Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling celebrated the grand opening of its first flagship boutique in Asia in WF Central, Beijing. Breitling CEO Georges Kern was on hand for the ceremony along with Jacques Bothelin, Captain of the Breitling Jet Team, renowned Chinese actor Lei Jiayin, and renowned Chinese actress and singer Han Xue.
At the opening ceremony, Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, pointed out that introducing the new design concept in Beijing is significant. He said: “Launching our new boutique style in this city underscores the importance of the markets in Asia and particularly in China for our brand. We’re delighted that our Chinese friends will get to know our products and our heritage in this urban Breitling environment.” The event was attended by actor and friend of the brand Lei Jiayin, who wore the new Navitimer 8 B01 Chronograph 43 as he enthused about Breitling: “A wristwatch is a man’s best friend and should reflect a professional attitude, a dedication to precision, and a rich heritage, all of which I find with Breitling.” Actress Han Xue wore a Breitling Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 that perfectly complemented her elegance and her chic, sporty style. The two good friends were among the more than 100 guests in attendance on the boutique tour.
The Breitling flagship boutique in WF Central took around half a year to complete. Its brand-new design concept incorporates a comfortable and fashionable shopping space for customers and a display of more than 200 exquisite timepieces representing Breitling’s entire product range, along with the Navitimer 8 novelties and some exclusive limited editions. The boutique marks a significant milestone for the brand’s distribution development not only in China but in all of Asia. WF Central, Hongkong Land’s leading premium lifestyle retail center in China, is at the commercial and political heart of the capital city; its design and scale respect and revitalize the historic ambience of the Wangfujing area. By opening its first flagship boutique in this landmark location, Breitling is paying tribute to the area while updating its trailblazing innovative spirit for a new era. Today, Breitling retains a special place in the hearts of pilots. The brand’s long-established ties to aviation are best – and most spectacularly – represented by its partnership with the Breitling Jet Team.
On the event’s grand opening day, a full-sized replica of an L-39C Albatros jet was on display at the location. Set against the backdrop of the Serpentine Pavilion Beijing, the eye-catching jet left guests with an enduring impression of the brand’s aviation heritage. Located in WF Central, Breitling’s new 152-square-meter boutique, with its imposing nine-meter facade and four-meter ceilings, is ideally suited to the brand’s compelling industrial loft concept. Its design is an artful, modern interpretation of the stylish spaces that characterize mid-twentieth-century industrial buildings. It recalls the period when Breitling created some of the most admired tool watches ever made and, with its striking decor and bespoke furniture, recreates the generous but intimate ambience of an exclusive industrial loft in a dynamic city.
The boutique features some exquisite materials and furniture: more than 10,000 exclusive Japanese bricks were used to construct the huge wall with its neon Breitling logo from the 1960s. Another vintage logo, a stylized “B,” adorns a yellow mesh wall. The floor is made of waxed concrete combined with American walnut. No less compelling are the displays of Breitling’s remarkable watches: the metal structures are a stunning reinterpretation of industrial shelves and represent water, land, and air, the three environments where the watches have long distinguished themselves. The creative, trendy entrance bar is a masterpiece in its own right. It offers an attractive display of the watches and serves to present Breitling’s products to its visitors, who can also play a game or two on the professional pool table.
Guy Bove, Breitling’s Design Director, is convinced that the new boutique concept will appeal to longtime fans of the brand and also welcome new ones. He commented: “With our redesigned boutiques, we are respecting our long, impressive heritage, but are doing so by creating a relaxed, stylish environment. We are opening our doors to a new generation of Breitling enthusiasts.”