Swiss watchmaker Omega, part of Swatch Group is taking an innovative approach to retailing, by encouraging consumers to mix and match in a pop-up shop devoted to accessorizing its timepieces. Located in Paris at 11 Rue Debelleyme, the temporary storefront features an interactive screen through which visitors can explore and shop the brand’s Nato straps. This first of its kind concept reflects the growing digitization of the watch business, as more brands embrace retail formats beyond bricks-and-mortar.
Omega’s Nato straps are designed to allow consumers to express their personal style. The watchmaker is currently offering about 40 strap options that range from brightly hued stripes to more subdued solids.Most of the Nato straps are made of the synthetic polyamide, while others come in coated nylon or leather. All of the straps have stainless steel buckles and keepers. The Nato collection is inspired by the leather and canvas straps used by British pilots and navigators during World War II.
Unlike the spring bars usually used to attach straps, the armed forces’ timepieces featured soldered bars on the back of the timepiece, through which a continuous strap would be threaded. This made it less likely that the strap fastenings would break, causing the watch to be lost. The design also allows for a greater flexibility of size, as the wearer can adjust the strap’s circumference to fit their wrist or the outside of a sleeve.
Omega’s Nato pop-up shop is the latest to opt for e-commerce over physical shopping. While the browsing and buying experience is conducted via a digital screen, window displays showcase physical straps for passersby. Consumers can pay for straps with their phone, and then have their purchase delivered to their door.