Bell & Ross founders Carlos A. Rosillo and Bruno Belamich opened the brand’s first monobrand boutique in London’s Burlington Arcade last night.
The company has 13 branded retail outlets around the world, but those are operated in partnership with existing retailers. The boutique in Burlington Arcade, with a grand 9m frontage, is the first to be owned and operated by the brand itself and its first in the UK.
“The opening of this new boutique in the heart of one of the most dynamic capital cities in the world only goes to highlight the importance that we place on international expansion, with the brand currently present in more than sixty countries with thirteen exclusive boutiques and seven hundred points of sale.” Rosillo said.
“With Burlington Arcade, we now have an ideal address for the first boutique opened in London by Bell & Ross with its air of a private flying club, convivial and contemporary, selling exclusive creations. The United Kingdom is a very dynamic market, with sophisticated and demanding consumers. This much awaited British opening will allow us to offer collectors a broader watch selection in a setting reflecting the brand’s aesthetic principles as well as provide customers individualized service.”
Speaking with WatchPro this morning, Rosillo said the boutique should not be viewed as competition for its network of retail partners in the UK but rather an embassy for Bell & Ross on these shores.
The look and feel of the boutique has been specifically tailored for a London audience, with Rosillo seeking to attract the kind of British gentleman (not to mention the many tourists) that pass through the 195-year-old Burlington Arcade in Mayfair every day.
Burlington Arcade is home to a number of pre-owned luxury watch retailers, including Somlo Antiques’ Vintage Omega boutique, but US property group Thor Equities and and a fund advised by European investment manager Meyer Bergman which bought the arcade for £104 million in 2010, have sought to breathe new life into the arcade with international luxury brands such as Bell & Ross and Chanel.
The new Bell & Ross boutique includes a ground floor showroom, VIP area on the first floor for customer presentations and offices on the second floor.
Bell & Ross is this year celebrating the 10th anniversary of its iconic BR01 watch, the signature square timepiece designed to reflect aviation cockpit instruments. But during the last decade the company has been careful not to become too synonymous with oversized watches, introducing a range of sizes and launching the BRS women’s watch, this year shown at Basel with mother of pearl dial cleverly machined to also incorporate a camouflage pattern.