The Swiss watchmaker’s new flagship on Madison shows its timepieces in context.
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IWC Schaffhausen, known for the classic, functional elegance and clean design of its Swiss-made watches, has opened its first U.S. flagship—in a 3,000-square-foot bilevel space on Madison Avenue complete with tufted leather club chairs and a flight simulator.
As if you needed more reasons to covet the timepieces, the store is divided into six vignettes that embody the lifestyle of each watch collection. The Portofinos, for example, are displayed among richly decorated Italian accents—Santoni loafers, leather picture frames, and a chocolate brown and white armoire that looks as though it were transported from the Hotel Splendido. The Portuguese collection—inspired by Portugal’s great seafarers Vasco de Gama and Bartolomeu Dias—sits among yacht-style accoutrements, including stylish coffee-table books, nautical figurines, and custom navigation instruments.
For each watch family, there’s one exclusive item for sale at the boutique. A novelty diving kit with fins and goggles accompanies IWC’s Aquatimer diving timepieces. Airplane enthusiasts can try out a $39,000 flight simulator near the Pilot collection. Next to the sporty Ingenieur timepieces sits a Storck racing bicycle, and a pair of IWC limited edition sunglasses accompanies the Da Vinci collection.
“The opening of this flagship boutique in New York marks a major milestone for IWC Schaffhausen,” says Georges Kern, the company’s CEO. “It not only reflects the success of the brand but pays tribute to our American heritage.” IWC’s founder, Florentine Ariosto Jones, grew up in Boston 140 years ago, yet—naturally—New York got the store.