I love watches, but I rarely go into boutiques. They’re stuffy, intimidating, and you never know what kind of mood the salesperson is going to be in. It doesn’t have the feel of community, camaraderie, and love of a shared passion that more casual meetups have; the types of meetups that got me into watches in the first place.
Watches of Switzerland is trying to change this. GQ tells it like this:
[WoS sells] some of the most expensive timepieces in the world: they tout in-store boutiques from Rolex, Cartier, and Patek Phillippe and an unparalleled mix from these sorts of brands as strengths. But WoS wants things to feel less intense. So Watches of Switzerland built a secret weapon in the store’s lower level: a full bar from Death & Company, the institution famous for kicking off New York’s cocktail craze. It might seem over the top, but it's only the latest in a series of retailers upping the ante.
GQ identifies this as another effort in the growing trend of experiential retail. Getting people out of the house (or 400 square foot condo, WoS’ latest shop is in New York’s Soho neighborhood) is a tall order. If i can scroll through my Instagram feed and see any watch at any time, and then talk about those watches in the comments or in forums, why leave? Well, to get a drink seems as good an answer as any.
To read the full profile on Watches of Switzerland’s efforts for retail domination, read GQ’s full profile.