On the “home straight” of Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse, there’s a little shop that offers a unique experience that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. This location is the new home to IWC’s flagship boutique, and it’s a place where visitors can experience an interactive journey into IWC and its racing history. “With this boutique, we wanted to create a story our clients can walk into and become a part of—a permanent event bringing the world of IWC racing to life. The Racing Works store offers a complete in-depth brand and service experience, as well as a centre of excellence for watchmaking,” says Christoph Grainger-Herr, the CEO of IWC Schaffhausen.
As the global home for the brand’s classic racing team, the boutique mimics the atmosphere of a motor-racing workshop. There’s plenty of racing memorabilia to admire, including an IWC Racing Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing—the official car of the IWC Racing Team. The model in the store was the same car that was driven by legendary drivers David Coulthard, Bernd Maylander, and Bernd Schneider. Not only can you take in the car with all its beauty, you can also get in the cockpit and buckle up for a bespoke VR driving experience. “This new space envelops guests in all the excitement of IWC’s racing heritage. There is so much to explore, an abundance of details and hidden references. We want to take all our guests on a journey of discovery which surprises and entertains,” says IWC’s chief designer Pascal Sbrzesny.
The car and memorabilia are only part of the experience, though. Visitors also get to admire the full collection of IWC timepieces in glass-free presentation cases. The boutique has different zones with their own experiences. In the Engineering Lab, visitors can learn about the innovations that IWC has come up with over its 152-year history. The Garage holds the car, as well as an animated presentation about IWC, titled the Hero Wall. The Customs Studio is a replica of an interior trim and upholstery workshop. There, you can get straps and accessories customized and personalized. The Driver’s Lounge lets you “suit up and get ready for the race.” And the Workshop is an on-site watchmaking studio with an AR video presentation. This store is the first in a series of themed boutiques that IWC is planning, which means your bucket list of places to visit just got bigger.