Horology On The Hudson: Inside Watches of Switzerland’s New Hudson Yards Boutique
The largest private real estate development in the United States is chock full of luxury retail, restaurants, and one can't miss watch shop!
Hudson Yards is big - really big. Twenty-six acres, to be exact, a massive complex of ultra-modern apartments, office space, and luxury shopping. Sitting prominently front and center is Watches of Switzerland’s boutique, literally at the front door of the whopping retail complex. Hudson Yards had been a derelict area in New York for decades, but, we’re happy to report, not any longer. It’s a place to wine and dine, and most important of all, shop for watches.
Like its sister store on Soho’s Greene Street, Watches of Switzerland’s new space is filled with natural light and has lots of room to browse. Trying on watches is encouraged, so if you’ve dreamed of slipping a Vacheron Constantin Overseas or a Franck Muller Master Banker on your wrist (and maybe snapping a wristi), it can happen in real life. Add a full-service bar into the mix with custom cocktails, and it’s a place that you’ll never want to leave. It’s a hot spot, sure to draw a hip crowd. Watches of Switzerland has their finger on the pulse of New York’s watch community.
About Watches Of Switzerland’s Hudson Yards Location
On the eve of the opening, we had the chance to talk with David Hurley, Vice President of the Watches of Switzerland Group. In between overseeing the final touches at the boutique, Hurley gave some insight into the importance of the Hudson Yards location, “This store, although it’s not the first Watches of Switzerland store that we’ve opened up in the US, is incredibly important for me and our chief executive, and for our company as a whole, because this is the first lease that we signed in the US,” he continued, “Hudson Yards is huge for us because we certainly believe in the US market. But, believing it and getting the right opportunity and getting the support of our brand partners, that requires a lot of steps.”
Speaking of brands, Watches of Switzerland operates dedicated Patek Philippe and Rolex boutiques on either side of the sprawling store, each with a separate entrance. The boutique also carries Breitling, Bremont, Hublot, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Longines, Omega, TAG Heuer, Tudor, Grand Seiko, and Vacheron Constantin. The store will also operate rotating pop-ups for other hot luxe brands - Grand Seiko takes pride of place as the featured brand for the opening. And special pieces abound in the expansive 6,500 square foot space. Let’s take a look at some of our favorites.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon - As the World Turns
This monumental watch combines Jaeger-LeCoultre’s legendary movement making with artistry of the highest order on the dial. The watch’s orbital flying tourbillon moves subtly in a full 360 degree rotation every 24 hours, and the mapped dial moves right along with it. Both mesmerizing and enchanting, the watch has quickly become a treasured “grail” piece among collectors, and it’s easy to see why. To top it off, the watch is encased in platinum, adding to its rarity and preciousness. $148,000 USD
Bremont Supersonic - The Need for Speed
Bremont’s new Supersonic timepiece celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Concorde, one of the most technically refined airplanes of the 20th century, and the only commercial aircraft ever to break the sound barrier. The rose gold version at Watches of Switzerland is a limited edition of just 100 pieces worldwide.
Echoing the spirit of technical refinement in the Concorde, Bremont is offering this watch with a manual wind movement, the brand’s first. And the watch incorporates parts of an actual Concorde, with an aluminum decorative ring sourced from the last Concorde in operation. For aviation buffs as well as avid collectors, it’s a rare opportunity to own a part of history. $22,495
Hublot Classic Fusion Titanium - Back to the Future
Talk about a classic! This watch is inspired by the 1980’s design of the early Hublot timepieces, and it’s clearly a winner. It sports a rugged oversized look, with design details a collector will appreciate, including the six screws on the bezel bearing a subtle letter H. The watch is powered by the HUB 1112 automatic movement with a power reserve of 42 hours. It’s water resistant to 50 meters, enough to protect the movement in the rain and an accidental dunk in the numerous fountains around Hudson Yards. For someone who’s looking for a top-quality mechanical Swiss timepiece that’s sporty enough for the weekend and pairs well with a suit, this watch is well worth considering. $7,200 USD
“Evil Nina” Universal Geneve - Curated by Analog/Shift
Watches of Switzerland’s clients are interested in vintage timepieces as well as new. For collectors of vintage, it’s imperative to trust the source of the timepiece and its provenance, and Analog/Shift’s team of experts authenticate every timepiece they offer. Because these watches have limited availability in the marketplace, collectors know to snap up their favorites quickly before they’re sold.
Analog/Shift’s founder James Lamdin told us the story of the legendary “Evil Nina” watch. “Universal Genève is a Swiss brand rich in history and has become the darling of vintage watch collectors over the past several years. Known primarily for their exquisite mid-century chronograph designs, models such as this ‘Evil Nina’ chronograph offer tremendous style and quality with sporty designs (not to mention the exceptional Valjoux 72 movement) at an amazing value compared to their better-known contemporaries. The ’Nina’ name comes from actress and model Nina Rindt, wife of legendary F1 driver Jochen Rindt, who famously wore the inverse version - known as a ‘Panda’ dial - on a leather cuff strap in the 1960s and 1970s. This version, with its ‘Inverted Panda’ dial layout, has become known as the ‘Evil Nina’ in the collector community - and is every bit as impressive to behold - some would say more so!” $19,500 USD
TAG Heuer Aquaracer Henrik Lundqvist - Saving the Day
Some call him “King Henrik” because of his legendary prowess on the hockey rink. He’s certainly earned the nickname: Lundquist holds the record for the most wins for a European goaltender in the NHL. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer watch that bears his name stands up to the challenge of being one of the “best of the best.” It’s a limited edition, only 205 pieces are available for sale in Lundqvist’s home country of Sweden and here in the states. The watch has a slew of drool-worthy features - Lundqvist’s number 30 (in a crown design, no less!), and his signature on the caseback, which features individual numbers from 1 to 205. $1,950 USD
L’Epee Time Fast D8 - For Racing Fans
Is it a clock in the shape of a model race car, or a model race car that tells time? It’s both - L’Epee’s mechanical timepiece housed in a superbly detailed and finished model race car. The newest brainchild of the celebrated Swiss manufacture, Time Fast D8 features a digital time display mimicking a race car’s number on the side. The driver’s cockpit is glass dome, allowing for a full view of the clock’s escapement. For an extra bit of fun, the clock is set by turning the steering. Topping that, winding the clock is as easy as pulling it back like a true mechanical toy car. The D8 is available in blue, green, red, and white. Only 100 of each color will be produced. $30,000 USD
How to visit
Watches of Switzerland’s new Hudson Yards location officially opened Thursday, March 14th. You can find the new boutique located inside The Shops at Hudson Yards. The official address is 20 Hudson Yards, but we recommend you take the pedestrian walkway located at 33rd Street and 20th Avenue. The main entrance to the Hudson Yards shops is located just outside The Vessel, a gigantic 16 story pineapple shaped monument. Coincidentally, The Vessel is also climbable, so you can take that perfect wrist shot just after checking out from Watches of Switzerland.
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)