Industry / Retail / Watches

Breitling’s Boutique Redesign Blends Loft Style With Aviation History


Most retailers want to be known as a destination store—the kind of brick-and-mortar location where aficionados make a point of visiting as an homage to the goods and services provided there. That is what Breitling feels it has created with the recent redesign of its Madison Avenue flagship boutique, officials say.

The boutique reopened in November after a full redesign of the brand’s new industrial-loft concept. The location at 575 Madison makes this part of Manhattan “the ultimate destination” for watch connoisseurs because of its unique shopping experience and relaxed yet refined design, says Breitling USA president Thierry Prissert.

This location also is the world’s first outpost of Breitling Equipment, the brand’s new travel and lifestyle accessories collection. This is the only location within the United States where visitors can shop for branded goods created by Breitling, including leather jackets, travel bags, sunglasses, and other items, Prissert says.

Breitling boutique seating area
Texture plays a big part in the newly redesigned Breitling boutique, from leather upholstery to dark oak floor paneling to walnut countertops.

“The modern-retro ambiance of the new Breitling boutique in New York is relaxed, uplifting, and inviting,” Prissert says. “It’s casual, yet stylish. For me, it feels like I am at a friend’s contemporary urban loft downtown.”

Breitling’s goal with this boutique redesign was, in part, to fulfill the brand’s vision of being the leader in neo-luxury, Prissert says.

The boutique highlights the Breitling brand’s three universes: air, sea, and land. These are the three environments for which Breitling’s watch families were developed. The elements are reflected in the decor, which includes aircraft-inspired artwork, surfboards, and vintage motorcycles.

In terms of air, Breitling has always had a storied association with aviation, Prissert says. The most significant tribute to this history within the world of aviation in the boutique is a mural on a two-story brick wall featuring a squad of iconic Curtiss P-40 Warhawks, most recognizable by their shark- head noses.

Another piece of eye-catching artwork on the first floor is a yellow grid panel stamped with a Breitling “B.” It provides a vivid backdrop to the Watch Bar, where clients can try on watches under the hanging pendant bulbs.

Breitling boutique decor
The Breitling boutique’s first-floor Watch Bar

Prissert says the idea with the redesign was to offer rich and inviting tones at every corner.

“Inclusiveness and innovation were the two main points of inspiration for the design,” Prissert says. “All of the materials, colors, textures, and patterns throughout the boutique have been carefully selected to display the modern-retro aesthetic that defines Breitling.”

Breitling opened its first flagship boutique in the world in New York City in 2011. In 2016, the boutique was relocated to 575 Madison Avenue. The redesigned space now features two stories, 90 feet of wraparound sidewalk frontage, and 4,300 square feet in the boutique to showcase the latest Breitling watches.

Breitling celebrated the reopening of its Madison Avenue flagship boutique in November with a star-studded event that included Breitling enthusiasts from around the world. Participants included Breitling Spotlight Squad members actor and producer Charlize Theron and ballet dancer Misty Copeland, who cohosted with Breitling CEO Georges Kern.

Top: Breitling recently unveiled its redesigned New York boutique, highlighting a neo-luxe interior that encourages clients to sit, shop, and meet other watch enthusiasts within its industrial-loft environment (all photos courtesy of Breitling).

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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