Last week, IWC officially celebrated the opening of its amazing 3000-square-foot watch boutique at 535 Madison Avenue – with a celebrity filled event. The brand also launched the US exclusive Muhammad Ali watch.
This is the world’s first IWC boutique and — wow — is it something! It totally embodies the brand’s diverse personality and is the perfect place to showcase its many watch families. The lobby space is a floor to ceiling two-story-high living room look – complete with full windows on two sides and an expansive 70-foot-plus- high built in black lacquer book case – with a huge center hanging of an origami-like sailboat (reminiscent of IWC’s sailing involvements). In this expansive area is a wonderfully comfortable oversized seating formation, and the shelves are lined with sailing books. Next up, there is a pilot’s lounge, complete with shelves of pilot apparel, model planes and more – perfect for perusing the Pilot’s collection of watches. Additionally there is a dive watch room – filled with water and watches, and a unique upstairs gallery space.
In fact, it is upstairs that the brand has on display a host of superb black and white photographs taken by Howard Bingham of Muhammad Ali, and the new Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali – created to mark the milestone of this opening and to celebrate the brand’s relationship with the Muhammad Ali Foundation. The timepiece is being created in a limited edition of 250 pieces and is exclusive to the US market. The Muhammad Ali timepiece is based on a pilot’s watch from the 1940s. It features a matte black dial, with red SuperLuminova numerals and hands in tribute to Ali who often wore red boxing gloves. The watch caseback bears the official logo of Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday. A portion of the proceeds of sales of the limited edition will be used to support the Sportsman of the Century’s charitable causes.