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The Best Areas for Watch Shopping in the UK

Rolex Battersea Power Station

Whether you’re on the hunt for your next watch or simply just window shopping you might want to head to one of the best areas for watch shopping in the UK. In most major cities you can find yourself a Goldsmiths or retailer carrying a small selection of brands. However, there are a few hot spots across the UK which offer the best selection of boutiques. The sorts of places you could happily lose half a day browsing the latest and greatest from Patek Philippe all the way to Hamilton and Longines.

What makes a great place to buy watches is variety. In order to make the list of best places to buy watches we are looking for areas that offer the greatest selection of brand availability. Secondly, a great place to buy watches needs to be a tightly packed area. When time is of the essence you don’t want to be wasting it travelling between stores. Therefore, if you want to spend several hours indulging your passion for watches the locations that follow are a must.

London – New Bond Street

Grand Seiko boutique New Bond Street

The new Grand Seiko boutique on New Bond Street.

The capital is one of the best places in the UK to buy watches. In fact, it’s not only one of the best in the UK but perhaps one of the best places in the World. It offers more boutiques and brands than any other city. In total there are nineteen Tag Heuer retailers, eleven Omega boutiques and over five Goldsmiths and Watches of Switzerland retail stores. The problem is London isn’t exactly small, however there are two areas of the capital that are of particular importance.

The first is New Bond Street. Located around the corner from Bond Street station and connecting Oxford Street to Green Park, New Bond Street is a near golden mile of watch boutiques. In total there are over 20 watch stores located on this single street. Given New Bond Street’s proximity to West London and the affluent Mayfair area these watch boutiques are often the flagship stores for high end and luxury brands.

F.P. Journe Mayfair Boutique London

F.P. Journe opened their London Mayfair boutique in 2023 just off New Bond Street.

To name just a few you have Zenith, Hublot, Breitling, Blancpain, Omega and Jaeger-LeCoultre. You also have Patek Philippe’s flagship UK store as well as A. Lange & Söhne, Roger Dubuis and Breguet. The presence of these brands all on a single street makes this one of the best places in London to window shop. The density of these market leading brands also draws the attention of some of the unique independents. F.P. Journe’s one and only watch store in the UK is located just off New Bond Street. It was opened in 2023. Towards the Green Park end of the street you will also find a Richard Mille boutique.

Finally, if jewellery and watches are your thing New Bond Street offers the best in jewellery houses. You can drop in to Cartier on your way to Chopard before stopping at Van Cleef & Arpels and finally finishing at Harry Winston.

London – Harrods Fine Watch Department, Knightsbridge

A. Lange & Söhne Harrods Fine Watch Room London Exhibition Odysseus Chronograph

The view from the basement level of Harrods fine watch department.

New Bond Street is the street with the single greatest collection of watch brands, however running for over half a mile you need to be prepared to stretch your legs. If you’d rather stick to the dry and warmth of a single store then Harrods fine watch department is the place to be. It’s like Disneyland for watch collectors.

Located on the ground floor and basement level, the fine watch department is an entire section of Harrods dedicated to luxury watches. As you would expect, all the big brands have their own boutiques for you browse. Rolex, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Tudor and many more.

Harrods-Fine-Watch-Department-Rolex

Rolex have one of the largest boutiques in Harrods.

One of the great features about the fine watch department is that you can see all the brands in the same space. For example, there’s a single room dedicated to all brands who don’t have their own boutique. Lining the room are display cases with the likes of H. Moser & Cie, Grand Seiko and Ulysse Nardin. This gives Harrods one of the most diverse brand collections of any single store anywhere in the world.

London – Battersea Power Station

Watches of Switzerland Battersea Power Station

London’s newest watch hot spot can be found just south of the River Thames in the renovated Battersea Power Station. In October 2022 the development for the power station was completed with an ultra modern retail and dining experience offering luxury and high end brands from Aesop to Chanel and even a Polestar dealership. This luxury retail foot print is the perfect setting for watch brands.

Breitling, Tag Heuer, IWC, Tudor and Omega all operate their own boutiques. These single brand stores are then complimented by Watches of Switzerland which further carries the likes of Cartier, Rolex and Hublot. With all these watch brands located within one corner on the ground floor of the power station you won’t have to move very far at all to see your favourites. The only exception is Swatch. A Swatch boutique is located on a different floor in the opposite corner. It feels a bit like the watch equivalent of ‘you can’t sit with us’.

IWC Schaffhausen Battersea Power Station

IWC Schaffhausen’s boutique at Battersea Power Station.

The IWC boutique in particular is a highlight, at over 200 square meters it’s one of their larger stores. In keeping with the modern aesthetic of the power station the store boasts glass-less display cases which IWC say is to ‘offer a more open and tactile product experience’.

Edinburgh – Princes Street Area

Princes-Street-Edinburgh

If you live in Scotland or happen to be in Edinburgh for a weekend away, (which we highly recommend it’s an incredible city), the Princes Street Area is the ideal place to buy watches. Princes Street is one of the prominent streets in the city and sits in the shadows of Edinburgh Castle.

Regarded as a great shopping area in general the region boasts several large watch retailers including Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths and Laing’s. Between them, these three cover all your usual luxury and high end brands from Rolex to Tag Heuer, Cartier and many others.

Omega-Boutique-Edinburgh

Omega’s modern boutique in the centre of Edinburgh.

If you venture slightly off Princes Street towards George Street, another of Edinburgh’s top shopping destinations, you’ll find a variety of individual brand boutiques. The highlights from the luxury end of the market include Hublot, Vacheron Constantin, Breitling and Omega. Edinburgh has a lot to offer and if it’s not just the high end brands you’re looking for, they’ve got you covered.

On Princes Street itself you have a large Swatch store where you can find your MoonSwatches and Blancpain Scuba Fifty Fathoms series among the usual Swatch collections. There’s also Chisolm Hunter, James Porter and H. Samuel who between them carry everything from Seiko to Hamilton, Casio, Tissot and Rado. What makes Edinburgh a stand out for watches is the variety from your entry level Casios to haute horology Vacheron Constantin and everything in between. All of this can be seen and purchased within a few hundred metres of each other.

Liverpool – City Centre

Goldsmiths-Rolex-Liverpool

Goldsmith’s in Liverpool is one the retailers largest stores in the UK.

Head to the centre of Liverpool and you will be spoilt for choice for watch retail. In a city the size of Liverpool you can expect your usual Tag Heuer and Omega boutiques. Yet, Liverpool has a lot more to offer. Within the city centre you’ll find several large retailers with incredible spaces dedicated just to watches.

The Goldsmiths on Paradise Street is one of the retailer’s larger stores and decked out to a high specification it’s a great place to leisurely browse your favourite brands. Tudor, Zenith, Cartier and a dedicated Rolex space there’s more than enough to keep most happy. However, if you’re looking for something a little different a short walk round the corner will take you to David M Robinson. A family owned business with six stores across the UK, the Liverpool One store is the flagship in the portfolio. As an official retail outlet for Patek Philippe, IWC and Rolex they offer a few different brands for consideration.

A combination of single brand boutiques and larger multi-brand retailers, Liverpool’s city centre offers everything you’re likely to need from the big brands.

Leeds – City Centre

Panerai-Boutique-Leeds

Panerai’s stylish boutique on Leeds Commercial Street.

In the centre of Leeds just a stone’s throw from the central station you’ll find a selection of watch boutiques and retailers to keep you entertained for an afternoon. Commercial Street in particular is a hot spot for watches. You’ll find Tag Heuer, Omega, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre all pretty much next to each other.

Commercial Street also offers the city’s best watch retailers with Goldsmiths, Chisholm Hunter and Ernest Jones all nearby. Between these retailers you will find a wider brand footprint including Rolex and then some of lower price brands in Casio, Tissot, Tudor and Seiko. Several other smaller and independent jewellers and retailers can be found in the city centre with many stocking brands like Zenith, Breitling, Panerai and Grand Seiko.

Leeds city centre is the best place to buy a watch in the region. The majority of outlets are retailers and jewellers rather than single brand boutiques but this is no bad thing. With plenty of different brands on offer from trusted retailers it wouldn’t be a bad place to begin building a relationship with an authorised dealer.

Birmingham – Bullring Shopping Centre

Goldsmiths-Bullring-Birmingham

Goldsmiths in the Bullring is split over two floors.

The Bullring is Birmingham’s largest and most iconic shopping destination. Along with a vast shopping centre offering everything from department stores to high street fashion and restaurants. The bullring is also well represented with jewellery and watch retailers. Alongside Tag Heuer, Omega and Breitling boutiques you also have British brand Bremont. Bremont’s retail footprint isn’t huge. With only ten stores (five in London) across the UK the Bullring is one of the few places to shop the Bremont range in person.

Outside of the brand boutiques, the Bullring offers the usual Goldsmiths carrying Rolex, and Ernest Jones for entry level timepieces. The other great attraction of the Bullring is its own Watchfinder boutique. Predominantly an online retailer of pre-owned watches, Watchfinder do have a selection of bricks and mortar stores affording you the opportunity to view any of the over 50 brands they stock in person. The addition of Watchfinder in the Bullring gives the opportunity to shop a variety of different brands as well as vintage and pre-owned watches.

Patek-Philippe-London-Boutique

Patek Philippe’s London boutique is the only one in the UK.

On balance you’d have to say we are spoilt for choice when it comes to watch shopping in the UK. We have brand boutiques in all areas of the country and authorised retailers in the majority of city centres. There are few countries that can compete with the variety and abundance of brands that can be bought directly from our retail outlets. Or even the London vintage watch scene.

Brands like Patek Philippe have their own stores in Geneva, New York and London. F.P. Journe only has three boutiques in Europe, one of which is in the UK. We then have a nationwide retailer in Goldsmiths who are an authorised Rolex dealer giving you access to Rolex almost anywhere in the country. You’d have to say outside of Switzerland, is there anywhere better in Europe than the UK to purchase your next watch? Probably not.

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About the author

James Lamburn

James' love affair with watches started when his grandad left him a two tone Tissot. From that moment he was hooked and he’s been daydreaming about watches ever since. Over the years his passion for watches has expanded beyond collecting and dinner party conversation. James now operates as a freelance writer covering all things watches and horology.