In June 2018, Mr Porter took the leap from curating stylish kit for gents to more rarified stock - luxury timepieces with the launch of their Luxury Watch Guide; a first of its kind for customers in the hunt for a luxury timepiece, and watch aficionados alike.
Created to complement its thriving online watch category, the site now boasts a plethora of renowned watch brands, from Oris and TAG Heuer to Jaeger-LeCoultre and Vacheron Constantin.
A broad landscape of time
"Our aim is certainly to create the ultimate luxury watch shopping experience both throughout the customer's journey online and after purchase offline, where every detail is taken care of, ensuring that the whole process is seamless and enjoyable," explains Fiona Firth, Global Buying Director for Mr Porter.
"As the collection on Mr Porter continues to expand, we definitely feel the need to provide more in-depth information to complement our curated content and style advice.
"Mr Porter were the first worldwide online retailer to unite global manufactures such as Cartier and IWC Schaffhausen and independent brands such as NOMOS Glashütte and Ressence," adds Firth.
"A few years back, this idea was unimaginable. Nowadays, we are partnering up with more and more luxury watch brands, from Roger Dubuis and Jaeger LeCoultre to Piaget and Panerai; the industry is slowly shaping towards the digital revolution of luxury watches and we are definitely leading the way."
Building on these relationships and partnerships with luxury watch brands, Mr Porter is set to release its latest collaborations between Bremont, and Zenith x Bamford.
Bremont x Mr Porter
This November, customers will be able to purchase an exclusive Mr Porter x Bremont timepiece which comes in two styles, each limited to only 15 pieces and housing a unique "RAF blue" dial and "RAF blue" calf-leather strap - all created especially for Mr Porter. This model features direct aviation inspired aesthetics such as GMT hang and chronograph functionality.
"This limited-edition watch with Mr Porter will provide something completely unique and intrinsically British for its customers. A mechanical timepiece is not only something that has to be beautifully crafted but it's equally a statement of style," says Giles English, Co-Founder of Bremont.
Partnering with Bremont since 2013 – its first watch brand – Mr Porter has built on its working relationships with other luxury watch brands. It's this focus that gives customers something unique that can only be found on the website.
"Both Mr Porter and Bremont share the same approach to the watch industry, and thus the same brand values. Bremont were the first fine watch brand we carried and this collaboration is a great opportunity to further explore the possibilities of the partnership since 2013," says Firth.
Zenith & Bamford x Mr Porter
The watch created by Mr Porter with Zenith x Bamford Watch Department is limited to 25 pieces exclusively available on Mr Porter. Mr George Bamford worked alongside Zenith in the design of the watch, based on the Zenith Heritage 146 model, and taking design cues from several Zenith's design elements. Each of these limited-edition watches will feature a special open case-back engraved and individually numbered 1 to 25.
"Zenith's approach to modern day watch-making, alongside George Bamford's eye for contemporary customisation, has created a unique timepiece our customers and readers are sure to enjoy and appreciate. By diving into Zenith's archive for technical references, this collaboration showcases genuine originality and storytelling – which certainly will make this watch special for years to come," says Toby Bateman, Managing Director of Mr Porter.
But who's buying?
Luxury timepieces and the watch industry as a whole is experiencing a thriving boom, but has always remained an essential part of an aspiring man's lifestyle; it's only now that these timepieces have become more readily available (and more than ever, accessible).
"As the new generation of watch shoppers are looking to purchase luxury timepieces, they are looking for both traditional and digital channels to research and purchase," explains Firth.
"As fine watch houses release more entry level price point models and reissue vintage models to attract the younger audience, this same audience is also crazing a new fine watch shopping experience.
"Our watch customers are men who appreciate the beauty of horology and value the quality, style and material behind the making of each piece. They see the unique Mr Porter content as a pathway to purchase, and for inspiration and education."
Looking to the future
The Luxury Watch Guide is paving a path to a new online luxury watch shopping experience for a range of clientele, and it's only going to become more prominent.
"Exclusive collaborations and projects will remain a focus of our strategy as well as introducing new brands. We'd like our customers to experience purchasing a fine watch online, whether that's purchasing a more entry level model or an exclusive limited edition," says Firth.
"We are partnering with more brands for unique and special projects all the time. Mr Porter is creating the perfect online journey for our customers that is competitive and a unique and safe experience to purchase a luxury timepiece."