Swisswatches is delighted to present the watch community with the industry’s very first ‘Boutique Travel Guide’. In this new segment, we will share not only the very best watch boutiques in town, but also the other most exciting things available in the area. What does the city have to offer? Where are the best drinks? The finest restaurants? The secret haunts known only to locals? Discover the city guide curated exclusively for horology enthusiasts, for those who want to make the absolute most out of their trip to a boutique by uncovering everything there is to experience in town.
Since December 2022, the doors of the new Patek Philippe boutique in ‘the world’s most beautiful city’ (so the local saying goes) have been open. Spanning across 230 square metres, it is one of the largest boutiques belonging to the horology house, and is situated in Hamburg’s premium Neuer Wall shopping district. Here, the boutique’s Managing Director Karl Heinz Peters and his colleagues strive to create an unforgettable shopping experience, from the best possible customer service to the utmost discretion.
Wempe and Patek Philippe
The Swiss manufacture’s first boutique already opened in July 2015 at Neuer Wall No. 5, diagonally across from the new location. The new spot that Patek is now opting for seven years later, however, around three times the size. As was the case at the first location, the new boutique continues to be led by Hamburg’s luxury watch and jewellery retailer Wempe. The two brands look back on a lengthy partnership; Herbert Wempe was granted the exclusive concession to sell Patek Philippe timepieces in Hamburg as early as 1927, even before the Stern family acquired the watch manufacture. Exactly 95 years later, the two family-run companies are treating themselves to a new boutique.
With its tall panes of glass, the boutique’s exterior is an impressive sight, giving an hint of the impressive view offered of the Inner Alster waterfront from inside. Meanwhile, the space’s Art Deco interior design was custom-made for the boutique, featuring a mix of wooden materials: rosewood, ice beech, and birdeye maple with burnished brass and bronze elements. The bespoke furniture comes from Geneva and Italy, while the floor is made of the finest mosaic marble.
Discretion and entertainment
The boutique has two floors, in which 140 square metres span across the ground floor comprising a VIP Lounge and servicing area, with the latter being used for repairs and other small servicing tasks. Customers can observe Patek Philippe’s authorised, highly qualified watchmakers as they work on the intricate movements via a large screen. In the VIP area, customers don’t only enjoy a private atmosphere, but also the stunning sight of special editions displayed in a case. Hamburg has already played host to some of the rarest models, including the “Cuban Double Bassists”, “In Tribute to the Pioneers of Aviation”, and “The Conquest of the Air”.
On the upper floor, which spans over 90 square metres, guests can retreat to further private spots for discreet consultations. Most importantly, however, is the spacious room with a chic long table in the centre and an unrivalled view of the Alster, which is used for the various events that take place in the boutique. Finally, both the ground and upper floors offer a bar with various drinks, from complimentary coffee and soft drinks to champagne.
In the midst of the opening, we had the honour of interviewing Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern and Wempe CEO Kim-Eva Wempe.
Wempe – Patek Philippe
Neuer Wall 2-6
Monday to Friday: 10:00 to 19:00
Saturday: 10:00 to 18:00
Local tips for the perfect Hamburg trip
JIN GUI is not easy to find; you’ve got to be in the know. The restaurant is tucked away in the inner courtyard of the up-and-coming Hamburg Stadthöfe district, built with typical Hamburg clinker brickwork. Here you can find haute Asian cuisine on a whole new level. For the sushi fans out there, this place is pretty much the Garden of Eden. Even the interior of the JIN GUI is impressive, as it was developed by the renowned designer Joyce Wang from Hong Kong. No less imposing are the delicious dishes, from ‘Oyster Three Styles’ and truffle scallops to marinated seabass with tomato, red onions, coriander, olives and soja yuzu.
In the Bucerius Passage, slightly hidden behind the Alter Wall (Old Wall), you will find the Restaurant Wallters, which is led by twins Christian and Philipp of Prussia alongside Count Moritz of Stolberg. The two Prussian brothers are not only true gourmets, but also the great-great grandchildren of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Following their stationing at the famed Bayrischer Hof in Munich and the Savoy in London, the brothers recently headed the Berlin restaurant ‘Ojo de Agua’. In a chic loft ambience and with a view of Hamburg’s Fleet canal, guests can expect a small, fine menu featuring regional cuisine. The steak frites with Café de Paris sauce is particularly recommended – served with a glass of red wine from the Finca ses Taioles in Mallorca.
The Hotel Vierjahreszeiten (The Four Seasons Hotel) is located about three minutes from the new Patek Philippe Boutique, which was recently named the best grand hotel in Germany. It’s also home to the one of the largest wine cellars in Europe, which was completely renovated in 2022 to mark the 125th anniversary of the grand hotel. In addition to an abundance of restaurants, including the two-star restaurant Haerlin by Christoph Rüffer, the hotel is home to the smallest bar in Hamburg, the Jahreszeiten Bar.
Photocredit ©Matthias Plander, ©Guido Leifhelm, ©Tommy Hetzel
The Neuer Wall doesn’t only entice watch enthusiasts; rather, it is undoubtedly the best-known point of reference for all things luxury in Hamburg. One of the top addresses is the owner-operated company Unger – a luxury retailer with one of the best curated selections of high-end female fashion in northern Germany. Unger know exactly what clients are after. This is of little surprise, given that the company was founded way back in 1878 by Gustav Wilhelm Unger. In the 50s, the Braun family purchased the fashion house, and today, Florian Braun leads the business, with him and his sales team always on the hunt for hottest fashion pieces from brands such as Celine, Loewe, Chloé, and many more.
For a quick drink pitstop between shopping, it’s best to head to the UZWEI. The Bar is found at the Kaisergalerie (Emperor’s Gallery), not far from the Patek Philippe boutique and still in the heart of Hamburg’s luxury shopping district. The Bar, which first opened in December 2022, is the most recent addition to the UZWEI family, alongside a concept store and deli conceived and realised by owner Florian Braun, who also runs the aforementioned Unger fashion house. At UZWEI The Bar, he and his team of trained bartenders invite guests to enjoy a Negroni Sbagliato, Espresso Martini or many other long drinks, cocktails and champagne between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm.
Café Paris is located close to the town hall square, and is surely one of the most beautiful gastronomic institutions in Hamburg. It’s not just a café, but rather a restaurant open for both lunch and dinner. Those who enter the hall via glazed wooden doors and thick curtains will be transported back in time to the French Belle Epoque at the turn of the century. This place pulsates with life, with its bustling and noisy atmosphere. The Art Nouveau ceiling, with its white tiles, is the first thing that catches its guests’ attention – closely followed by the wafting scent of freshly baked croissants or, depending on the time of day, the house special: steak and French fries. Fancy a glass of champagne? This is absolutely accepted at Café Paris no matter the time of day, as all sense of time quickly goes out the window.
The new Patek Philippe Boutique offers a great view of the Alster. The ninth floor of the HERITAGE Rooftop Bar in the trendy Sankt Georg district, on the other hand, offers a great view over the Alster. An after-work hotspot with great cocktails, the bar is always full of perpetually jovial, flamboyant guests enjoying ever-cool music.
Felix Jud & Co. is no ordinary bookshop; it’s a ‘particularly outstanding bookshop’ according to the German Bookshop Prize 2021. Founded in 1923 by the then only 24-year-old Felix Jud, at that point still in the nearby Colonnaden shopping street, it offered up publications on ancient and modern art as well as philosophy books. Karl Lagerfeld once enthused, ‘Felix Jud is my intellectual delicatessen, and without it I would starve.’ Today, the shop sits in the Neuer Wall shopping district by the Alster, and has by no means lost its former charm. Readings and exhibitions regularly take place.
Founded in 1821, the Galerie Commeter is the oldest art gallery in Hamburg. Since 1996, Carola Persiehl has led the art venue through its fifth generation, with the gallery housing numerous works by contemporary international artists. Its two founders, Ernst Georg Harzen and Johann Matthias Commeter, bequeathed 30,000 prints and drawings to the Hanseatic City of Hamburg, including works by Dürer, Rembrandt and Raphael. Later, the gallery became the first to display works by Munch, Nolde, and the ‘Die Brücke’ (The Bridge) expressionist artists. In 1908, the gallery moved to Hermannstrasse, right next to Hamburg City Hall. Today, artists such as Jochen Hein, Stephan Heggelke, Sybille Hermanns, Maria Ikonomopoulou and many more can be admired at the gallery.
Photocredit ©Christian Schoppe