In nature, as Charles Darwin famously pointed out, rarity is the precursor to extinction. In luxury, conversely, rarity is the precursor to distinction, as evidenced by a two-month celebration (finishing on Thursday 16th August) of all things scarce – from precious fabrics and jewels to limited collections and unique in-store experiences – now underway at Harrods (harrods.com).
Those who are clued up about this institution’s 169-year history of foraging for unusual luxurious treasures from all over the world won’t be disappointed. Hublot’s MP0 La Ferrari Green Sapphire Watch and Roger Dubuis’ highly exclusive Ecacalibur Adventador S Blue, crafted from the same SMC carbon as Lamborghini cars, will be among the timepieces showcased in the store’s Fine Watches & Jewellery department, while Chaumet’s ‘Lumieres Celestes’ tiara featuring an internally flawless diamond weighing 1.29ct will immediately catch the eye of those entering the Fine Jewellery Room. (Look out, too, for a redesign of an original chromosphere clock by Chanel that once graced Coco Chanel’s Parisian apartment.)
Those who tend to make a beeline for the Food and Wine Rooms will encounter a tasty celebration of gourmet ingredients: expect to encounter Belgian albino caviar, a 36-month-old Comte and a bottle of 1990 Petrus (the rarest vintage year in the celebrated house’s history), while a Louis X111 Cognac which – signed by four generations of the Louis X111 cellar masters – will delight spirit historians.
Fashionistas will marvel over a haute couture evening gown by Ralph & Russo and Bottega Veneta’s Knot Clutch reimagined in 18ct gold, or an embellished jacket from Balmain if more inclined towards menswear, while a unique selection of collectable and limited edition homewares have been curated by the Home department including a signed coloured portrait of Albert Einstein – let’s take that in for a moment! – and a Goyard trunk signed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. A 1911 Edelweiss piano signed by Gabrielle Gaveau and Bernardaud’s Emerald plate collection made from 24 carat gold also feature prominently.
If rarefied experiences entice you more, unique insights into the bespoke, in-store services on offer include the creation of a personal custom-blend tea with the Harrods Tea Tailor and wine pairing masterclasses in the new Fine Wines & Spirits room.
While visiting, and taking in your own personal selection of the 60 exclusive products and 20 bespoke experiences on offer, it may enrich your experience to keep in mind the exceptionalism of Harrods’ own back story: the place where this remarkable celebration takes place started out, in 1834, as a wholesale grocer’s and tea merchants in East London.