Breitling is one of the last Swiss watch brands I would expect to open up an e-commerce store. I recall a time no too long ago when a visit to the Breitling website was prefaced with a cautionary note of the risks of buying Breitling watches online. But now they’ve done it themselves — Breiting has opened an “online boutique.” Yay, right? Wrong. You know what? The Breitling online boutique sucks. Bad. Really — it’s not good. Actually — it’s horrible.
Or maybe I should say that the online store that Breitling (update: available to United States purchasers only) has put together isn’t really that impressive — but that would given them too much credit: it’s not impressive in the least. I’m almost embarrassed for Breitling its so bad. It’s something I might have expected from an underfunded e-commerce venture, oh, maybe a decade ago. For brand that spends many tens of millions of dollars a year marketing its watches, it’s an abyssmal effort. One can almost sense the reluctance behind Breitling’s decision to even go down this road. But they have.
Where to begin. Seriously, where to begin. When I started out writing this article it was going to be positive, with lots of plaudits and kudos headed Breitling’s way. But it took frighteningly little time on the Breitling online boutique to become frustrated and in a state of disbelief. And so now I’m headed down a path that most definitely is going to make a lot of folks very unhappy. But to those disappointed I say: the truth sometimes hurts, and this is probably one of those times. Let me just take you through what I experienced in about fifteen or so minutes of clicking around the new Breitling online boutique, trying it out.