IWC Reveals New Racing-Themed Boutique

In Zurich, IWC Schaffhausen blends retailing with an interactive journey connecting watchmaking and motorsport

Throughout the watchmaking world, there is great appreciation for motorsport, as the two universes share a common high regard for excellence in engineering. For Swiss brand IWC Schaffhausen, this connection is shown through, among other things, the IWC Racing Team. And that classic racing team has become the central concept of IWC’s new boutique in Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse.

“With this boutique we wanted to create a story our clients can walk into and become a part of—a permanent event bringing the world of IWC Racing to life,” explains IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr. “The Racing Works store offers a complete in-depth brand and service experience, as well as a center of excellence for watchmaking.”

The centerpiece of the boutique is the IWC Racing Mercedes 300 SL “Gullwing”—the official car of the IWC Racing Team. There are also distinct thematic zones. First is the Engineering Lab that tells the story of IWC’s technical excellence and key innovations from the brand’s 152-year history. The Garage has the aforementioned race car, a presentation of IWC’s racers and their victories, as well as a VR driving experience.

Then there’s the Customs Studio where clients can get their straps and accessories customized, the Paddock Bar for a pit stop with snacks and drinks, the Driver’s Lounge featuring an instore digital shop-the-look concept in partnership with Mr. Porter, and finally the Workshop which features the on-site watchmaking studio with AR video functionality as well as a live link to the Manufacturing Center in Schaffhausen.

It might be quite a while before IWC fans from outside of Switzerland can drop by and browse through the new boutique. But it certainly makes for a great entry in the must-visit lists of horology enthusiasts everywhere around the world, as well as a case study of how retail concepts can embrace modern technology and a brand’s heritage in a most compelling way.