as well as a cocktail bar and a specialised library on the lower-ground level.
The brief given to CAPELO and MNA was to create a showroom synonymous with the luxury of premium watch brands, which would reflect the character of the SoHo District and the fabric of the historic 1800s building.
The 8,300 square feet retail space is spread over two floors, with a stylish palette including exposed brickwork and polished plaster walls, oak floors, tin tiled ceilings, blackened steel architectural details and stainless-steel fixtures. This combines to create an elegant and yet inviting backdrop for the products on display, whilst also fitting into the local character of SoHo.
Considering the finer details of the design of the store, 12-foot ceiling heights combine with the original cast iron columns, with decorative capitals, to create the elegant first-floor retail space. This makes way for three branded in-store boutiques for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier. Steel framed glazing partitions these individual spaces, whilst maintaining cohesiveness across the floor. In-shop units for the brands Omega, Breitling, IWC Schaffhausen, Hublot and Jaeger-LeCoultre are positioned around the perimeter, whilst other leading brands are centred within the multi-branded area surrounding the central staircase opening.
The staircase is highlighted by a digital, library and accessories feature wall, which draws the eye down the stairs to the lower-ground level. Here stands a cocktail bar, designed in partnership with Death & Co., one of New York City’s most influential cocktail lounges. This provides a focal point to the floor with an oak and marble counter and brass and leather detailing, combining to add sophistication to the high-end customer experience.
Offering cocktails crafted exclusively for Watches of Switzerland clients, the bar is intended as a respite for shoppers and a gathering space for watch enthusiasts and the local community. For the more literary minded, an intimate library/bookshop has been curated by Esquire Fashion Director and noted watch enthusiast, Nick Sullivan. It includes a range of books from biographies to anthologies. 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 in store.
Lastly, the store brings a welcome addition to the New York retail landscape by offering the consumer a shopping experience that includes an unparalleled collection of timepieces from longstanding Watches of Switzerland brand partners such as these:
Hublot, Ulysse Nardin,
Tudor Bremont and
(Along with a special offering of vintage timepieces)