IWC (the Richemont Group) - like a number of other watch brands (Vacheron Constantin, Breguet, Corum, Hublot, Hermès ...) - built a network of boutiques (25 in 2009) that one may call classically elegant, in other words, very 'chic' places where one can go and buy watches. As a result, all the watch brand boutiques resembled each other.
But now IWC has just broken that similarity by taking inspiration from stores that sell luxury brand accessories: It first opened a flagship store in Hong Kong in 2009 then a second in New York on Madison Avenue last month. What an enormous change!
The boutique is a true "lifestyle store" of 300 m2 where all the collections are presented in an environment that evokes the powerful universes to which these six collections pertain to: books, accessories, navigation instruments, Santoni bracelets, shoes, calligraphy tools, chess boards, diving equipment, a flight simulator.... most of which are for sale. A limited edition collection - the IWC Collection, exclusive to the flagship stores in Hong Kong and New York - is also sold here.
These boutiques are really successful. Let us hope that they serve as an inspiration to other watch brands...