Breitling has changed its policy regarding online sales with the launch of a new Breitling web boutique offering a complete online transaction.
Breitling has previously avoided any online retailing and so the announcement that the new boutique at www.breitling.com will provide secure online shopping with warranty, pre-sized watch strap and 48 hour delivery is a major u-turn for the brand.
At present WatchPro.com has only been able to confirm that the online service applies to US territories with no word as to whether the service will be available in other regions.
The announcement states that the transaction can be completed online and the watch shipped direct to the customer within 48 hours or via a local retailer for a Click and Collect service. When WatchPro.com used the service today it seemed to be limited to Click and Collect in the UK, offering a quote and passing the enquiry onto a local London-based retailer.
At present the functionality of the service in the UK and Ireland is unclear and Breitling UK was unavailable for comment.
Commenting on the launch of the service in the US, Thierry Prissert, Breitling USA president, said: “The online boutique was created with customer service as a top priority, allowing ease of use for those that don’t necessarily have time to visit a store or prefer to do some extensive research online prior to purchasing a watch. No matter where you are in the United States, you can now use our website to easily purchase a Breitling watch. We selected our most popular pieces to launch the website, and as always, we try to make the experience as pleasant as possible by having it sized prior to shipping and giving customers a choice of receiving their watch at home or picking it up at a nearby jeweler. We feel that ultimately this will complement our brick and mortar stores, as many people like to do research online and then come into the stores to purchase a timepiece.”
Jean-Paul Girardin, Breitling’s vice president, alluded to a shift in stance regarding the Swiss brand’s online policy in a recent interview for WatchPro’s forthcoming debut issue of The Luxury Report, saying: “We are thinking about that. But I think to have physical contact with the retailer is quite important. If you are spending a few thousand pounds on a watch you will always have people who are looking for a good price; but if you are looking for a good product and a good service, a luxury experience, it’s not only wearing the watch but the process to select it, to talk and exchange with knowledgeable salespeople, it’s a luxury experience you cannot have online.”
The boutique features 100 of Breitling most iconic models such as the Chronomat, Navitimer and Transocean watches and allow customers to select case, strap, dial and buckle options.