Watches of Switzerland opens standalone Grand Seiko boutique in Soho – Robb Report
In 2017, Seiko Watch Corporation separated its hand-assembled luxury collection, Grand Seiko, from its low-cost Seiko basics, making it a stand-alone brand with its own distribution and design philosophy. The move represented Seiko’s push into the luxury segment and since then it has opened three Grand Seiko single-brand stores in the United States: Beverly Hills, Miami and New York. This week, he’s opening a fourth, operated by Watches of Switzerland.
Located at 154 Spring Street, the new store is just a few blocks from the Watches of Switzerland store in Soho on Greene Street. The 1,100 square foot boutique will house the most comprehensive representation of Grand Seiko in the city, including models from the Masterpiece, Elegance, Heritage and Sports collections.
“Our partnership in the United States began with the opening of the Watches of Switzerland flagship store in SoHo, so it is normal that we work together again for the opening of our store in the same district”, declares Brice Le Troadec, president by Grand Seiko Corporation. from America.
Watches of Switzerland has transported the brand in its Soho flagship since it opened in 2018, and earlier this year it hosted a pop-up exhibition of Grand Seiko’s collections called “Nature of Time”. It was organized around Grand Seiko’s design philosophy, which stems from the Japanese tradition of celebrating the course of nature and time by breaking down the four seasons into six subtle stages within each, for a total of 24 phases. seasonal or sekki. The collections on display included watches depicting winter with white textured dials meant to represent the snow-capped caps of a cool winter landscape, or textured light blue dials in a wave pattern to represent the ripples on the many lakes and ponds of the Japan glistening in the summer sun.
Grand Seiko launched the first of what has become an ongoing limited series around the sekki theme in 2019, exclusively for the US market. It continued last year with a watch duo representing soko, the seasonal phase taking place in late fall, and this year a series of four GMT coins depicting the four main seasons. They incorporate characteristic elements of the Grand Seiko line, a high zaratsu polish, a signature finish that plays on the light that has been a selling point with collectors of the Grand Seiko brand. Two contain Grand Seiko Hi-Beat automatic movements and two contain Spring Drive movements. Watches of Switzerland (and Grand Seiko Boutiques) will be the exclusive retailer of the new SBGJ249 GMT until the end of July.
“From their beginnings in our flagship SoHo to our collaboration on The Nature of Time Experience, and now a spectacular standalone boutique, our journey with Grand Seiko is a testament to our shared vision and commitment to innovative retail and world-class watchmaking. Says David Hurley, Executive Vice President of Watches of Switzerland.
It is also a sign of the growth of the Watches business in Switzerland. Last year, amid the global pandemic, the state-owned company’s second-quarter sales increased 20% from the same period in 2019. It also opened new single-brand stores for Omega, Tag Heuer and Breitling, which have all changed, open their doors in December 2020.