If you can’t find it at Harrods, it probably doesn’t exist. The world’s most famous department store - a veritable retail paradise spread over 4.5 acres and divided into 330 departments - goes that extra mile in procuring exclusive products for its customers. And when it comes to the sheer range of Harrods watches, it is fast becoming the place to go for exclusive and limited edition models. The good old supply and demand curve never fails, and in the watchmaking arena the rules hold: the fewer there are out there, the more valuable they become.
Recently, the boutique housing Omega watches has had to address countless petitions from 007 fans clamouring for the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre watch, as brandished by Bond in the film, and the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra watch, which features the Bond family coat of arms on the dial. Both are limited editions of 7,007 and 15,007 pieces respectively.
It’s hard to miss the range of Harry Winston watches on display in Harrods with the mesmerising windows full of dazzling timepieces, but what will not have escaped the beady eyes of watch aficionados is the Histoire de Tourbillon 5 watch - a show-stopping timepiece produced in a limited edition of just 20. Equipped with a tri-axial tourbillon protected by a protruding dome on the left part of the dial, this watch belongs to Harry Winston’s Histoire de Tourbillon saga. Powered by an in-house, manual-winding movement made up of 381 parts, the hours are displayed in a disc at 2 o’clock and the minutes at 5 o’clock. Presented in a sumptuous 47mm rose gold case, this watch is engraved with its limited edition number 6/20. The retail price for this collector’s fantasy is £496,400.
In pride of place, reclining on a specially built pedestal, is Hublot’s MP-05 LaFerrari superwatch in titanium. For those fans of Hublot watches who are also passionate about motor sports, this is a watch made in heaven. As is plain to see, the look and feel of this model was developed in parallel with Ferrari’s 2013 supercar, LaFerrari. The partnership with the Italian brand has transcended all the way to the performance of the watch, and the manual-winding engine is endowed with an historic 50-day power reserve. Only 50 pieces of the LaFerrari superwatch in titanium were ever made and one is revving its engines to speed out of the display case for whoever is willing to pay the £238,000 price tag.
A change of pace is in order so I pop into Boucheron’s boutique to discover the serene beauty of the new Epure Tourbillon, number 26 out of a limited edition of just 26. The Epure collection is Boucheron’s proposal of a contemporary classic watch, pared down to the essentials with a refined presence. This 43mm white gold model features a smooth white enamel dial punctuated by the iconic blue Jaipur cabochon at 12 o’clock, and animated by the spectacle of a flying tourbillon. On the caseback, a delightful scene of the Place Vendôme - Boucheron’s flagship boutique is situated at no. 26 - and its columns have been engraved on the bridge with the message “I count only the joyful hours”. Joyful indeed for the lucky owner of this limited edition watch, which retails for £134,000.
For the more artistically inclined, the Slim d’Hermès Koma Kurabe watch is a miniature work of portable art. Hand-painted in enamel by 70-year-old Japanese master artist Buzan Fukushima on a delicate Sèvre porcelain dial, the painting depicts a scene of the Koma Kurabe horse race organised every year in Kyoto. Adding to the ultra-slim collection of Hermès watches introduced earlier this year, this model features a svelte 2.6mm automatic movement and comes in an elegant 39.5mm white gold case. Retailing at £41,450, this watch was made in a very limited edition of 12 pieces and, given the artisanal nature of the dial, no two watches could ever be the same.
Bulgari will be “taking over” the Brompton Road windows at the end of the month and, in December, Roger Dubuis will be bringing its pop-up spider show to accompany the formidable Excalibur watch collection. Having declared 2015 as the “Year of the Skeleton”, the impressive Excalibur Spider Skeleton Flying Tourbillon watch takes skeletonisation one step beyond the movement and extends its spidery web to just about everything skeletonisable: the case, the flange, the hands and the lugs. The large 45mm titanium case, chosen because of its lightweight properties, houses the hand-wound movement, which keeps the flying tourbillon spinning and the hours, minutes and seconds ticking. Available exclusively at Harrods during November, beat the Christmas crowds and claim your very own spider watch for £115,600.