Opening a boutique in the heart of London is usually the preserve of watch brands backed by multi-billion dollar groups like Richemont and LVMH who squirrel away losses caused by eye-wateringly high costs into the marketing sections of their P&L spreadsheets.
But a fresh face from California is ignoring perceived wisdom that monobrands don’t make profits by opening its own watch shop on Lexington Street, a fashionable thoroughfare surrounded by trendy bars and restaurants in the heart of Soho.
The brand in question, March LA.B says it has headquarters in Los Angeles, California and Biarritz, France, and assembles its watches in France. Its stated aim is to strike a balance between modern L.A. style and French heritage detailing, which translates into classical vintage-style watches with minimalist modern twists.
Perhaps recognizing that operating profitable monobrand stores in London is a tall order, the company describes the choice of Soho as: “A truly iconic location for watches ticking against the flow. The atmosphere there is Rock ’n’ Roll and elegant, forming a coherent and homogenous getaway”.
March LA.B works with hundreds of retail partners around the world, but is all-but absent in the UK, a situation that the company hopes to address from its new base in London.
The brand is celebrating the opening of its London boutique by launching a special edition for the capital called the AM69 Lexington, a British racing green mechanical watch with a Swiss-made automatic movement. It goes on sale for £1,145 in the UK.