Watches Of Switzerland Opens Its Newest Boutique At Encore Boston Harbor
Our partner retailer is expanding in a big way. Go inside Watches of Switzerland's latest boutique.
Last weekend, the city of Boston inaugurated a glitzy $2.6 billion, 20-acre casino resort. The new Encore Boston Harbor is part of the Wynn Resorts family and if the well-attended opening ceremony was any indication, this is going to be a huge destination for the East Coast. Nestled just outside the 210,000 square foot casino is Watches of Switzerland's newest boutique. The retailer now has both of Wynn's casino resorts covered since their Las Vegas boutique officially opened last year.
What you need to know
Watches of Switzerland's Encore Boston Harbor boutique is one of the first things you'll see when entering the Encore Boston Harbor. Located just off the main lobby and steps away from the entrance to the casino. The location follows design aesthetics of Watches of Switzerland's Hudson Yards location. Coincidentally, also designed by New York-based architecture firm MNA. The minimalist interior of the new boutique serves as a welcoming oasis for collectors and casual visitors.
Like other Watches of Switzerland locations, the customer experience takes center stage. Knowledgable sales associates take the time to allow you to experience everything from a $6,350 Omega Speedmaster to a $340,000 Jacob & Co. Nothing is off limits! Experience is the name of the game, and Watches of Switzerland Encore Boston Harbor is a welcome respite for watch lovers.
Inside the well-appointed boutique, visitors can discover standalone boutiques for Omega and IWC, while next door sits a separate entrance which houses Panerai and Hublot. Interestingly, Watches of Switzerland chose to partner with independent brands Laurent Ferrier, Franck Muller, Ressence, Bovet, and Jacob & Co. Some of these brands are making their first appearance at a Watches of Switzerland store.
When I spoke with Watches of Switzerland's EVP David Hurley, he explained the expansion to Encore's Boston property was actually quite natural, “We already had a great relationship with the Wynn organization in Las Vegas. They must’ve been happy with us because they offered us this opportunity here, just a fantastic location. We had 20,000/30,000 people come through yesterday. We're really excited about the project.”
The new boutique promises to attract New England residents and the larger Asian community which is centered around the surrounding Ivy League colleges. The Encore Boston Harbor promises to be a uniting destination for the greater Boston area. The property designed their common areas, including a large harborwalk area, before they designed the casino. Encore Boston Harbor's design is meant to be more than a gambling destination. It's 15 restaurants and bars are located outside of the main casino floor, meaning anyone can visit.
A new strategy
Watches of Switzerland has only been on the American retail scene for a little over a year. In that span of time, they've managed to open four dedicated Watches of Switzerland boutiques (SoHo, Hudon Yards, Las Vegas, and now Boston). In addition, the group also owns and manages MAYORS, a Florida, and Atlanta based jewelry and watch destination. MAYORS is also undergoing a bit of a renaissance of late with new store openings at Miami's Merrick Park and Miami International Mall.
Beyond Boston, Watches of Switzerland, a now publicly traded company, shows no signs of slowing down. Its American Dream location will be open in early 2020 and MAYORS will continue to renovate their numerous locations. As Hurley explains, "This is very much a new strategy, with what Watches of Switzerland is doing in the American market, but we also own MAYORS and there's a massive effort underway right now to rebrand MAYORS, to bring MAYORS into the new century, bring Mayors to new audiences."
But what's next for Watches of Switzerland? After Boston and New Jersey's American Dream location, the retailer plays coy on its future plans, as Hurley explains, "We're actively looking at other opportunities across the US. We really love the US market; we believe there's huge potential to grow. But we have open in the right opportunities and they have to be the right locations." We'll certainly be keeping an eye out and keeping our faithful readers updated on what's next for Watches of Switzerland!
One of the more unique aspects of a Watches of Switzerland opening is the retailer's unique ability to bring out market exclusive timepieces. Like we saw at SoHo, Hudon Yards, and Las Vegas, Watches of Switzerland always brings out the best for opening day. Here are a few of our favorite pieces of Watches of Switzerland Encore Boston Harbor.
First off, IWC came out guns blazing. While 2019 may be the year of the Pilot, IWC had some stunningly complicated pieces on display at Watches of Switzerland Boston location. A trio of Portugiesers were on display, including the Annual Calendar (Ref. IW503510), Chronograph Edition “150 Years” (Ref. IW371601), and the stunning Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition “150 Years” (Ref. IW510211). Finally, Watches of Switzerland managed to secure a few of the remaining Watches of Switzerland Pilot’s Edition Split-Second Chronograph. A fine showing from our friends in Schaffhausen.
On the independent front, Bovet brought out a stunning piece unique Edouard Bovet Tourbillon. A hand-made marvel, this piece for me was the centerpiece of Watches of Switzerland Boston. As you can see in the images, the ornate enamel and guilloche openworked dial make for a remarkable reference. It's nice to see a retailer giving so much love to a great independent.
Ressence and Laurent Ferrier. Two of the independent world's most tantalizing names. Ressence's unique approach to watchmaking was on full display at Watches of Switzerland Boston, Watchonista was fortunate enough to get some time with the brand's Type 1, the type of piece that needs to be experienced in-person to believe. Laurent Ferrier also made their first appearance at a Watches of Switzerland store and brought the full lineup of Galet Squares and the stunning Annual Calendar School piece.
Finally, let's talk for a moment about Franck Muller. While Mr. Muller was the rage in the late eighties and early nineties, the brand had gone quiet in the last decade or so. Luckily, Watches of Switzerland is fully committed to showcasing the creations of 'The Master of Complications.' Las Vegas and Encore Boston Harbor seem like the perfect locales for pieces such as the Franck Muller Casablanca 9880 Vegas D7, a functional roulette wheel seals the deal on this one!
(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)