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Vacheron Constantin Debuts Multisensory Experience at Harrods

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Vacheron Constantin Debuts Multisensory Experience at Harrods


LONDON — Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin will be the first brand to unveil a multisensory virtual reality experience at the brand-new 4D cinema, powered by Xydrobe, at Harrods this month, as part of a wider year-long partnership with the luxury department store celebrating its 175th anniversary.

Opening to the public on June 19, the experience titled “The Exceptional Voyage” — available for booking via Xydrobe’s website — will take the viewers into a dream-like adventure, exploring the rich history of Harrods through the lens of the Richemont-owned fine watchmaker.

Iona Judd, creative director for the Vacheron Constantin experience, teased that the narrative begins in a black cab on a predictably wet summer’s evening.

“Driven by an emotive, pacy score, our protagonists are invited to discover a series of increasingly surreal landscapes from the unchartered depths of the Harrods Vaults to limitless Dali-esque desert plains. Each mesmerizing scene is matched with real-world scents and sensations to create an unforgettable experience that is not only visual but highly sensory,” added Judd.

Poster for the Vacheron Constantin multisensory virtual reality experience at Harrods

Poster for the Vacheron Constantin multisensory virtual reality experience at Harrods.

Courtesy of Xydrobe

To commemorate the anniversary, the brand is also offering a single-piece edition Les Cabinotiers — Armillary Tourbillon platinum timepiece exclusive to Harrods, alongside 14 Hans Crescent window displays with its range of watch collections, and an exhibition highlighting key historical timepieces inside Harrods.

Located on the fifth floor of the Knightsbridge store, the “xydrobe VR Cinema” concept was first unveiled by WWD in April. 

Billed as “the next frontier of media” by Xydrobe, it aims to create deeper, more meaningful connections between brands and customers in addition to driving sales.

The cinema can seat up to 20 guests at a time and plans to use the highest-grade VR headsets to conjure tactile sensations of wind, temperature, immersive surround sound and a variety of scents, the company said.

Starting in June, Harrods will host a 4D immersive cinema experience, courtesy of the London-based company Xydrobe.

Courtesy

The cinema space was designed by Sybarite, the London architectural firm and a longtime partner of Xydrobe.

Sybarite cofounder Simon Mitchell called the project “a unique and masterful opportunity in creativity and retail strategy terms.”

“Xydrobe presented an opportunity to change the course of immersive experience in terms of luxury storytelling in a very personalized manner which was attractive and played to our strengths. We then worked together to think of how this could manifest itself within the context of a department store — a space we are very familiar with. To bring a greater audience. To utilize certain areas within the department itself. Our interest lay in how the Xydrobe experience could be scaled and co-exist within the department store world ecosystem successfully,” he added.

Isabella Gallucci, chief of brand at Xydrobe, said following the Vacheron Constantin debut at the “xydrobe VR Cinema,” more brands in the lineup will be revealed in due course.

“Each virtual world is meticulously crafted, allowing brands to weave captivating stories. These must-see experiences offer unparalleled journeys into the heart of innovation and creativity,” added Gallucci.

As reported, Xydrobe has produced visual effects content and immersive virtual reality experiences for brands including JW Anderson, Manolo Blahnik, Givenchy and, most recently, Dr. Barbara Sturm.

The Harrods project follows the opening of the Xydrobe Mayfair flagship on Carlos Place last October.

The Mayfair site offers luxury brands the chance to take over and activate VR experiences using one-person “xydrobe Pods.”

Eventually, Xydrobe wants to build a platform that will provide brands access to its 4D cinema network in various regions.