In the watch industry, it’s the summer of pop-ups. Ulysse Nardin is the latest Swiss watchmaker to announce a temporary retail presence, this one at the Watches of Switzerland boutique in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood, open now through September.
Home to the brand’s major talking pieces—including the limited edition Freak X with marquetry dial, the Freak Vision in rose gold, the full range of the Skeleton X and the Marine Mega Yacht, a $310,000 platinum timepiece whose features echo the design of a luxury yacht—the pop-up is centered around a number of tech-centric experiences powered by the brand’s exclusive Leap Motion software.
For example, watch enthusiasts will be able to use augmented and virtual reality to explore the mechanical interior of the Freak X, create their own X-Ray visuals and, with a simple flick of the wrist, deconstruct the UN-230 movement into individual components.
“We are excited to bring Ulysse Nardin to life with this immersive pop-up,” François-Xavier Hotier, president of Ulysse Nardin Americas, said in a statement. “Visitors will be able to engage with the brand in a way they haven’t before and to enjoy our playful and disruptive digital experience.”
The 8,000-square-foot Watches of Switzerland boutique on Greene Street in Soho opened last fall, marking the British retailer’s first flagship store in the U.S. The Ulysse Nardin pop-up is located on the lower level of the boutique, next to the library and a full-service bar curated by Death & Co.
“The decision to partner with Ulysse Nardin, a brand that is always pushing boundaries, was an easy one for us,” David Hurley, executive vice president of Watches of Switzerland Group USA, said in a statement. “Our stores are known for providing an exceptional client experience, and the debut of this groundbreaking technology, along with an incredible selection of timepieces, will be a special treat for our clients and guests.”
The Ulysse Nardin pop-up opens on the heels of ARcadium, a retail pop-up at New York City’s Hudson Yards, featuring immersive tech experiences provided by eight watchmakers owned by the Richemont group. Also open this month: Bulgari’s interactive Octo Lounge pop-up at Westime in Beverly Hills.