📅18 Aprile 2019, 11:29

London-based design consultancy CAPELO and New York-based MNA have collaborated to design the new flagship store for luxury retailer, Watches of Switzerland, at 60 Greene Street, in the heart of the fashionable SoHo district of New York City.

Established in 1924, The Watches of Switzerland Group, is the largest luxury watch and jewellery retailer in the UK. The Greene Street store is the first Watches of Switzerland showroom in New York City, and the second in its new USA portfolio.

London-based design consultancy CAPELO and New York-based MNA have collaborated to design the new flagship store for Watches of Switzerland

The brief given to the design team was to create a showroom synonymous with the luxury of premium watch brands, which would also reflect the character of the SoHo District and the fabric of the historic 1880s cast-iron building.

With a 30ft wide street frontage, and more than 8,300 square feet of retail space over two floors, the boutique has a stylish palette of materials including exposed brickwork and polished plaster walls, oak floors, decorative tin tile ceilings, blackened steel architectural details and stainless steel fixtures. This creates an elegant yet inviting backdrop for the products on display, while remaining sympathetic to the local character of SoHo.

The store brings a welcome addition to the New York retail landscape by offering the consumer a shopping experience that includes an unparalleled collection of timepieces from longstanding Watches of Switzerland brand partners —Patek Philippe, Rolex, Omega, Cartier, Breitling, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Hublot, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, Tag Heuer, Tudor, Bremont and Longines— along with a special offering of vintage timepieces, an inhouse cocktail bar, a curated library of collectible watch books and an evolving collection of photographic artwork.

London-based design consultancy CAPELO and New York-based MNA have collaborated to design the new flagship store for Watches of Switzerland

“Our Watches of Switzerland SoHo flagship is a special achievement for us on many levels”, states Brian Duffy, CEO of The Watches of Switzerland Group. “From our choice of location, to the design and architectural detailing in the store, to our exceptional products, partners and the talented team we’ve assembled, all come together to make this an experience unlike any other in the watch industry today. This is an important first step in what promises to be an exciting journey as we expand into the US market.”

Generous 12-foot ceiling heights combine with original cast-iron columns, featuring decorative capitals, to create a spacious, elegant first-floor retail space. This accommodates three branded in-store boutiques for Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier. Blackened steel-frame glazed partitioning delineates the individual spaces, while maintaining visibility and cohesiveness across the floor. Shop-in-shop units for Omega, Breitling, IWC Schaffhausen, Hublot and Jaeger-LeCoultre are positioned around the perimeter, while other leading watch brands are located within the multi-branded area surrounding the central staircase opening.

Highlighted by a feature digital, library and accessories wall, the elegant blackened steel and oak staircase encourages the customer to venture down the stairs to the lower-ground level.

London-based design consultancy CAPELO and New York-based MNA have collaborated to design the new flagship store for Watches of Switzerland

Contrasting with the first-floor retail space a cocktail bar, designed in partnership with Death & Co., one of New York City’s most influential cocktail lounges, provides the focal point to the lower-ground floor, its oak and marble counter, with brass and woven leather details, adding sophistication and complementing the high-end customer experience. Lee Broom pendant lamps and a decorative tin tile ceiling adds to the period feel.

Positioned around the perimeter, shop-in-shop units for Tag Heuer and Tudor add to the brand line-up, while a dedicated service and repairs consultation area provides direct access to Watches of Switzerland’s team of expert watchmakers. This is complemented by the adjacent watch strap and accessories counter.

London-based design consultancy CAPELO and New York-based MNA have collaborated to design the new flagship store for Watches of Switzerland

Lynda Murray, CAPELO comments: “With all needs catered for, the customer’s visit will benefit from carefully considered, luxury store design and the exceptional level of customer experience for which Watches of Switzerland is renowned.”

The successful collaboration between the design team – CAPELO and MNA – will continue with a second New York flagship store for Watches of Switzerland, due to open in March 2019, at the new Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s West Side.

Client Watches of Switzerland
Architectural and interior design consultancy  CAPELO & MNA
Lead consultant/project manager Watershed Partners, Inc.
Services Consultant Rosini Engineering
Main contractor  Shawmut Design & Construction
Millwork contractor Norclair
Photos courtesy Peter Murdock

Watches of Switzerland

Formerly known as Aurum Group Ltd, the Watches of Switzerland Group is the largest prestige luxury jewellers and timepieces specialist operating in both the UK and USA, with brands Goldsmiths (UK), Mappin&Webb (UK), Watches of Switzerland (UK and USA) and Mayors (USA). The Watches of Switzerland Group has over 130 showrooms (including 13 dedicated mono-brand boutiques in partnership with Rolex, TAG Heuer, Omega and Breitling and has leading presence in Heathrow Airport).


CAPELO is a London-based consultancy, specialising in technical architectural and interior design in the retail, commercial and residential sectors. Following years of collaboration between the directors, CAPELO was established in 2016 by Lynda Murray, Marius Coetzee and Gerald Allbury. The collective skills and passion for design create and deliver strategy, concept designs, design development and technical details through to construction completion. Attention and passion in delivering new ideas based on knowledge and expertise to detail. Recent projects include Mappin & Webb in Glasgow, and Watches of Switzerland New York.


MNA considers every project an occasion to explore. Established in 1995, MNA has created prototype retail designs for Coach, Michael Kors, West Elm, Hold Everything, Lilly Pulitzer, Martin & Osa and Hurley. Collaboration with  clients such as Ralph Lauren, designing numerous stores all over the world. MNA’s recent clients include Patagonia, Lucky Brand Jeans, Aerie, and Tommy Bahama. In addition, MNA has designed numerous high-end residences from Park Avenue to Big Sur.

by AN shopfitting magazine no.150 ©

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