It is becoming increasingly clear that you can spot a watch brand with momentum because it starts opening more branded boutiques, either directly or in partnership with its retailers.
IWC Schaffhausen is a bigger brand, by turnover, than the likes of Breitling and TAG Heuer, but has been lagging behind them in terms of boutique openings.
A new showroom in London’s Battersea Power Station shopping centre, which welcomed its first customers in December, may be the first of many in the UK in the coming years as IWC pushes forward off the back of a surge in sales for its Big Pilot watches and other references and Richemont ramps up activity outside London for its specialist watchmakers.
IWC says the Battersea showroom, a glass cube within the historic power generation building, is the first of a new modern industrial design concept being introduced in the UK.
“IWC London Battersea is the first new concept boutique in the UK. I am extremely proud to open a boutique in Battersea Power Station – an iconic landmark development and new urban centre for London. We are excited to invite our customers into the fascinating world of IWC watchmaking in this completely unique environment”, says Christoph Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC.
The 2150 square foot store invites customers to immerse themselves into the world of IWC.
Watches are securely displayed without being locked in cabinets so customers can touch and try them on.
There are big screens showing IWC watchmaking through the years, and a bar serving a signature cocktail along with coffee and other drinks.
The the bar can transform into a watchmaking masterclass bench where people can try their hand at making a calibre 69 chronograph movement.
“Battersea Power Station and IWC Schaffhausen have an incredible history which now links us together with a modern twist. Guests can fully immerse themselves into IWC’s world and discover how we engineer some of our most iconic timepieces”, explains Grant Wilson, brand director at IWC Schaffhausen UK.
IWC’s boutique is surrounded by competitors run by Watches of Switzerland Group including a Watches of Switzerland multibrand showroom anchored by Rolex along with Omega, Breitling, Tudor and TAG Heuer boutiques.