Union Suiza, which has been selling the iconic brand's watches since 1929, plans to open the new shop by the end of the year. An architectural team is now working on the design of the boutique, which marks a turning point for the two historic brands.
The establishment, strategically located at number 111 Passeig de Gràcia, next to the Diagonal, has 460 square metres spread over two floors. The intention is to create a new space in which to offer customers a unique experience. The building, which originally housed the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Barcelona and was completely remodelled by Carlos Ferrater (National Architecture Award) to transform it into a high-end residence, has been chosen for this purpose.
Union Suiza's aim is to open the establishment at the end of this year, in which the spirit of two more than century-old firms with ambitions for the future will be maintained. It will be on the ground floor of the building that was just remodelled two years ago, after KKH bought the block in 2014 when it was still the offices of Deutsche Bank with the intention of converting it into what was to be the Four Seasons hotel and which has finally become the luxury residences managed by Mandarin Oriental.
The goal of Unión Suiza, the historic family business founded in 1840 by the Vendrell family, is to turn this space into a reference point for watches and jewellery from the Swiss brand. In fact, both firms share a history dating back to the 1920s, when the grandfather of the current generation of the Vendrell family worked with the grandfather of the current president of Patek Philippe, Thierry Stern. The relationship has continued to the present day, with brothers Lluís, Xavier, Cesar and David Vendrell at the helm of the company and the seventh generation now in the business.
Not far from what will be the first exclusive boutique in Barcelona is the Unión Suiza shop at Diagonal 482, which already has an exclusive space for the sale of Patek Philippe pieces. This corner is a sample of the parallel history of both firms. In fact, the origins of the two sagas date back to 1840, when Jaume Vendrell and Francisca Castellá set up a jewellery shop and workshop in Barcelona, just a year after Antoine Norbert de Patek and François Czapek founded Patek, Czapek & Cie in 1839. The relationship between the two companies was sealed in 1929 and will soon be a century old.