Exclusive preview: Top Gun collection by IWC Schaffhausen
It was five years ago when I discovered my love of watches and bought my first 'proper' timepiece. I was in New York for meetings about expanding a Vegas events business into Manhattan, and something caught my eye while walking past an IWC shop on Fifth Avenue.
I went in to take a closer look and entered a world designed for a relaxed and comfortable luxury shopping experience.
A handful of watches displayed around the spacious store with strategically placed couches, whisky cantilevers and books about Concorde, Ferrari, Aston Martin and other premium brands.
IWC Collection Preview
Last week, I received an invitation to preview the new range of IWC watches in their New Bond Street boutique on Thursday 28th March 2019.
I walked in, the IWC branded black flags swaying overheard, registered my details and was directed up some steps to the private viewing area.
Once upstairs, I was offered some Champagne but I opted for an ice cold water after enduring the Jubilee line.
There were about twenty invited guests, some just browsing and a few keen to expand their collections. I hadn't decided which I was yet.
After the drinks station, a watchmaker was dismantling a mechanism and explaining the characteristics to interested enthusiasts. Personally, I buy a watch because of the aesthetics, not the internals.
I have to fall in love with a watch to buy it, regardless of whether it's £10 or £10,000+
The New IWC Collection
There were around ten pieces on display, part of the IWC Top Gun, Aviator ranges. There was a set in varying shades of black and a set with brown faces and straps. None with stainless steel rose gold or platinum straps.
The impeccably dressed staff with their white gloves are were both attentive and unobtrusive, giving punters a chance to get close and personal with these prototypes. They were taking deposits for a release date between April and July.
There were two limited edition pieces, one large navy blue sports style (left) and one exclusive to the London (right) with only 138 produced. Both are priced around £10,000 and the blue sports one piqued my interest.
Given the IWC brand reputation, quality and price point of those on show, I thought this was a reasonable range with a couple watches that caught my eye as exciting pieces for watch collectors.
I decided not to purchase as I can't get away from my love of Audemars Piquet and that's not just because they flew me to Geneva for a factory tour. More about that in a later blog post….