With the same expertise that led to ground-breaking work with astronauts and bomb disposal experts, the Swiss-Franco watchmaker is creating unique customer experiences for each of the new boutiques in the Klang Valley. Adding to the existing mono-brand stores at The Gardens Mall and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Bell and Ross seeks to elevate the local retail landscape by launching a mono-brand boutique at luxury wonderland Pavilion Bukit Jalil and a permanent pop-up store at 1 Utama Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya.
Malaysia is currently the proudest home to the watchmaker’s largest mono brand presence in a single country, with four standalone stores and more in the pipeline.
Each boutique references the standards set by brand co-founder Bruno Belamich, who spearheads the Creative Studio of Bell & Ross. Clean lines, smooth surfaces and a monochromatic palette set the background for noble materials and watch models to do the talking.
Aviation cues dominate the interior of the Pavilion Bukit Jalil boutique, all bedecked in concrete floor reminiscent of tarmacs and aircraft hangars, while luminous bands on the ceiling recall the signing of landing strips. The imagery continues in more literal forms too, sporting black-and-white prints of aviation scenes, including a life-sized portrait of a pilot in a cockpit and small displays of aircraft models.
A casual elegance permeates the space swathed in monolithic black marble, which symbolises preciousness and prestige of the brand’s propositions. While aeronautics is a driving force behind the statement interiors, the watchmaker’s well-rounded oeuvre holds pride of place throughout the boutique, with individual sections dedicated to its aviation, diver, Formula One and urban collections.
On the other hand, the pop-up store at 1 Utama displays the same mineral texture, this time sans the gentle warmth of wood. Aviation is once again the reference of choice in the décor, accentuated by contrasting black and white elements to exude an atmosphere of immaculate precision. Touches of concrete, marble and glass add to the vibe of the store, which now has stations around the room to pay homage to the different collections. While the Bukit Jalil boutique embraced soft opulence, the 1 Utama store is an edgier expression of the multi-faceted brand.
Eagle-eyed watch aficionados would have paid attention to Bell & Ross' boutique-exclusive editions. Take for example, the 2011 Asia-only revamp of three key models in the BR 01 collection. The ensuing limited-edition BR 01 RADAR (Singapore), BR 01 Compass (Indonesia) and BR 01 SKULL (Greater China) in red, blue and green respectively reflect the colours and tools used in professional flight navigation. In a clever spin, the idea of the fun BR 01 CASINO watch was inspired by a roulette as a dial.
Exclusive to boutiques this year is the BR 05 HOROLUM, limited to 250 pieces. Paying tribute to the minimalist and technical forms of modern buildings, the new timepiece adopts more urban, more mineral references. The hands and indexes of the BR 05 HOROLUM are covered with Super-LumiNova® C5, the most powerful photoluminescent coating available. To ensure high luminescence and excellent night-time legibility, the Super-LumiNova traps light quickly and releases it in the dark with lasting intensity. Its green tint, sharp during the day, gains even more strength at night.
Characterised by the use of all steel, including the bracelet, the The BR 05 HOROLUM will particularly appeal to urban explorers who can be found in cities at any time of the day or night.
For more information, see here.