Next week we'll be posting our report on watch fair SalonQP – which pitches up at the Saatchi Gallery in London this weekend (8–10 November) – but as Harrods has just announced an ongoing partnership with the event, we wanted to be the first to reveal that it is previewing a special collection of unique pieces at the fair.
Now in its fourth year, Europe's top fine-watch fair is fast becoming one of the most important dates on the global fine-watch circuit. Here, the world’s top names – Harry Winston, Bulgari, Hermès – show with lesser-known makers and independents, such as MB&F (founder Maximilian Büsser’s quirky Flying Panda watch was one of last year’s highlights).
A selection of watchmakers have created the pieces especially for Harrods to celebrate the first birthday of their Fine Watch Department, which is the most important in Europe. The watches, debuted today at SalonQP and on show for the duration of the show, will be available to buy at Harrods at the end of next week.
Franck Muller, Audemars Piguet and Breguet are just some who have contributed, and it's a deftly curated mix, not least because it has some serious women's watches among it. Take the Audemars Piguet Lady Tuxedo automatic: it retains all the design cred of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak model but with a shimmer of diamonds making it less masculine in all the right ways.
Then there's Vacheron Constantin's Metiers d'Art piece. While not specifically for a man or a woman, it is so elegantly realised – the guilloché dial has an overlay of enamel – that it can be suited to anyone with a passion for beautiful things.
The watches that Hublot, Zenith and Maurice Lacroix have opted to display, on the other hand, are all fine examples of the extent of their design expertise, with variations on skeleton and tourbillon techniques taking pride of place.
During its SalonQP residency at the Saatchi Gallery this weekend, Harrods will sponsor the Seminar Theatre, which will host a series of presentations, workshops and demonstrations across the weekend.
Another major pull is that Harrods is also setting up a pop-up watch service and after-sales bar at SalonQP – the first time it has done so outside the store. So, if you want to experience its exemplary watch repair and cleaning services or pop in for a bespoke consultation, take your favourite timepieces down to the Saatchi Gallery this weekend.