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Where to go watch shopping worldwide

by Charlotte McCulloch
16 February, 2012
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Since living in Singapore as a child and travelling to countries such as Thailand, Borneo and Australia, Charlotte has always had a keen interest in travel. More recent holidays include trips to Paris, New York and the islands around Spain.

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This article was contributed by avid watch collector and travel writer Charlotte McCulloch, who writes for TravelSupermarket.com. Since living in Singapore as a child and travelling to countries such as Thailand, Borneo and Australia she has always had a keen interest in travel. More recent holidays include trips to Paris, New York and the islands around Spain.

Measuring time is an activity that stretches back to the start of civilisation. The modern timepiece combines technology and high style to create a fashion accessory that has endured for hundreds of years.

Although watches in general are common, high-quality watches are still very much a specialised item and it can be difficult to find the right place to buy one.

Should your passion for watches lead you to plan your holidays around where is best to buy your latest addition. Here are some of the best watch-shopping destinations in the world, perfect to visit for a short city break with just enough time for some serious watch shopping.

Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills has long been synonymous with style and glamour. The famous 90210 zip code is used by pretty much every big movie star in the world.

One of the most famous boutiques on Rodeo is the legendary House of Bijan. The showroom building itself is worth a staggering £8 million and sells only the very finest custom clothing, jewellery and watches .If you’re lucky enough to get an appointment here, you’ll be shopping alongside presidents, princes and kings.

Dubai

The Dubai Mall

Dubai may lack the history of some of the other locations, but it certainly does not lack in sophistication and elegance when it comes to shopping. This desert paradise is a playground for Middle East royalty and the shopping on offer reflects this.

A lot of the quality shops are located inside purpose-built shopping malls, allowing shoppers to browse away from the desert heat. The Dubai Mall is the largest in the world, with 1200 retail outlets and is ideal for more general shopping.

The WAFI mall is a more exclusive destination, described as being a place with ‘a rare collection of wonderful things’. Shops in the WAFI Mall only stock the very best. As well as being home to more traditional Arabian jewellers and watchmakers, the Mall is also home to most of the famous high-end Western brands.

Paris

Louis Vuitton Paris

Paris, the most stylish city in the world, is a great place to shop as well as take in the unique culture.

The Champs-Élysées, or la plus belle avenue du monde (the most beautiful avenue in the world as the French call it), is the centre of European upmarket fashion.

A particular place of interest for the watch lover is the Louis Vuitton store on 101, Avenue. Expect to pay anywhere up to £30,000 for the luxury watches on sale here.

New York

Cartier Fifth Avenue

No list of shopping destinations would be complete without mentioning the spiritual home of capitalism, New York. Fifth Avenue has a long history of housing some of the best watch designers in the world. Cartier has owned a boutique there since 1917 and Bulgari since the 1970s.

Hermes, located on 62nd Street, has long been a byword for high fashion. It has its own range of unique watches, including the nautically themed ‘Arceau’, ‘Clipper and ‘Kelly’. Prices range from £600 to £2500.

Singapore

Hour Glass Malmaison

It’s hard to be sure whether Singapore or Hong Kong is the best place for watches in South East Asia, but one thing is certain, they are both simply dripping in luxurious haute horology. Pick a name, any top Swiss brand name and there will be not just a store stocking all the latest models, but often as not an own brand boutique occupying several square metres of eye wateringly expensive retail space.

Here you can try on watches that you’ve previously only looked at longingly on websites. In Singapore, the long established Hour Glass is still a must visit, while in Hong Kong, every other store on Nathan Road features stunning watches. Nothing but the best from Jaeger Le Coultre, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and of course, Patek Philippe, all brazenly on display in the shop windows.

Geneva

Chopard Geneva

If New York is the spiritual home of capitalism, then Geneva is the spiritual home of watch making. Watchmakers have operated in Geneva since the 1600s. If a watch is worthy of the ‘Geneva seal’, then rest assured it is of the very highest calibre.

The most expensive watch in the world, a 201-carat, £16 million piece, designed by the watch-making legend Chopard, has its origins in the city. There are two Chopard boutiques in Geneva, as well as four other locations which also stock the brand.

Other famous watchmakers found in the city include Patek Phillipe, Franck Muller, Swatch, Omega and Piaget, making it the paramount destination for those looking for the very best timepieces.

Charlotte McCulloch | Website

Since living in Singapore as a child and travelling to countries such as Thailand, Borneo and Australia, Charlotte has always had a keen interest in travel. More recent holidays include trips to Paris, New York and the islands around Spain.

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