The Hottest Watches We Saw At Watches Of Switzerland's New Las Vegas Boutique
Watches of Switzerland recently opened a massive new boutique inside the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. Watchonista had the opportunity to visit and today we're sharing some of our favorite pieces on display.
Our partner retailer Watches of Switzerland has set their sights on the US market in a VERY big way. Last year's opening of their SoHo boutique attracted some of the best enthusiasts and collectors from throughout the tri-state area. Shortly after the doors were opened at Manhattan's 60 Greene St, we crossed the country to help Watches of Switzerland open a flashy new boutique inside the Wynn in Las Vegas.
Las Vegas is quickly becoming an emerging market for luxury. Non-gambling entertainment now accounts for almost a billion dollars in turnover. In order to appeal to a wider (and younger) audience, casinos and resorts have evolved the experience for visitors. Casinos have been transformed to "resorts" and nearly everyone in town offers a bevy of nightlife, culinary experiences, shopping, and yes – gambling. The Las Vegas of today is very different from that of just a decade ago.
You may be asking, what is Watches of Switzerland's role in all of this? In short, A LOT. The UK-based retailer has arrived in Vegas with style. In November of 2018, Watches of Switzerland opened their new boutique in the Wynn Esplanade. Located just steps away from the main casino floor, the Wynn Esplanade boasts an impressive array of luxury retailers and this new boutique is smack dab in the middle of some of the world's most important luxury brands. Cartier, Chanel, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, and many more make for the perfect neighbors.
Watches of Switzerland Las Vegas
Watches of Switzerland's new boutique occupies a space just next door to the Rolex boutique. This is important to note since Watches of Switzerland doesn't manage just one boutique inside the Wynn, they operate four! Joining their flagship boutique is Rolex (formerly run by Wynn & Co) and standalone boutiques for Breitling and Omega (located inside the Wynn Plaza shops, formerly the Ferrari dealership). This special foursome of shops offers visitors and collectors nearly every major watch brand available.
Let's not forget that Las Vegas isn't just any watch market. What works in SoHo or London may not necessarily translate to this market. Providing an upscale luxury experience is something that Watches of Switzerland has in spades (pardon the pun). But appealing to Vegas' unique clientele is something entirely different. Luckily for Watches of Switzerland, they've inherited great staff from the former Wynn & Co boutique and blended it with Watches of Switzerland's unique approach to retail.
With the help of key brand partners, Watches of Switzerland brought some seriously impressive timepieces to Las Vegas. From the minute you arrive, you'll quickly realize this is no ordinary retail experience. The sheer number of six-figure watches on display is astounding. We're talking Jacob & Co's Astronomia – custom made for Las Vegas, Bovet's Grand Recital, and a Patek Philippe 5724G which we were honestly shocked to see in the display case.
All that chime
Las Vegas is all about sensory experiences. From the neon lights of the strip to the overwhelming whirl of slot machines, Vegas is an over the top experience. Watches of Switzerland took this concept and brought some truly over the top minute repeaters to their Vegas boutique.
The first piece that caught my eye (and ears) was the Breguet Classique Grande Complication Minute Repeater. This incredible diamond-set (and that's putting it lightly) piece is set with 571 diamonds with an insane total carat count of 18.37ct. Let's break it down – first, the dial alone is set with 392 reversed diamonds set in a 'Clou de Paris' style. If that weren't enough, the bezel, case, lugs, and repeater slide are set with 178 baguette-cut diamonds. The proverbial cherry on top is the crown, set with a single briolette-cut diamond weighing 0.46ct.
The title of this article really should've been "Grand Comps Galore" since nearly every brand brought at least one example of their finest watchmaking. Case in point, IWC's Portugieser Grande Complication. An extraordinary minute repeating perpetual calendar encased in solid platinum. Sized at 45mm and just waiting on the next big winner to walk through the door. Priced at $235,000 USD this is certainly the tip top of IWC's collection, and Watches of Switzerland Las Vegas is home to one of the only pieces to hit the US market.
Vegas only pieces
The occasion of Watches of Switzerland's Las Vegas opening also allowed brands to bring one-of-one and market exclusive timepieces. The pieces on display ran the gamut from Vacheron Constantin's Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar to Jacob & Co's Astronomia Gambler. The best thing about Watches of Switzerland Las Vegas? The fact that you can actually get quality hands-on time with the pieces on display. All of the sales associates were more than happy to show even their rarest and most expensive novelties.
One of only two in the US, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ultra-Thin Perpetual Calendar in rose gold was a star of the store. Measuring only 4.1mm, this piece gave a subdued wrist presence but by no means was an understated watch. Perhaps seeing it next to the likes of Jacob & Co and Bovet can be daunting, but Vacheron Constantin held its own and had plenty of interest. In passing, we saw a gentleman wearing a Patek Philippe Sky Moon Tourbillon taking the Overseas Ultra-Thin for a spin.
The watch that spoke the most to my credit card would have to be the Patek Philippe 5724G. This white gold diamond encrusted version of the 5712 is priced at $192,557, but considering the high dollar values commanded by Patek's stainless steel collections, it's certainly worthy of a second look. Set with 44 baguette diamonds in the crown weighing at 7.4cts, it's the perfect "Vegas watch."
The other highlights would have to be the tourbillons. Blancpain brought their $300,000 Tourbillon Carousel, which is fitted with two independent flying tourbillons. Franck Muller had a full collection of Yachting Gravity Skeletons on display, including a diamond set tourbillon (noticing a theme?). Meanwhile, Girard-Perregaux, ever the innovator, had on display their full range of complicated masterpieces – including the Constant Escapement L.M. and the Three Gold Bridges Tourbillon.
Outside of Watches of Switzerland's dedicated boutique in the Wynn Esplanade and their independent Rolex salon, Watches of Switzerland operates standalone boutiques for Omega and Breitling. Located in the Wynn Plaza shops, these two shops offer unique experiences tailored to each of the brand's clientele.
Breitling's boutique was one of their first standalone boutiques fitted with the brand's "man cave" aesthetic. Rich wood tones, aged leather accents, and a lounge feel made for a special visit. The laid-back attitude of store staff stood in stark contrast to the Breitling of old. Georges Kern's vision for Breitling was alive and well in Las Vegas. Some of the highlights on display were the Navitimer 8 and Premier collections.
Located next door to Breitling was Omega's boutique. This brightly lit destination for all things Omega offers visitors the unique opportunity to see nearly all of the brand's novelties. From moon watches to the Tresor collection, there was something for everyone on display at Omega. What I was most surprised about was a CK 2998 Speedmaster with Pulsations bezel. A watch seldom seen in store cases, but another prime example of the access Watches of Switzerland provides collectors.
Experience Watches of Switzerland Las Vegas
The watches captured in this article are just a small representation of the vast inventory on offer at Watches of Switzerland Las Vegas. Whether you're a Vegas native, visiting on business or pleasure, or just passing through, you should definitely give Watches of Switzerland's Las Vegas boutique a second look. Located inside the Wynn Casino (3131 S Las Vegas Blvd Suite 7, Las Vegas, NV) you can experience four unique watch shops. And due to the late night nature of Las Vegas, all of Watches of Switzerland's boutiques are open most nights until midnight. The perfect destination when you strike it big at the tables!
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)