Industry News: The Watches of Switzerland Group Continues Its US Expansion With Eight New Boutiques
Beginning in late November, the London-based retailer is partnering with TAG Heuer, Breitling, and Omega to open eight mono-brand boutiques in five US cities.
The watch collecting community is represented by many disparate, yet equally important, groups: buyers, brands, journalists, and retailers. And it’s a beautiful thing when they all come together to celebrate their shared passion.
This is why we on the media end are happy to share that Watches of Switzerland is pairing up with TAG Heuer, Breitling, and Omega to open up a series of dedicated brand boutiques in the US.
Watches of Switzerland first brought its unique and specialized approach to sales and customer service to the US two years ago (read HERE). Now, visiting one of their dedicated stores in New York, Las Vegas, Boston or mono-brand and MAYORS stores in Miami, Atlanta, and beyond has the collegial vibe of a clubhouse, with a "Dream Team" of associates eager to share their knowledge and advice.
Watches of Switzerland’s relationship with their clients is key, but to be able to connect customers with their ideal timepiece also means relying on the retailer’s relationship with watchmakers.
Watches of Switzerland works closely with brands to animate their stores through its immersive retail environments. One of our fondest pre-lockdown experiences was covering its 007 tribute at the Hudson Yards store in March. Omega supplied all kinds of rarely seen Bond watches, while Watches of Switzerland provided access in a fun and memorable way.
Bringing the Watches of Switzerland philosophy to a mono-band boutique is not new. The company operates 17 dedicated shops outside of the US. And the plan is to tailor each new mono-brand shop to the regional specificities of the selected locations.
“In two short years, with best practices established with its long history in the UK, The Watches of Switzerland Group has solidified its role as the market leader in luxury retail as well as experts on the mono-brand model,” said Brian Duffy, CEO of Watches of Switzerland Group, in a press release.
To bring the Watches of Switzerland experience to even more enthusiasts, the retailer is expanding its five current North American mono-brand locations with Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Breitling, and Omega, as well as overseeing the day-to-day operations and management of eight new boutiques.
For maximum reach, Watches of Switzerland also worked closely with these brands to pinpoint which locations would best serve its luxury clientele. “We have become the go-to partner for the best watch brands in the world looking to expand in the US. The Group takes great pride in sharing its revolutionary retail expertise and working closely with historic watchmakers like TAG Heuer, Breitling, and OMEGA to grow their brands in the US,” Duffy commented.
The initial rollout begins in late November and continues into early December with three TAG Heuer openings at the King of Prussia mall in Pennsylvania, the Roosevelt Field mall in Garden City, New York, and the Palm Beach Gardens mall in Florida.
These three stores will showcase TAG Heuer’s unique global brand identity with its hallmark modern, racing-inspired boutique design, including curated displays of the latest novelties, limited editions, and the brand’s core range.
Omega and Brietling
Omega and Breitling will also bring their unique branding to markets and malls. Omega will join TAG Heuer at both Roosevelt Field and Palm Beach Garden. Breitling will open at Valley Fair mall in San Jose, California, the Green Hills mall in Nashville, Tennessee, and join TAG Heuer at the King of Prussia shopping mall.
Based on their proximity to other luxury destinations, regional demographics, and the current distribution of each brand, these chosen locations will ensure each market is being properly served.
“Since its acquisition of Mayors in 2017 followed quickly by the opening of Watches of Switzerland SoHo, The Group has shown its acute command of the US market and deep understanding of its discerning and diverse clients,” said David Hurley, EVP of Watches of Switzerland Group USA. He continued, “After two years of exponential growth, Watches of Switzerland has demonstrated its ability to master new markets which have become appealing to top Swiss watch brands looking to expand the retail operations of their brand in North America.”
The brands are equally excited about sharing the love – and retail experiences – with new and longtime collectors across America.
Arnaud Michon, the Omega US Brand President, said, “With two upcoming openings of OMEGA Boutiques before the year-end, we’re thrilled to intensify our partnership with WoS in the USA and provide to more customers the best of our retail combined knowledge.”
TAG Heuer CEO, Frédéric Arnault, added, “This milestone expansion is a testament to our relationship with the Watches of Switzerland Group, a partner we celebrate 11 franchise boutiques within the United Kingdom and three which will now help strengthen our presence and client experience in key locations in North America, our strongest region worldwide.”
While these brands operate their own standalone boutiques all around the world, they also embrace the opportunity of working with Watches of Switzerland to introduce them to new friends. As Breitling CEO Georges Kern commented, “Opening three new Breitling Boutiques at prestigious locations in Nashville, San Jose, and Philadelphia will showcase the modern retro style and inclusivity of Breitling to new audiences.”
“In addition to the three Boutiques opening in 2020,” Kern continued, “We also look forward to expanding our partnerships with the Watches of Switzerland Group in 2021 and introducing Breitling to even more major metropolitan areas in the United States.”