Opening of a high-end boutique

Dec 22, 2009,10:19 AM

Suppose you're starting a boutique with only Independent Haute Horlogerie… than you should organize an opening. So what to do for your guests, especially since some of the guests are the world's best watchmakers!

Well… last weekend i had to honor of being present at such an opening and it was the most fun opening i ever attended.

Bart and Tim Grönefeld opened their Grönefeld Boutique last weekend. The boutique represents Cornelius & Cie, Kees Engelbarts, McGonigle, Sarpaneva, S.U.F., Speake-Marin and of course their own brand with it's first watch, the Grönefeld GTM-06.

On friday, the press day, the guests where invited for karting and BBQ. Yes indeed… you open an absolute high-end watch boutique and you don't take your guests to a restaurant with at least 1 Michelin star. No… you take them for karting and a good BBQ. A girlfriend of mine thought it was very logical, 'all men's things', and how right she was!

It was so much fun and excellent and relax way to get to know John McGonigle, Peter Speake-Marin and of course Bart and Tim Grönefeld.
Kees Engelbarts arrived on saturday and unfortunately Stepan Sarpaneva was unable to attend.

So on to the photos…. first the press day smile

They must be kidding... karting in the snow?

Getting ready for the race on snow and ice....
Even in rain coat and with hair net, John McGonigle's looks like he's determined to win.... his killer-look.

Ready, set, go!!!!!

OK, who crashed?

After the kart race it was time for BBQ

Peter Speake-Marin found a table close to the heat of the BQQ...
And was also able to throw an extra sausage on the BBQ. Relax smile

An excellent meal, especially after karting on snow and ice.

John McGonigle thought our Dutch beers where small, so he got a bigger one...

And now on to the photos of the official opening.

The Grönefeld Boutique

I could show you photos of the Mayor performing the official opening, photos of the guests, the displays with watches... however I'll stick to the watchmakers who made this possible.
Peter Speake-Marin, Kees Engelbarts, John McGonigle, Tim and Bart Grönefeld... a few of the very best watchmakers on earth.

And a group wrist shot....

Unfortunately Stepan Sarpaneva couldn't be present, so i'll just show a few of his watches in the new boutique.
At the left is what i think the very last available Korona K2 (sorry for the bad photo).

Bart tries to sell a Grönefeld GTM-06 to John McGonigle

The two men who created the Grönefeld GTM-06 and started a boutique for Independent Haute Horlogerie, Bart and Tim Grönefeld... ELECTRIFYING!!

Later i'll post more photos of the watches available at the Grönefeld Boutique.... Cornelius & Cie, Kees Engelbarts, McGonigle, Sarpaneva, Peter Speake-Marin, S.U.F. and Grönefeld. What a line up smile

More posts: McGonigleSarpanevaSpeake-Marin

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Excellent! Karts and BBQ..

 By: ArthurSG : December 22nd, 2009-20:55
would have been very fun. Karting on the snow/ice must have proven more fun than intended LOL! Thanks for sharing this.

Great Concept!

 By: patrick_y : December 22nd, 2009-23:00
That's really great! That sure does look like fun! I haven't go-karted outdoors, all of the go-kart sessions I've had were indoors. Very nice boutique, thanks for sharing!

Unique concept?

 By: monochrome : December 22nd, 2009-23:28
I'm not sure if this is the only boutique in the world, representing 100% independents and no other brands. I just know this is the only one i know of.... Due to the location of this boutique it's a few hours drive for watch collectors from northern Germa... 

It is pretty unique...

 By: patrick_y : December 22nd, 2009-23:39
Not a lot of watch dealers represent the small independents. Definitely one of the more unique watch stores ever!

What a great idea

 By: Geo : December 22nd, 2009-23:25
to have a Boutique for independents. This should be done in other countries too. GEO

Fully agree, Geo

 By: monochrome : December 22nd, 2009-23:31
Selling Independent Haute Horlogerie next to big name brands like Lange & Sohne, Breguet and Patek Philippe is of course different. I assume people visiting the Grönefeld Boutique probably already know what Independent Haute Horlogerie is... it's bea... 

Sarpaneva looks unique.

 By: patrickmaniac : December 23rd, 2009-00:23
What a cool and unique dial! Wish I was there for all the fun. Cheers Pat

An excellent post and

 By: cfdfire : December 23rd, 2009-01:04
thank you for these pictures Monochrome.It is nice to see the cold weather does not get in the way of the outdoor fun.What a great idea to do a typical summer type event in the winter,kind of reminds me of the Jamaican bobsled team. Good food and small be... 

Interesting way to open a store. if there are stores for..

 By: Ronald Held : December 23rd, 2009-05:20
independents, does that compromise their independence?

It has not much to do with their independence

 By: Geo : December 23rd, 2009-11:52
Or do you feel that an independent is an independent when he sells his own watches. If an independent is still an independent when he has a dealer network, than a Boutique with independents, should not make a difference, I think. GEO

really thank you

 By: aldossari_faisal : December 23rd, 2009-12:17
Excellent , you know mates, when I see such gatherings, such kind of stores, it comforts me it tells me how good the watch industry is, let alone the old famous and known brands who one way or another are being commercial no matter what special or unique ... 

Well spoken, Faisal

 By: monochrome : December 23rd, 2009-13:48
The independents really make THE most beautiful watches, in my opinion. And i'm also really happy these guys have the guts, the knowledge and skills to create pieces of art. Buying my first independent watch, a Sarpaneva Korona K1, was an experience no bi... 

Great post!

 By: dxboon : December 23rd, 2009-22:04
What a wonderful concept for a boutique. The world of independent haute horology is so diverse and magnificent. There's so much to discover! I'd love to visit the store and check out the various timepieces for myself. Also, that BBQ looks tasty! Thanks fo... 

It was my pleasure Daos :-)

 By: monochrome : December 26th, 2009-16:24

Thank you!!!!

 By: big daddy : December 26th, 2009-16:55
Super report and I look forward to seeing more!

Thanks Mono,

 By: michelW : December 27th, 2009-02:41
it was a nice party, with very great people, good to see you again, and indeed, it's a great concept with very intresting watches Best, Michel