After an initial reluctance due to the high price tags, Swiss watchmakers are increasingly dipping into the $34 billion luxury e-commerce market as exports have declined for 15 straight months. This is IWC’s first online foray, catching up with companies such as Hermes, which sells $25,000 timepieces on its website, and LVMH, which hired an executive from Apple Inc. to lead its digital push. YNAP expects the alliance may help attract more watch brands to join its sites.
IWC is the first watch brand that is going to bring the hard luxury category to the next level, YNAP’s success in selling $25,000 Valentino handbags and Pomellato jewelry has shown there’s demand for such products. There’s no resistance on price.
YNAP’s watch and jewelry sales are expected to reach 100 million euros ($110 million) by 2020. The highest priced watches on Mr. Porter’s site so far are brands such as Zenith and Bremont that sell for more than $20,000.