Rolex boutique launches at exclusive London address
LONDON , July 3, 2011 – Rolex’s biggest boutique in Europe launched at London ’s most exclusive address, One Hyde Park, at a glitzy champagne reception attended by millionaires, watches aficionados and celebrities on June 29, signalling that the luxury market is holding up well despite austere times across much of Europe.
A vast array of new Rolex watches and vintage pieces were on display at the reception to launch the new Rolex store at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, a state-of-the-art residential development considered to be one of London ’s most prestigious addresses, a short walk from ritzy department store Harrods.
In the VIP room, top tier Rolexes were on show, including a hefty watch in platinum with white diamonds, available for 98,000 pounds.
Billionaire Roman Abramovich and Chelsea footballer Frank Lampard had popped into the Rolex boutique since it opened in April.
A Birmingham construction millionaire had recently spent 33,000 pounds on a showy Rolex at the store.
The Rolex boutique was formally launched with a champagne reception attended by millionaires and celebrities including Nick Candy, a real estate dynamo who developed London ’s swankiest address. A one-bedroom apartment at One Hyde Park can cost five million pounds.
Footfall to the new Rolex boutique was driven by entrepreneurial buyers and collectors from around the world, including tourists staying at the Mandarin Oriental hotel next door.
David Coleridge, chairman of DM London Ltd, which manages the Rolex retail space, said he had seen a sharp rise in luxury buying of fine watches in London retail outlets by newly wealthy mainland Chinese visitors over the last couple of years.
MASTERPIECE – SUPREME LUXURY
Across town, vintage jewellery and clocks from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, featured prominently alongside silverware, art, furniture and vintage cars at the Masterpiece luxury fair in the expansive grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The event runs to July 5.
A Faberge necklace in sapphires and diamonds, a precious Tiffany Art Deco brooch, a Cartier 18-karat gold clock from the 1950s, as well as striking Verdura pieces were for sale at the sleek stands within the vast Masterpiece marquee, where multi-millionaires shopped for the latest additions to their collections.
A rare Spitfire warplane, with a price tag of 8 million pounds, and a 9.5 million pounds Francis Bacon still life painting were among the standout items at Masterpiece, now in its second year.
Eighteenth century views of Venice by Canaletto, French and English rural scenes by 19th century Impressionist Camille Pissarro, and oil paintings by L.S. Lowry, celebrated for his mid 20th century English working class scenes, were for sale.
“You see criticism that some people are spending huge sums on luxury at a time of economic crisis, but people forget that the luxury industry provides a good living for people who sell in galleries, set up sets at these shows, the taxi drivers who bring people to these events, and so on,” said Robert Smith of MacConnal-Mason Gallery in London.