I feel very surprised that Girard-Perregaux Boutique had never existed in America before 2010. Now, the famous watch company ends the awkward situation with the opening of its first American boutique at 701 Madison Avenue, the prestigious home to some of the world’s finest luxury brands. This is an important step of its expansion strategy. The company chose the Leonori building, constructed in 1902 and designated a city landmark, to house and showcase all of the brand’s collections, which includes the Haute Horlogerie models and limited editions.
The elegant space boasts interior architecture perfectly reflecting the brand’s commitment to fine craftsmanship, exquisite design, modern technology, and attention to detail. The design inspiration came from the Brand’s President, Luigi Macaluso and his son Stefano, Vice President and a trained architect, and has been made into reality by Italian architect Ermanno Previdi. The new flagship Girard-Perregaux boutique is the Brand’s eighth worldwide, after Gstaad, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Macau, Prague, and Beirut. It is also a reminder of Girard-Perregaux’s historic links with the United States. These date back to the 19th century, with the Brand establishing its presence here in 1850. And in 1884, the United States Patent Office granted Constant Girard-Perregaux the patent for the design of his celebrated Tourbillon with three gold Bridges movement.
The designer based the architectural concept on that of the first Girard-Perragaux boutique opened in 2004 in Gstaad and integrated it with the New York milieu and style. Clean lines are tempered by rich materials. According to the architect: “creating a timeless ambiance, aspects of the virtual environment and the eclectic style of the furniture combine with historic design elements, among which Girard-Perregaux watches are exhibited like works of art”.
The 900 square foot boutique sits in the heart of New York, incorporating features of traditional New York architecture in recognition of one of its most glorious eras: Art Deco. Space radiates a monumental atmosphere via its clean lines and luxurious materials. The effect is accentuated by the difference in size between the intimate entrance and the imposing main area, with its 5-meter high ceiling. The gaze is drawn to the workshop, used by a skilled watchmaker, which appears to hang in the air. The workbench sits in an elevated, transparent space, and the watchmaker is visible from both inside and outside.
Satin-finished metal reflects the Manufacture’s technical character, while the wenge wood’s dark tones represent authenticity. The transparency of glass, the strength of stone and the refinement of leather bring out the best in each other. As demonstrated by the sets of lights in the windows, the lighting has been carefully considered to enhance the surroundings and collections. Resulting from the careful balance between the global concept and the attention paid to the very smallest details, the overall effect is one of harmony.
Sadly, this store had closed in 2015.