To steer its recently revamped Portugieser Yacht Club away from dusty old navigation instruments and towards contemporary nautical adventure, IWC roped in British tailored resort wear label, Orlebar Brown.
Indeed, famous for championing a tailored approach to men’s swim shorts, Orlebar Brown shares in IWC’s detail-oriented philosophy. The brands also have a common love for sailing, yacht clubs, and sea exploration.
Together, the two brands created a special edition IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Edition “Orlebar Brown” and an Orlebar Brown capsule collection of resort wear touted as a leisure wardrobe for smart men.
And the selection, although small, is exceptionally well curated. Lots of crisp linen, soft towelling fabrics, luxurious silk-cotton blends, and a bit of Merino wool. The colour palette is kept quite minimalist. White, navy blue, and warm neutral tones that invoke sun, sand, and sea.
Some highlights include a white towelling blazer with dark blue piping, a cotton-silk knitted polo shirt, and even a tailored fit navy blue peacoat.
Of course, the collection isn’t complete without the Orlebar Brown signature photographic print swim shorts. Here it features an IWC-custom Solaris 55 Double Moon sailboat cutting through the blue waters of Porto Rotondo.
View this post on Instagram
Introducing the IWC x Orlebar Brown partnership. #IWCxOB The history of the #IWCPortugieser is inextricably linked to seafaring, sailing and navigation. And just like the Portugieser, British designer fashion label, Orlebar Brown’s clothing combine timeless elegance and a love of adventure, tailored to the dynamic lifestyles of sailors and explorers. Contact us at ＋65 6510 2878 or email@example.com for more information.
All these are designed to pair seamlessly with the IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Edition “Orlebar Brown” which echoes the design codes of the clothing collection.
As Orlebar Brown founder Adam Brown is particularly fond of contrasts and refined lines, so here we find a contrasting sub-dial and crisp red accents over a nautical blue dial.
Esquire Singapore catches up with Brown for a quick chat about the collaboration.
ESQ: How did this partnership come about?
AB: From an email from [IWC CEO] Chris Grainger-Herr, through introduction by mutual contact. It’s really as simple as that. They were looking for a partner for the Portugieser watch, and they had a very clear mood board and ideas about the lifestyle they wanted to bring alive around the watch.
ESQ: What do you appreciate most about IWC timepieces
AB: That there are shared values, shared DNA, and a shared philosophy between Orlebar Brown and IWC. There is a love of exploration and a love of travel. I’m a long term customer of IWC, bought my first IWC 10 years ago.
ESQ: What are your thoughts about the special edition Portugieser Yacht Club?
AB: I’m delighted and thrilled with this watch. I’m thrilled by the collection that sits around this watch. I think between the watch and the capsule collection, it tells a very complete story, something that has a real narrative around yacht clubs, around love of the sea, around going fast on the water, around having a fabulous experience on the water.
ESQ: What were the challenges in creating the pieces?
AB: IWC came to us with very clear mood boards, very clear colour palette, very clear design sensibility on the type of watch they were making and the lifestyle they want to put around the watch. That was the starting point. [It was a] collaborative process, very much us feeding into the design of the watch, and IWC feeding into the design of the collection. Apart from the day-to-day conversations around colour, finish, detailing, texture, I won’t say there were challenges, but there were conversations to be hand. It was a true collaboration.
View this post on Instagram
Visit us in St Tropez ?? Situated on the vibrant harbourfront, our inviting three-storey store boasts a VIP lounge and diving board centrepiece. Illustrated by artist @Sanderlon, this vibrant St Tropez scene (pictured) features on our exclusive Bulldog swim shorts. Grab your pair when you visit us in-store – it's the perfect souvenir. (Store ? via link in bio). #DoseOfSun #OrlebarBrown #OBsAroundTheWorld
ESQ: What’s your design philosophy?
AB: Orlebar Brown started with a tailored approach to swim shorts. Tailoring is always at the root of what we do. Whether it’s a tailored approach to swim shorts or tailored to how people want to holiday. Our brand values are vibrant, tailored and brave. Thinking about how people want to express themselves on holiday, what they want to be doing, where they want to be going, how they want to be wearing their holiday clothes. These are the ideas underpinning our design philosophy.
ESQ: What clothing item or accessory do you 1) swear by 2) never wear 3) want to buy next?
AB: If I had to swear by anything obviously a navy blue Orlebar Brown OB classic Bulldog swim short. It will last you forever. You can dress it up, dress it down, express it in the way you want… Maybe another item would be a navy blue t-shirt. A well-cut t-shirt is smart enough to wear out, fabulous for travel, versatility and flexibility.
Number two, Orlebar Brown is the antithesis of the baggy elasticated-waist boxer shorts style. I never understood why a man would wear something baggy, something voluminous, something shapeless. I don’t believe it flatters anyone. I don’t believe the man ultimately feels good by having acres of wet fabric hanging around the body.
And what’s next to buy? I’m looking at the IWC Top Gun watches.