PARIS — Watches of Switzerland is launching a “see now, buy now” program to coincide with the Watches and Wonders Geneva fair, with plans to bulk up the launches with in-person and digital events.
This story first appeared in the April 7, 2021 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“It’s all part of giving the customer something special that they won’t find anywhere else,” said David Hurley, executive vice president of the Watches of Switzerland Group.
The retailer will showcase novelties from labels like H. Moser, Tag Heuer, Tudor and Ulysse Nardin at its SoHo store in Manhattan, and feature content on its U.S. website as well as its new Instagram account, @watchesofswitzerland_us.
The rise of digital channels has added pressure on retailers across industries to rethink their distribution strategies and relationship with brick-and-mortar spaces — the watch industry included. One issue that has dogged the sector is the time lag between when new models are shown and the moment they hit stores. Following months of disruptions and delays of product launches due to the pandemic, a number of watch labels are seizing the opportunity to sell timepieces as soon as they are revealed to the market.
Watches of Switzerland will show several of the timepieces that are being introduced during Watches and Wonders Geneva, with some available for purchase immediately while others can be preordered for delivery within the month.
Watches of Switzerland, which snatched up watches and jewelry retailer Mayors in 2017, is a relative newcomer to the U.S. It has worked to refurbish the retail network and set up stores in SoHo and Hudson Yards, in New York City. It also recruited a number of high-profile positions including Kelly Yoch, a Tiffany & Co. executive known for her work with the jeweler’s Patek Philippe partnership. Yoch, director of client relations at the retailer, will discuss novelties from the fair with her longtime client Bethenny Frankel on Thursday as part of the digital content offered by Watches of Switzerland.