Knightsbridge has never been the quietest corner of London, and at the moment there is even more going on than usual, with a huge redevelopment next to the station making negotiating the already busy junction something of a challenge. But once you get to Harrods, calm is restored, particularly in the lovely corner that has been dedicated to celebrating 185 years of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s vast contribution to the business of watchmaking.
It was only February this year that Jaeger-LeCoultre opened its boutique within the new Fine Watch Room, which is one of the most significant parts of the £200m redevelopment that is under way at Harrods. The most famous shop in the world, reportedly a destination for 15 million visitors every year, finally seems to be shaking off the hangover of the Mohamed Al-Fayed years.
The pop-up has taken over the exhibition windows on the south-west end of the Brompton Road frontage, and has fascinating pieces from the many and varied Jaeger-LeCoultre milestones, such as the Calibre 101, the smallest mechanical watch movement ever made – as worn by the Queen on her coronation day – and of course the needs-no-introduction Reverso, the watch that is better known than the brand itself.
There is an entire section of the pop-up dedicated to the relaunched Polaris collection, with original models from the 1960s alongside the very well received models that were unveiled this year. There are also haute horlogerie pieces such as the Master Gyrotourbillon 1 and the Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time.
At certain times, visitors to the pop-up will be able to see a watchmaker in action, and later in the month there will be a gem-setter showing off the skills that make Jaeger-LeCoultre as accomplished at icing their watches as they are at making them tick.
The pop-up is at the Harrods exhibition windows on the Brompton Road until June 27th