Rundell Associates has completed a comprehensive redevelopment and expansion of the Fine Watches department at Harrods, creating a unique haute horology destination in Knightsbridge that allows a rare public glimpse into the level of exquisite craftsmanship that the practice delivers for its private clients.
Conceived as a retail environment of the highest quality that reflects the art of watchmaking, the department now occupies two floors adjoining the Fine Jewellery Room. The central feature of the department is a sweeping, marble-lined staircase crafted from a single block of Cipollino Tirrenia, one of the world's rarest and most dramatically configured marbles.
Leather-lined walls and hand-stitched handrails have been created with Bill Amberg reflecting the leather of the watchstraps on display. In addition the department features a custom crafted terrazzo floor and fine bronze detailing throughout. The new Fine Watches includes ten large boutiques, a multi-brand area and VIP suites across both floors; a new Aftercare department inspired by a visit to the Rolex factory is also part of their design.
This calming atmosphere is reinforced by the use of materials designed to soften the acoustic resonance of the rooms. A domed lighting feature has been crafted in the ceiling above the grand staircase, its oval shape harking back to the spirit and grandeur of the lightwells that were once a feature of Harrods. The light level from this feature is programmed to mimic the external daylight levels, giving a subtle reference to the passage of time.