Ulysse Nardin has unveiled a fresh store concept in Geneva, epitomizing a more youthful and fresh approach that Patrick Pruniaux has brought to the brand since taking over as CEO in 2017.
It also shows retail partners how a shop in shop or monobrand boutique for the brand might look in the future.
The Kering-owned company currently has only three stores around the world and sells 95% of its watches through wholesale.
“Our new retail concept is younger and more dynamic than before, and follows a brand rejuvenation strategy that started close to two years ago. It features subtle marine nuances, which have been characteristic of Ulysse Nardin since its beginnings, and will be rolled out in all retail locations,” says Françoise Bezzola, Ulysse Nardin’s chief marketing officer, who spent 12 years heading marketing and communications at TAG Heuer in New York before moving to Switzerland to join UN two years ago.
There is no suggestion that relocating and refreshing its presence in Geneva is a sign that Ulysse Nardin plans to increase its direct to consumer sales.
Along with the Geneva boutique, the brand has showrooms in Dubai and Beijing that opened this summer and a fourth planned for Moscow in 2020.
“We must remember that Ulysse Nardin is a 95% wholesale brand whose strength comes from its exclusive network of retailers. That is why it is so important to feature architecture in line with the message we want to send our clients, one that allows us to offer them an experience on par with our ambitions,” Ms Bezzola adds.
The new Geneva space has subtle nods to Ulysse Nardin’s links to the sea and marine watches such as display counters in raw stone reminiscent of submerged rocks; translucent light fixtures in blown Murano glass suspended like drops of water falling from the sky; display cases and screens that evoke the air and the horizon; touches of blue representing the sea and sand-colored oak wood.
“The entire concept brings us above and below the water, in a chic and zen ambiance,” the company claims.