More than arguably any other British department store, Harrods is able to use its retail muscle to persuade top brands to give it first dibs on new designs or reconfigure models exclusively for its customers. A case in point is this year’s Re-Editions exhibition in Harrods’ Fine Watch Room (June 30-July 24), for which 10 brands have each taken one of their best-selling signature designs and created a distinctive new version, all of which are exclusive to Harrods and will be sold only at the store until at least the end of July.
All the brands have their own boutiques within the store, but these special models (from £3,790 to almost £1m) are the cherry on the horological cake. One is a dressy evening watch for women – Harry Winston’s Premier Precious Lace Automatic (£35,800, edition of five) in a fresh, spring-like version of Harrods’ trademark green, its finely fretted mother-of-pearl dial inlaid with and surrounded by diamonds, with a matching green alligator strap. Hublot’s Classic Fusion (from £7,600) has been reimagined in a more muted but still striking titanium with racing grey dials, in three variations including a chronograph and one with diamonds.
Titanium also forms the bracelet of the special Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 Three Days Automatic Titanio (£7,300, edition of 100), while Roger Dubuis’ Knights of the Round Table III (price on request) is a complete one-off, based on the 2005 Excalibur collection, with a black engraved jade “table” dial, the hours marked by engraved and sculpted knights.
Exclusive to Harrods in the UK is Audemars Piguet’s masterful Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph (£257,000), a skeletonised grand complication in brushed 18ct yellow gold; and exclusive until September are Jaeger-LeCoultre’s refined Reverso One Duetto Jewelry (£54,000) for women – in rose gold and diamonds, its angular decoration reflecting the model’s art deco origins – and, in stark contrast, IWC’s sporty Pilot’s Watch Mark XVIII “Tribute to Mark XI” (£3,790), which is having its global launch here.
The July-only exclusives are some of the grandest: three new variants of Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle (from £23,200) with a slate-grey dial, including a tourbillon; Cartier’s Panthère Joueuse jewellery watch (from £157,000), on which a diamond “ball” marks the hours; and Richard Mille’s extraordinary RM 50-03 McLaren F1 Split Secs Chronograph Tourbillon (£996,500, edition of 75), made with the Formula One constructor’s techniques and materials and, at 40g, the lightest such complication in existence.