Richemont has reinforced its power and influence over the global watch industry this year by taking control of Watches and Wonders, even with the likes of Rolex and Patek Philippe joining the old SIHH exhibitor list of Richemont-owned brands along with independents.
Watchfinder, the pre-owned watch specialist Richemont bought back in 2017, is pumping out news from all the brands at W&W, while Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter, both owned by the luxury giant, has integrated W&W news and new products into its online platforms.
You won’t find watches from Rolex or Patek being sold online, but Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter are promising to give customers “first-to-market” access to the latest novelties as they launch.
Only Richemont’s Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Panerai, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin brands are included in the first to market offer.
Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter are offering virtual one-to-one shopping appointments for their best customers; reviews of the latest novelties and trends; online panel discussions with industry executives, chaired by the likes of Mr Porter’s senior watch editor Chris Hall; and the launch of a new live video stream about watches called Fine Time.
“We are extremely happy to pursue this strategic partnership with Mr Porter and Net-A-Porter, enabling us to extend even further the Watches and Wonders digital experience. It is a wonderful opportunity to share our passion of watchmaking with a new and knowledgeable clientele, giving them a privileged online access to exceptional timepieces,” says Emmanuel Perrin, president of W&W organiser Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie as well as head of Specialist Watchmakers Distribution and Specialist Watchmaker’s Maisons at Richemont.