To suggest finding a luxury timepiece in London is difficult presumes you have never spotted a London Taxi.
For many the very name of the city emanates luxury, having practically become a brand in itself. London’s status as one of the worlds greatest watch centres is not always at the top of peoples shopping lists. However, with the possible exception of many other watch centres in Europe, if not the world, it is chrono-centrically positioned to honour the most avid of horophiles.
This is a place to acquire some of the best bling in the Western Hemisphere, whether you go to a watchmaker in a lesser known mews or visit the Harrods watch-hall to see the buffet of timepieces on offer. From a business perspective, many luxury groups have sought to expand their ownership, for instance, the Richemont group, which owns Cartier and Dunhill also owns marques such as Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Panerei and so on, the list is wide in scope and expanding.
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Then LMVH, which is now also involved, taking the helm of Tag Heuer. Considering another niche with Swatch, who expanded their portfololio with Longines and omega to name two of their acquisitions.
There’s a constant focus on the fashion savvy
The array of timepieces to be found is apparently limitless. With many of the top brands being founded centuries before, the advent of new up and coming players in the market promotes the combination of both change, but also reinvention. The beauty of this marriage promotes innovation whilst maintaining the skills and quality of foregone days.
Presenting a new image of who they and their clients are is a fine balancing act, the key is not to lose any of the key elements; any customers, the traditional aesthetic, nor the unique signature of the brand itself.
The Watch Business has realised that adding a certain a personal touch to the prestige benefits their Businesses. Many companies run their watch enterprises as entirely separate Businesses, allowing them to build intimate knowledge of their customers, together with the sense of tradition, characterising the old style approach you would find in many country home or top hotel. The luxury retail environments you can find create a symphony of design, complementing the products on offer. After all, for clients willing to pay up to £300,000 on a timepiece, the environment has to be right, with many businesses offering the client a cigar or a glass of claret, as they make their decisions.
Happy hunting for entry-level shoppers, or those seeking a classic timepiece.
No longer acquired just via inheritance, people are branching out.
As people change their habits, the possession of a timepiece holds value not just through the keepsake of inheritance, but also increasingly as as investments. Many Businesses within the ranks of London’s top end Jewellers are realising the expanding needs of customers, especially for collectors. Moving away from classical design towards the sports and arts markets is one way they are meeting the changing habits of the affluent metropolitan city dwellers, as their collections resemble wardrobes, with regular customers owning three or more pieces.