Date — 28 October, 2009
The world’s first IWC Flagship Boutique in Hong Kong adds an exciting new dimension to the brand experience for clients of the Swiss watch manufacturer. Designed to give lovers of the company’s timepieces a unique insight into the world of IWC Schaffhausen, the newly opened Flagship Boutique not only displays an extensive selection of watches but is also unique in featuring the new “IWC Collection”. The items and accessories in this select range are produced in extremely small quantities and available exclusively through the Flagship Boutique in Hong Kong.
They will enable visitors to feel and experience the spirit of IWC Schaffhausen for themselves. The new Flagship Boutique is an inspirational voyage of discovery into the fascinating and multifaceted worlds of IWC. With the sole exception of Schaffhausen, where the company was founded and is still headquartered to this day, no other location offers such a revealing insight into the IWC brand and its values.
Every watch from the Swiss manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen has a history of its own, a unique biography that starts in the record books kept in Schaffhausen and continues on the wrist of its owner. Now, this rich narrative tradition takes on another dimension: 1881 Heritage, Hong Kong’s luxurious new shopping mall at the former Marine Police Headquarters in Kowloon, is home to the new IWC Flagship Boutique. The first of its kind in the world, it is not only a retail location for the company’s much-coveted timepieces but also an expression of its core values, innovation and engineering excellence. “Our Flagship Boutique in Hong Kong is the jewel in the crown of 25 IWC boutiques around the world that bring the company’s spirit and philosophy to life. We are proud of this milestone in our history and look forward to welcoming customers to this wonderful venue,” says Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
The first of its kind in the world, it is an expression of its core values, innovation and engineering excellence
The Flagship Boutique presents the company’s watch families – the Aquatimer, Pilot’s watches, Ingenieur, Da Vinci and Portuguese – in emotive settings that reflect their individual character. The newly developed “IWC Collection” – on display for the first time in the new Flagship Boutique – has strong links with the various product lines and is made up of innovative, handpicked items and accessories as exclusive and outstanding as the watches themselves. It will enable customers to learn more about IWC and the fascinating stories attached to the brand and each of its product families.
Before entering into the various worlds of the IWC watch families, visitors are greeted by the neo-classical façade of the former Crown Colony’s Marine Police Headquarters. They then step into the foyer with its distinctive IWC design, where some of IWC’s outstanding complications are on show. The new Flagship Boutique radiates the atmosphere of an exclusive club. Displayed in two fabulously appointed themed wings extending to over 200 square metres, the watches are complemented by items in the “IWC Collection” that are available exclusively at this location. The Classic Lifestyle Wing houses the traditional watch families, the Da Vinci and the Portuguese. At the opposite end of the store, the Sports Lifestyle Wing is home to timepieces designed for more rugged use – the Ingenieur, the Aquatimer and the Pilot’s watches.
The fascinating world of diving has lost none of its allure to this day. The centrepiece of the Aquatimer underwater world is the intriguing story of the Galapagos Islands. The theme of conquering the depths is also reflected in the interior: a perfect symbiosis of powerful athleticism, functional reliability and technically oriented design. The diving equipment that has been specially developed for the “IWC Collection”, such as a diving kit from Cressi Sub with ultra-light fins and diving mask in the colours of the Aquatimer Automatic 2000, is not only perfect for IWC enthusiasts who dive for fun but also suitable for use by professional divers.
The dream of flight starts in the Aviator’s Lounge in the Pilot’s watch area. Visitors will be transported back in time to the pioneering age of aviation by the atmosphere of an officer’s mess from the early 20th century. The combination of technical ingenuity, innovative materials and master craftsmanship creates a unique aesthetic. The handcrafted buffalo leather jackets and cowhide on-board bags from the “IWC Collection” open up the door to a world of airborne adventure. With the “IWC Collection” Flight Simulator, installed in an adjacent room, visitors to the boutique can get a realistic impression of the excitement of flying. Equipped with an extra-large screen and surround sound, the fully manoeuvrable simulator guarantees maximum thrills in a mock-up of a Spitfire cockpit handcrafted to IWC specifications. Visitors who wish to go a step further and complement their IWC Spitfire Chronograph with the perfect accessory can purchase a radio-controlled Spitfire. The aircraft, which is handmade in Switzerland and faithfully modelled on the original, can reach flight speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour.
The collaboration between IWC and de Rothschild underlines the company’s claim to sustainability
The world of the Ingenieur, fitted with smoky grey mirrors and dark chrome, is characterized by a love of adventure coupled with a passion for nature. The Plastiki expedition undertaken by adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild and his organization, Adventure Ecology, is the focal point of this domain. The collaboration between IWC and de Rothschild underlines the company’s claim to sustainability. One of the showpieces of the “IWC Collection” is a high-tech road bike, made of carbon fibre and weighing in at under six kilograms – currently the lightest road bike available that is also suitable for everyday use. An engraving of the owner’s name on the bars guarantees the uniqueness of this technically outstanding piece of sporting equipment.
The interior of the Da Vinci section, the next stop on our tour, mirrors the inventiveness and aesthetic sophistication epitomized by these IWC watches and their proud history. The approach to design taken by Leonardo da Vinci, artist, Renaissance man and the figure after whom IWC’s most innovative range of watches is named, is reflected in the choice furnishings and in the showcased works of art, bathed in warm light. Among the technically outstanding items in the “IWC Collection” is a watch winder designed specially for the Da Vinci family and produced in cooperation with Erwin Sattler, the world’s leading manufacturer in this field. If for some reason the owner of a Da Vinci with a perpetual calendar chooses not to wear his watch, the winder mechanism, which is computer programmed and adjusted individually to the watch calibre, ensures that the mainspring is always optimally wound and that the watch is ready to wear at all times. Fashioned from highest-quality wood, with finely crafted mechanics and integrated LED lighting, the “IWC Collection” watch winder represents the perfect complement to even the most complicated and sophisticated timepieces from IWC Schaffhausen.
The Portuguese watch section with its elegant Navigator’s Lounge gives visitors the feeling of being aboard a luxury yacht
With its dark wood floor panels and custom-made, recessed-glass display cabinets, the Portuguese watch section with its elegant Navigator’s Lounge gives visitors the feeling of being aboard a luxury yacht. The sensation is enhanced by the exclusive “IWC Collection”: for instance the Nautical Instruments, a selection of professional marine aids, or the Navigation Set, a collection of high-quality instruments that enables the user to navigate accurately using the traditional map method. Its customized case made of solid, top-quality wood with a sumptuous high-gloss finish, will attract admiring glances even between manoeuvres.
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