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Published: 17 Feb 2015

Insider Perspective: Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe, London

After a nine-month-long refurbishment, Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe has reopened its London flagship on affluent New Bond Street with a watch repair lab and an intimate personal shopping lounge – courting consumers' growing desire for behind-the-scenes access and discreet consumption.

Spanning two floors, the store has quintupled in size (from 915 sq ft to more than 4,520 sq ft), making it the largest Patek Philippe boutique to date. It retains the original Art Deco aesthetic of the building, while integrating sleek contemporary details such as minimalist display cabinets, a cubical alabaster chandelier and geometric marble flooring. Neutral tones such as beige, white and brown dominate the space (designed by Parisian architecture studio AW2), creating a light and airy interior.

On the lower ground floor, a glass-walled repair lab enables consumers to see white-coated expert watchmakers at work while they relax in a nearby waiting area with a complimentary glass of champagne. For more examples of retailers giving shoppers a glimpse into their previously hidden inner workings, see Re-presenting the Production Process in Exploiting Insider Access, and Show & Tell Retail: Revealing the Product Journey.

In line with the post-recessionary trend of less ostentatious consumption within the luxury sector, the brand has also incorporated The Celestial Room on the first floor – a space consciously angled toward privacy, featuring a large, wood-carved picture and comfortable seating. For more on discreet purchasing, see Inconspicuous Consumption, part of The Austerity Opportunity Macro Trend.

For more on the essential new strategies for selling accessories and small goods, see Rejuvenating Jewellery Retail. See also new watch-store openings in our Retail City Guide: London, January 2015.

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