Mechanical watches have long lost their status as essential instruments, becoming emotional items that can say a lot about the owner. It’s all about the passion, the romantic feel to have a mechanical object rather than looking at the time on a phone… For this reason, the customisation of watches, the ability to create a watch that perfectly suits your style and values, has become a big thing. We’ve seen such individualisation programs in the past, from relatively confidential brands – think about Armin Strom – or accessible brands – like Certina. But today, it’s a mainstream luxury brand of an unprecedented scale that comes with such a concept, as IWC presents a customization program to create your personal version of the Portugieser Chronograph IW3716. But with limited availability so far.
Only available from its flagship boutiques at the Dubai Mall and Shanghai Taikoo Hui Mall, the individualisation service for the Portugieser Chronograph is a rather stunning initiative. The idea, using a selection of dials, case materials and straps/bracelets is to mix-and-match parts in order to create a version of the Portugieser Chronograph that reflects your personality. And unlike an online configurator, different combinations of materials and colours can be tried out directly on the wrist in the boutique, turning the individualisation process into a touch-and-feel experience.
The concept is rather simple, but certainly very appealing and efficient. Starting with a choice of two cases – in steel or 18k rose gold, positioned at the centre of the display console – the future owner then has a choice of 16 dial colours, all developed exclusively for this service – making them even more unique. It includes vibrant colours such as turquoise, indigo, aubergine, or ginger. Each dial can be paired with rhodium-plated or gold-plated appliques and hands. Finally, the watch can be fitted with a strap of choice, ranging from colourful calfskin or alligator leather, leather alternatives such as TimberTex and rubber straps, or a stainless steel bracelet. Once finished with his concept, the client will receive his watch after approximately three weeks. A small “I” in a circle, placed in the small seconds sub-counter at 6 o’clock, identifies each chronograph as an individually configured version.
The IWC Portugieser Chronograph individualisation service is currently available exclusively at IWC’s boutique at the Dubai Mall and Shanghai Taikoo Hui Mall. It will be launched in other flagship locations at a later stage. No words were given yet on the price difference compared to a classic version of the reference IW3716. Nevertheless, it is a truly great initiative that we’re eager to see open in all locations around the globe. And in all fairness, there are some truly cool colours on display…
More details at www.iwc.com.