Delay Strikes Rolex’s Much-Anticipated London Showroom Opening

For the second time, the unveiling of Rolex’s highly anticipated flagship showroom in London faces a setback. It appears that eager patrons will have to wait until at least 2025 before the doors swing open to the public, according to Watchpro.

Initially slated for debut last year, the three-floor Rolex showroom, owned and operated by Watches of Switzerland Group, will now have its grand opening delayed. Spanning an impressive 7,200 square feet across three levels, the forthcoming flagship is strategically positioned on Bond Street, occupying a historic corner property once occupied by Gucci. Nestled amidst the elite shopping district, the Rolex megastore neighbors prestigious Swiss watch brands such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, and A. Lange & Söhne.

The Watches of Switzerland Group unveiled plans for the boutique in 2022. Conceived by Rolex and Watches of Switzerland, the store will prioritize client hospitality and showcase the brand’s illustrious heritage. Delays were attributed to Gucci’s extended tenure at the location, as their relocation to a larger premises on New Bond Street impeded the commencement of work on the flagship. Additionally, Watches of Switzerland’s CEO, Brian Duffy, cited complications regarding the basement of the Old Bond Street building as contributing to the hold-up. In anticipation of the flagship’s arrival, all Rolex retailers on Bond Street, except for WoSG’s modest 900 square foot boutique, have shuttered their doors. The closure of German retail group Wempe’s Bond Street establishment followed the loss of its Rolex agency, while Mappin & Webb, situated at the intersection of Old Bond Street and Piccadilly, undergoes transformation into a Tudor retail outlet.

Watches of Switzerland, a venerable British purveyor of Swiss timepieces with 16 stores across the United Kingdom, inaugurated its first Rolex boutique in the mid-1980s. Presently, the group operates seven Rolex-branded outlets in both the UK and US. Last week, shares of the company plummeted by 33% following a revision of its guidance for the 2024 fiscal year. The company attributed the downturn to volatile trading conditions amidst challenging macro-economic factors affecting luxury retail spending. With the Rolex flagship’s opening deferred, Watches of Switzerland faces further hurdles in the competitive landscape.