The Perfect Day: Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Savile Row Concours

The Perfect Day: Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Savile Row Concours


Ah, London in the rain. There’s something incredibly British about it, isn't there? Umbrellas up, raincoats on, and that quintessential grey sky that makes everything feel a bit more charming. As someone who adores both high end watches and luxury cars, I recently spent a day indulging in my passions at Burlington Arcade and the Saville Row Concourse. Allow me to take you on a journey through what I consider the perfect day for any watch and car enthusiast.

Morning: Exploring Burlington Arcade for Luxury Watches

A Bit of Burlington Arcade History
The Perfect Day Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse

Nestled in the heart of Mayfair, Burlington Arcade is one of London’s hidden gems. Built in 1819, it has long been a haven for those seeking luxury and exclusivity. Walking through its marbled halls, you can almost hear the whispers of history. A walkthrough arcade linking Fortnum & Mason to Saville Row, where every store is a gem. From independents to commercial retailers, there's something for everyone. For watch enthusiasts, it's unrivalled—perhaps only Hatton Garden comes close.

Traveling to the Area: If you're from out of town

Tube Ride to Green Park

Getting to Burlington Arcade and Saville Row is part of the adventure. As a Londoner I hopped on the tube, heading to Green Park station. The tube ride itself is an experience, especially if you’re a people watcher like me. It’s fascinating to see the mix of tourists and locals, all with their own stories and destinations.

A Rainy Spring Walk

checkboxrainystrollthroughlondon rainystrollthroughlondon

Stepping out of Green Park station, I was greeted by the thick air and the sight of raindrops dancing on the leaves. The walk from Green Park to Burlington Arcade is delightful, even on a rainy day. With my waxed jacket on and a good pair of boots, I was prepared; there’s something undeniably British about braving the rain in style, don't you think?

As I strolled past the Ritz, I couldn’t help but feel a deep appreciation for London’s charm. The rain soaked greenery, the historic architecture peeking through the trees—it all adds to the magic of the day. Plus, the rain keeps people at bay, giving you a more intimate experience with the city.

Must Visit Watch Boutiques

Somlo London


First stop, Somlo London. This boutique is a treasure trove of vintage Omega, Cartier and Rolex watches. I remember stepping in and being greeted by the warm, inviting atmosphere that perfectly complements the arcade’s classic charm. The staff, impeccably dressed and incredibly knowledgeable, were quick to offer insights into the latest collections.

The Perfect Day: Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse

One timepiece caught my eye—a vintage Omega Speedmaster Chronograph, the Limited Edition 'From the Moon to Mars' from 2005. An absolute grail Speedmaster in my opinion. If I had a spare £10,000 to spend, I would have asked them to take my money right then and there.

Maunder Watch Co.

Another must visit is Maunder Watch Co. This boutique specialises in more modern pre owned luxury watches, offering a unique selection of timepieces from brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Audemars Piguet.

I was particularly taken by a 1 of 50 Rolex Deep Sea Clearance Diver 60th Anniversary made to mark the 60th anniversary of the Diver’s branch of the Royal Navy. This very rare watch, limited to only 50 pieces, has all the original provenance including the patches; this was one of the watches in the window without a price .. dare we ask!

The Perfect Day Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse seadweller bomb disposal rolex

The Vintage Watch Company

Finally, I stumbled upon the Vintage Watch Company, an absolute treasure trove for any Rolex enthusiast. This shop had every Rolex imaginable, all lined up in date order.

The Perfect DayShopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse vintage rolex

I had the pleasure of speaking with Patrick, the manager, who was a wealth of knowledge. He took the time to walk me through their collection and even let me try on two 1989 GMT's; Coke and Pepsi.

Perfectly in line with my birth years. It was an incredible experience, and Patrick's passion for horology made it all the more special.

The Perfect Day Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse 1989 rolex gmt

Shopping Tips for Watch Enthusiasts

Research and Preparation

Now, a bit of advice: before you hit Burlington Arcade, do your homework. Know what you're looking for and have a list of potential models in mind. It saves time and makes the experience more enjoyable. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer number of watches on display. Furthermore, remember you're in Mayfair, so expect Mayfair prices—though there's often some room for negotiation.

Engage with the Experts

Don't be shy; so many customers came in and out without a word! Engage with the staff—they’re there to help. Ask questions, get recommendations, try pieces on and most importantly, take your time. There’s no rush in the world of luxury watches.

Morning Break: Café Recommendations

All this watch shopping can be quite exhausting, so I recommend a quick break. Just around the corner, you’ll find the Ralph Lauren Café. It’s the perfect spot for a mid morning coffee or a light breakfast.

This charming little spot offers a cozy retreat overlooking Tiffany and Cartier on Old Bond Street. It was the perfect place to check some work emails and watch the world go by. Great Coffee also!

The Perfect Day Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse mgbwatches ralph cafe

Afternoon: Attending the Savile Row Concours

Introduction to the Concourse on Savile Row
saville row concours

After a refreshing break, it’s time to head over to Savile Row for the Concourse. Now, Savile Row isn’t just famous for its bespoke tailoring. Once a year, for two days it transforms into a paradise for car enthusiasts. The rain had picked up by this point, but that didn’t dampen the spirits. If anything, it added a dramatic flair to the event, with raindrops glistening on the polished exteriors of cars.

The entire street is elegantly laid with a red carpet, and the stores extend their charm into the open air, offering champagne, snacks, and displaying their finest wares.

The atmosphere is incredibly exclusive and inviting. There’s an impressive mix of cars and bikes, with a total of 40 on display. The Concours on Savile Row is completely closed to traffic, allowing free entry for all. Additionally, a central stage features engaging talks and live music, enhancing the vibrant atmosphere.

Full timetable here

Highlighting the Car Show

Three Stand Out Cars On Show

1950 Land-Rover Series I Station Wagon
Owner: George Bamford 

The Perfect Day Shopping Watches at Burlington Arcade and Seeing Cars at Saville Row Concourse George Bamfords Landy

One standout was the 1950 Land Rover Series I Station Wagon by Tickford. This classic was enjoyed by King George VI and the late Queen equally. Built on an 80-inch wheelbase, it featured a 1.6-litre engine paired with a Rover P3 sourced four speed gearbox and a unique four wheel drive system.

Tickford, known for their work with Rolls-Royce and Lagonda, crafted the wooden framed body, making this model a rarity with only around 700 ever made. George Bamford’s [Yes the Watchmaker!] version had a charming history and modifications that makes it a modern day gem.

Check out Bamford's Stunning new Harrods x Snoopy 175 Anniversary Edition  GMT Watch here

1995 McLaren F1
Owner: Gavin Moule

Another highlight was the legendary 1995 McLaren F1. Once the world’s fastest production car, its 6.1-litre BMW V12 engine could reach 240.1mph. This particular model, chassis 028, originally belonged to American racing driver Michael Andretti. Painted in a unique Grand Prix Red, it’s one of only two ever made in this color. Andretti’s signature on the back of the central visor adds to its storied past.

2024 Koenigsegg Jesko
Owner: Koenigsegg London

The modern marvel on display was the 2024 Koenigsegg Jesko. With a jawdropping 1600bhp from its 5.1-litre twin-turbocharged V8, it’s a beast on the roads. The Jesko can switch from 1280bhp on petrol to 1600bhp on E85 biofuel. The car’s lightweight, thanks to a carbon fibre tub and bodywork, allows it to perform spectacularly. The two variants, Attack and Absolut, cater to different driving styles, with the Absolut theoretically capable of reaching 350mph.

Cross Interest Appeal

Craftsmanship and Precision

What struck me most was the parallel between the world of watches and cars. Bamford as a prime example - both require an extraordinary level of craftsmanship and precision. As a watch enthusiast, I could appreciate the intricate engineering that goes into creating these cars. It's like comparing the delicate inner workings of a Patek Philippe to the roaring heart of an Aston Martin.

Networking Opportunities

The concourse isn’t just about ogling cars; it’s also a fantastic place to meet like minded enthusiasts. I struck up a conversation with a gentleman who turned out to be both a watch collector and a classic car owner. We ended up discussing everything from the latest watch releases to the best routes for a Sunday drive in the countryside.

Combining Passions: Watches and Cars

The Synergy of Watches and Cars

There's a beautiful synergy between watches and cars. Both are about more than just functionality; they’re about art, engineering, and passion. Whether it’s the meticulous design of a watch or the roar of a car engine, both capture the essence of what it means to create something truly special.

Collecting Both: Tips for Enthusiasts

Investment Potential

If you’re a collector, both luxury watches and classic cars can be excellent investments. The key is to know what you're buying. Research, market trends, and condition are crucial factors. I’ve seen watches and cars appreciate significantly over time, making them not just passions but also smart financial decisions.

Preservation and Maintenance

Maintaining these treasures is vital. For watches, regular servicing by a certified professional ensures they keep ticking accurately. For cars, it’s all about regular maintenance and proper storage. A classic car deserves a garage as luxurious as the car itself!

Evening: Wrapping Up the Perfect Day

Recap of the Day’s Highlights

As the day winds down, it’s nice to reflect on the highlights. From the rare timepieces at Burlington Arcade to the stunning cars at the Saville Row Concourse, it’s been a day of pure luxury and indulgence.

Relaxing Evening Activities

To wrap up the day, I suggest heading to The Connaught Bar. It’s one of the best bars in London, perfect for a quiet drink. The ambiance is sophisticated, and the cocktails are nothing short of extraordinary. A classic martini, perhaps, as you toast to a day well spent.

Final Thoughts

Exploring London’s luxury scene, from watches to cars, is a unique experience that combines history, craftsmanship, and passion. It’s a reminder of why we love these things in the first place

Reflecting on this perfect day, I’m reminded of why London is such a fantastic city for luxury enthusiasts. The blend of history, culture, and modern sophistication creates an atmosphere that’s hard to match.

I encourage you to plan your own visit to Burlington Arcade and the Saville Row Concourse. Share your experiences, your finds, and join a community of like-minded individuals who appreciate the finer things in life.

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