Wednesday, October 15, 2008
IWC Goes Hollywood!
I have a little bit of a dilemma with regards to one of my favorite brands, IWC. The brand has done wonders the last couple of years because of their commitment to innovation, design, craftsmanship and loyalty to their own DNA, there is no doubt about that. The cool factor of this brand has always been their exclusivity with their retail partners and their low production numbers of incredible product. It seems in this economy where people are struggling to keep their homes, pay for their groceries and economize on filling up their cars at the pump because of the high gas prices, IWC is opening a boutique in Beverly Hills even though it's really not the best time to do so. To be honest I really am in two minds about this because to be fair, the demand for the brand has gone through the roof, as the "it" brand to have.
I guess, I just never pictured them in Beverly Hills, regardless of how the economy is doing. Typically, when brands showcase boutiques like this, it serves as a billboard to enforce the message of brand awareness. I have seen IWC in it's infancy, and the watch purest part of me says stay exclusive, don't grow too quickly because of greed, but the business side of me feels that the demand is there, and the brand is hotter than ever, so why not highlight the brand in one of the most famous, affluential areas in the world. The flipside to all this is, that by having a boutique like this, it will drive the business of their retail partners and become a destination for IWC enthusiasts all around the world.
I don't know if any of you out there are familiar with the TV show Gossip Girl? I hate to admit it, but I can't get enough of it. It's on Mon nights on the CW. This week on the show, one of the main lead characters Nate Archibald, played by Chace Crawford was wearing the current IWC Big Pilot Watch in stainless steel. In real life he is twenty three, but on the show he plays a very rich spoiled 18 year old on the upper east side. I just found it weird that the dude was going to Yale for first round admissions and The Big Pilot got as much camera time as he did. Thank Christ he wasn't wearing the transitional movement with original dial, otherwise I might have sharted.
I don't know if this was IWC's effort to get product placement and attract the 18 somethings or the product placement people on the show, but it just didn't feel right. Don't get me wrong either way it's great for IWC because the desired effect was accomplished, but these things are tricky, I almost felt like it didn't do justice to the Big Pilot, which is supposed to be impossible to get. It has always been that real man's watch which is so highly sought after. In my opinion, it would have been better suited on David Duchovny on Californication, which would have exuded understated elegance like it is suppose to. That's the problem I have with watches and celebrities. Unless, it's the right fit it can look like shit and not send out the right message. It seems from the way things are going of late, IWC has changed it's marketing stance from that cool underground exclusive brand for that everyday man, to going to the "in" Hollywood watch!
pic courtesy of www.cw.com