The Swiss have certainly been making their presence felt in London of late. Within the last 36 months, Bond Street and Mount Street have experienced a veritable Helvetian takeover, with (deep breath) Bell & Ross, Blancpain, Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Parmigiani, Richard Mille and Vacheron Constantin opening mono-brand boutiques in the capital. All in tasteful shades of eggshell white, Carrara marble or mahogany burr, and most of them heralded by a boutique-only limited edition watch.
But one of the UK’s most forward-thinking multi-brand retailers has gone one better, working with a particularly high-profile member of its portfolio on its own boutique-only edition. The Watch Gallery – custodian of Rolex One Hyde Park and Selfridges’ Wonder Room, as well as its own boutiques in Chelsea and Westfield – has teamed up with Hublot on an extremely limited run of chronographs, each of the 25 pieces notable for its contrast stitching and dial details in The Watch Gallery’s distinctive royal blue.
It’s the first time Hublot’s Aerofusion has combined scratchproof ceramic (in its bezel) and ultralight titanium (the case) and despite only launching on 1 April, it already has devoted collectors champing at the bit. Needless to say, numbers 1 and 25 already taken.
“Our client for 25 ordered it unseen,” reveals a Watch Gallery spokesperson. “He isn’t even going to remove it from the plastic coating – it’ll go straight into his safety deposit box.”
For a UK retailer that was relatively unknown until a few years ago (parent group DM London is now considered a real homegrown success story, not least for being one of the first to trustworthily sell luxury watches online) it’s yet another feather in an already well-plumed cap, having previously worked with Bell & Ross and Zenith on special editions. And buying director Adrian Marroneau is rightly proud:
“I’m so delighted to have partnered with Hublot once again,” he says. “We share with Hublot the belief that exceeding customers expectations should be at the heart of every project and we hope to have delivered yet another iconic Watch Gallery model.”
You’ll have to move fast if you want to put Marroneau’s hopes to the test – this gorgeous slice of London-meets-Switzerland won’t be hanging around long.