LONDON, Nov 10, 2008 / FW/ — Following the landmark design of the TAG Heuer 360° Museum in Switzerland, the Swiss watchmaker in collaboration with Carbondale created a new boutique concept that brings watchmaking culture to the whole world, the first unveiled on 30 October in London’s Westfield, White City, the largest shopping centre in Europe.
The atmosphere is soft and gentle, the message is avant-garde and luxury here can be savored as a unique experience in the TAG Heuer way. Located on one of Westfield’s main thoroughfares, the London store can be spotted from afar. Its frontage of brushed, bronze-lacquered steel, 5 meters high and 8 meters long, hints at the interior without revealing it outright.
The front door – two sliding glass panels 4 meters high – allows a first view of the refined atmosphere into which the visitor will be plunged. It leads to an ebony walkway that sets off the floor of cream-colored marble. This pattern finds its echo in a cleft that cuts across the ceiling, on each side of which are decorative displays relating TAG Heuer’s prestigious history.
Employing an innovative combination of materials, a wood and perforated leather counter offers a place to lean whilst viewing the collections on display in showcases set into the counter and in rosewood niches at eye height.
Each stratum is associated with a symbolic material: the space-enveloping perforated leather is a reference to the racing driver’s gloves, the rosewood a nod to the heritage of the brand, the brushed aluminum gives a contemporary touch, the polished stainless steel detailing is a reminder of the preciousness of watchmaking and the wool and silk rugs make the atmosphere cosy.
In the centre of the store, this arrangement is complemented by wraparound showcases made of rosewood, polished stainless steel and glass, supplemented by magnifying glasses to enable the visitor to appreciate the meticulous finishing of the exhibits. Beyond is a leather and glass inlaid selling table with an integral digital clock, a mirror and a small recall display case for the spectacles.
To the left of the entrance, a touch screen tickles the curiosity and promotes an interactive relationship between the brand and its customers. A technological gem, it allows the customer to choose a model, see a slideshow of archive material recapping the emblematic moments in the brand’s history and gain direct access to the virtual 3600 Tag Heuer Museum.
At the back of the shop, aligned with the deep ceiling groove, a stand-alone piece of furniture in perforated cream leather houses the very first set of TAG Heuer-branded communication tools. It is particularly conspicuous because it breaks the pattern of horizontal stratification.
TAG Heuer has devised a theatrical, chiaroscuro form of lighting. Wall and central showcases illuminate the whole store through a subtle combination of LED lighting and small halogen and metal iodide spotlights. On either side of the cleft that runs across the ceiling, two grooves with spotlights illuminate the central cabinets. All in all, a warm, intimate atmosphere that reveals the full glory of the TAG Heuer collections.
The new concept will be used next in Singapore, and then in several other world cities where the brand has a presence. To date, there are 73 TAG Heuer boutiques in 23 countries.