IWC’s New Manhattan Flagship Boutique
|IWC New York Boutique on 54th Street & Madison Avenue|
Two words: flight simulator. Yes, flight simulator. But, more on that later. Last week IWC opened their long awaited New York flagship boutique on 54th and Madison. I had the chance today to stop in and see if it was worth the wait. It was.
Now, it seems as though every watch brand has a new or relatively new independent boutique. 57th Street alone has the Breitling, Jacob & Co, Audemars Piguet and Montblanc. Fifth Avenue has a score of others like Omega, Breguet and Harry Winston. Hell, Panerai is IWC’s neighbor on Madison. While they tend to be fairly well branded, each other store is more-or-less similar: afew photos on the wall (watch closeups and artsy prints mostly), the occasional couch, and a slew of watch display cabinets dominating the space.
Walking up to the new IWC store, I was prepared for more of the same. I was wrong. This boutique doesn’t follow the same blueprints as everyone else. The biggest difference is the lack of the huge and ubiquitous display cabinets. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of watches to drool over in the store. They’re just in smaller one, two or three watch display cubes.
You walk around the boutique and it feels like you’re in the home of a well-to-do bachelor. The store is set up as a kind of living room, sitting room and den with decor and accessories to match. Each family of watches (Pilot, Portofino, Portuguese, Da Vinci, Aquatimer & Ingenieur) is shown in a room very well suited to the look and feel of the watch. The watch displays are, then, very well integrated into the decor. The only issues are some pieces are a bit too well integrated and might be overlooked and the Aquatimer section is a back-lit underwater scene that makes the details of the watches difficult to appreciate.
The whole “man cave” feel of the boutique culminates in the Pilot section, where sits a huge and awesome flight simulator. I guess it’s for clients to see if they have the “right stuff”. All-in-all, the New York IWC Boutique is a nice place to be. If you have a minute, check it out. It’s worth the visit.