Cool cars, Detroit style, a warm welcome: Everything was in place for the debut of the new Breitling boutique inside one of the Detroit area’s premier shopping destinations, and the Swiss watchmaker went all out to celebrate.
Breitling’s U.S. president Thierry Prissert hosted the March 28 event at the Somerset Collection shopping center in Troy, which included a special outdoor display with a racy red Ford Thunderbird, a look at the brand’s new Top Time classic cars collection, and a fundraising component benefiting Born and Raised Detroit, a nonprofit organization that supports youth programs in the city.
The boutique’s design, featuring Breitling’s retail look of an upscale loft, includes a touch of Detroit with photographs of the reinvigorated downtown and thriving riverfront. There is the signature Breitling yellow throughout, and wood, leather, neon signs, and brick walls give the space a modern feel, something Prissert says he hopes Metro Detroiters will enjoy.
“The boutique is the best expression of who the brand is,” Prissert says, noting Breitling’s commitment to brick-and-mortar stores to allow its customers to come in, hang out, and learn more about each watch as part of the purchasing experience.
“We want them to sit down and relax,” Prissert says. “This approach is about educating our consumer about who we are and telling our story. We want to help [our customer] choose who they want to wear, and hopefully it is Breitling.”
Breitling sought to be in Metro Detroit because of the region’s purchasing power and for some Motor City swagger—after all, this is where the automobile industry really got started and where powerhouses such as Ford and General Motors are headquartered. Detroit also is a true revival story, with important brands found throughout the Somerset Collection and within the city’s downtown, including a new Gucci store.
“Detroit is a major metropolitan city, and it is a great place to show our DNA,” Prissert says. “We want to be where the customer wants to shop.”
The Detroit boutique is filled with Breitling’s best offerings, which highlight its Swiss heritage as well as its tributes to air, land, and sea, Prissert says. It also showcases the Top Time collection, to honor what Detroit does best: the muscle car. This collection focuses on 1960s legends, including the Ford Thunderbird, Shelby Cobra, and Chevrolet Corvette.
Prissert says these kinds of collections are unique to the brand and spotlight what kind of company Breitling desires to be: casual, inclusive, and sustainable. They also offer customers “a touch of fun,” Prissert says.
Breitling has opened a spate of stores in 2022 and early 2023 and plans additional new retail locations across North America over the next 12 to 24 months. Breitling has more than 25 stores in the United States and more than 250 worldwide. The brand also is sold in fine jewelry stores domestically and internationally through its wholesale partners.
Top: Breitling recently hosted a grand opening celebration, benefiting a Detroit nonprofit, at its boutique on the north side of the Somerset Collection, a premier shopping destination in Troy, a city in Metro Detroit. (Photos courtesy of Breitling)
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