IWC Schaffhausen watches costing as much as $121,000 will go on sale at Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter on November 18, as the Swiss watchmaker tests whether online shoppers might help pull it out of an industry slump.
IWC has never before partnered with an online-only luxury retailer; Net-A-Porter will launch with a curated selection of timepieces across the Pilot’s Watches and Portofino families.
“We are very pleased to announce our partnership with the leading Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen which will further strengthen Net-A-Porter and Mr Porter’s unparalleled luxury shopping experience. This step forward will propel our Fine Watches and Jewellery category to the next level,” said Federico Marchetti, CEO of Yoox Net-A-Porter Group.
IWC sees the partnership with the world’s biggest luxury online retailer as an important move to secure a new generation of customers. “This is a great opportunity for us to make our products more easily accessible for a younger generation of watch lovers who are used to shopping online,” said Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
YNAP's watch and jewelry sales are expected to reach €100 million ($110 million) by 2020, Marchetti said. The highest priced watches on Mr. Porter's site so far are brands such as Zenith and Bremont that sell for more than $20,000.
YNAP reported organic sales growth of 19 percent in the third quarter, with revenue reaching €435.4 million. "Watchmakers are becoming more open to the idea of e-commerce," YNAP's Marchetti said.
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