Some months ago I took this image above of my beloved UK cheap replica IWC Portugieser BFI Edition (launched in 2015 and available only at their London Boutique) and the MR PORTER Post (the supremely elegant, delightfully understated quarterly printed newspaper, featuring style advice from men from around the world with far superior style and taste than myself) — at the time I thought they were a wonderful paring but not for a second did I think both organisations would ever come together formally. On the one hand you have NET-A-PORTER (launched in June 2000) and MR PORTER (launched in February 2011) both of which have gone on to become juggernauts in the online retail space for women and menswear respectively. At MR PORTER you have watches from a number of brands including Zenith, Bremont and RESSENCE — but none from Richemont group of watch brands. That is, until now.
On the other hand, you have IWC. A Swiss watch manufacturer that has been producing timepieces (traditionally with a focus on tool watches — but in recent times watches of supreme elegance) since 1868. For some time now, IWC has been the first to move in the digital sphere. With Georges Kern at the helm (he has just been nominated to take on a board level role in Richemont, click here for details), the brand’s always looked to pioneer sporting, movie and influencer partnerships. Increasingly IWC has partnered with with innovative influencers in this digital world. A master stroke.
A while back, the big question was ‘are people willing to spend big money on watches online?’ The answer when MR PORTER launched in 2011 was ‘not sure’ — the answer now is, without doubt, a yes and amen. And this is just the start.
I strongly believe IWC and MR PORTER have set the tone for what is to come in the age of e-commerce. Maybe a few years ago people were speculative about buying big ticket items online — but things have changed. MR PORTER is living proof of this. They have earned our trust through beautiful, educated, relevant content; through over-delivering on customer service and building partnerships with like-minded organizations.
On the partnership, Georges Kern said “We are excited to offer a curated selection of IWC’s most iconic watches on MR PORTER and NET-A-PORTER where we can reach men and women who appreciate quality, elegance and style. This is a great opportunity for us to make our products more easily accessible for a younger generation of watch lovers who prefer shopping online.”
MR PORTER delivers worldwide to more than 170 countries including same-day delivery to New York and London and next-day delivery to the remaining parts of UK, US, Germany and France. No more excuses for not picking up that gorgeous blue dial Portugieser Perpetual Calendar now.
MR PORTER / NET-A-PORTER and IWC have set the tone. And this announcement is hugely exciting for the industry. Alison Loehnis, President, NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER said “The launch of IWC Schaffhausen marks an exciting new chapter for NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER. Fine Jewellery and Watches are a key focus for us and the addition of IWC to our roster of luxury brands takes this category to the next level. The craftsmanship and quality of luxury fake IWC watches, combined with their exquisite design and the heritage they represent, are sure to appeal to our discerning global customer base.”
The luxury goods market maybe in ‘challenging times’, and thankfully IWC have sat down and said ‘right, what are we going to do here? moan about the downturn in China or instability in the Middle East or are we going to look to the future and evolve to our changing customer needs’. Thankfully they have chosen the latter. On 16 November NET-A-PORTER will launch first with a curated selection of timepieces across the best replica IWC Pilot’s Watches UK and Portofino families. Thereafter, on 17 November MR PORTER will launch with a selection of core timepieces across the Pilot’s Watches, Ingenieur, Aquatimer, Portugieser and Portofino families. Enjoy.