Some months ago I took this image above of my beloved 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.