Inside Rolex’s first Toronto boutique, where staffers handle watches with microfibre gloves

Inside Rolex’s first Toronto boutique, where staffers handle watches with microfibre gloves

Torontonians on the hunt for flashy wrist candy are in luck: the city’s first Rolex flagship has just opened inside Square One in partnership with Raffi Jewellers, showcasing hundreds of the brand’s pricey Swiss timepieces. The boutique is constructed from Spanish marble and constantly guarded by security, with impeccably clad staff on hand to help shoppers pick a watch that suits their lifestyle. There are Rolexes for everyone from perennial yachters (the “Yacht Master” has a programmable countdown for regatta starting sequences) to the scuba diving-obsessed (one model can dive down to 4,000 feet). Price tags range from around $6,000 to $150,000, meaning every detail—like diamond-encrusted casings, scratch-proof sapphire crystal and bands made of 18k pink gold—is impeccably high-end.

Apparently, shoppers usually start off by perusing the less expensive options, like this steel Oyster Perpetual ($5,800), but end up gravitating towards the statement pieces. (We get it: if you’re going to buy a Rolex you may as well go all out and channel your inner Roger Federer or Michael Bublé.)

The platinum Cosmograph Daytona ($93,300) was designed for professional race car drivers. It allows its wearer to accurately measure speeds up to 400 kilometres per hour:

The store was designed by Rolex Geneva’s in-house team of architects. It’s meant to invoke the spirit of the sea—a wall of illuminated aqua glass is etched with wavy patterns:

The cabinets were crafted from walnut, and the floors and walls are Crema Marfil marble:

After staff learn a bit about a potential customer, they’ll select two or three different pieces for him or her to try on (Rolex employees always wear microfibre gloves when handling the watches). Then, they’ll sit the shopper down at a desk and offer a drink, as he or she considers which statement-maker to break the bank on:

Diamonds add an extra bit of sparkle to the steel and gold Datejust model ($20,300) on the left:

The company has four factories in Switzerland where all watches are handmade. They even patented their own pink gold, which is called “Everrose.” It’s used for this Yacht Master ($28,850):