Watches

The Power of Storytelling At IWC

by Pameyla Cambe
10.03.2018
It may be renowned for its elegant luxury watches, but at the heart of IWC Schaffhausen lies a desire to weave a compelling tale

As it celebrates its 150th anniversary, IWC Schaffhausen shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the Swiss watch company has been focusing its attention on launching new members of its Da Vinci family, creating exclusive designs to raise funds for its partners and even collaborating with Formula One Champion Nico Rosberg for a special edition watch that sold out within hours.

What drives the company to maintain such a rich narrative? We sit down with Yan Lefort, IWC's Global Head of Sponsorship and Partnerships, to find out more.

 

What qualities does IWC seek when choosing its global ambassadors, or "friends of the brand"?

We have six product families at IWC and we find people who are more connected with one specific product collection. It’s also about the storytelling. We cover watchmaking, of course, but also racing, fashion and filmmaking. These are topics that we look at and we pick people who are touch points, to help the tell the stories. 

Why are celebrity endorsements important to IWC? 

There’s a lot of passion from everybody working in this company. You need that human connection to express that passion. You need someone to wear the watch and talk about the product. It’s a purely mechanical piece, so how do you bring this passion to life? How do you bring in emotions? Well, you need people. 

 

With IWC’s Da Vinci campaign, it looks like the brand is opening up to women more. Has it changed the way you approach partnerships and celebrity endorsements?

Yes it has. The Da Vinci launch, specifically, has influenced some relationships with more female talents and ambassadors. The brand has decided that it is time to address a more female audience, and Da Vinci was primarily a female launch with male watches. IWC is, after all, engineered for men.

right: IWC ambassadors Karolina Kurkova, Xenia Tchoumi and Kristina Bazan at the launch of the Da Vinci Novelties.

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The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” is an exclusive IWC timepiece auctioned by Sotheby’s for the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation.
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The Big Pilot’s Watch Annual Calendar Edition “Le Petit Prince” is an exclusive IWC timepiece auctioned by Sotheby’s for the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Youth Foundation.

IWC also has partner organizations such as the Charles Darwin Foundation and Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation. What do these partnerships mean to the brand?

Each partnership creates a universe and tells a story. Through that, we are able to do some good and support tangible projects. We’ve been very good at that because we actually challenge the people we work with and identify projects together. The more we sell watches, the more help we provide these foundations.

"There’s a lot of passion from everybody working in this company. You need that human connection to express that passion." - Yan Lefort, IWC's Global Head of Sponsorship and Partnerships

What sets IWC's partnerships apart from those of other luxury watch brands?

I think the difference is the fact that we’re very rich in terms of conversation. There are so many partnerships; we can tell so many stories. At the same time we’ve got a lot of channels to feed now. You don’t address your entire audience the same way, so the more content you have, the more relevant you become. 

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