American Marketer


IWC fosters future filmmakers with increased Tribeca Film Festival role

April 18, 2016

IWC's Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition “Tribeca Film Festival 2016” IWC's Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition “Tribeca Film Festival 2016”


Swiss watchmaker IWC Schaffhausen is paying tribute to the Tribeca Film Festival and its own dedication to the world of filmmaking with a special-edition timepiece designed for the event.

For the last four years, IWC has served as the Tribeca Film Festival’s official “festival-time” partner, and with that has held a number of timepiece auctions benefiting the Tribeca Film Institute. Continuing its role at the festival, IWC designed a limited-edition Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition “Tribeca Film Festival 2016” timepiece to pay homage to the film festival and its support of international filmmakers.

“IWC has a long history of partnering with the film industry,” said Franziska Gsell-Etterlin, CMO at IWC Schaffhausen. “From our relationships with major actors and product placements within films, it was a natural ascension to work with film festivals around the globe.

“Tribeca Film Festival is an important partnership for IWC,” she said. “The Tribeca Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Institute foster the industry’s young talent and a give them a platform to share their work.

“The past three years have been a success and at IWC we are thrilled we were able to extend our partnership for another three years.”

Friends of film
IWC’s Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Portugieser is limited to 50 pieces and will be sold exclusively in the United States market at the watchmaker’s boutiques.

The timepiece is powered by an IWC-manufactured 52850 calibre and includes an annual calendar at the 12 o’clock position. The annual calendar tells the month, date and day in three separate, semicircular windows.

Instead of reading in European date order, the timepiece features the U.S. standard, a homage to IWC’s American founder, F.A. Jones.

The timepiece closely resembles the original Portugieser made in 1939 with its grooved bezel, railway-track chapter ring, slim feuille hands and Arabic numerals.

IWC.TTF 2016 watch 400

IWC's Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition “Tribeca Film Festival 2016”

IWC used a slate color for the watch dial to link the watch with New York’s streets to subtle honor the Tribeca Film Festival. Likewise, the watch’s small seconds subdial and power reserve are red in color, symbolic of the red carpet glamour of the film industry.

The Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Portugieser’s oscillating weight includes the film festival's logo and is numbered 1 to 50. The timepiece can be purchased only in the U.S. and retails for $21,500.

“Over the past four years, IWC has tried to keep the aesthetic of the timepiece similar,” Ms. Gsell-Etterlin said. “We wanted the watch to resemble our heritage pieces like our original Portugieser of 1939, but also have the wearer make the connection to New York.”

IWC.TFF 2016 watch back 400

Case back of the Portugieser Annual Calendar Edition “Tribeca Film Festival 2016”

For this year’s film festival, IWC opted to forego its annual auction. Last year, for instance, IWC hosted an online-only auction with Christie’s and the Tribeca Film Institute to enable its consumers to partake in the cinema festivities (see story).

Instead, IWC has pledged $100,000 to the Tribeca Film Institute for its work in supporting cinematic storytellers with grants, professional development and resources, while also introducing students to film and filmmaking.

The $100,000 donation will be split between the Tribeca Film Institute and the individual chosen by a jury as this year’s IWC Filmmaker Award. The winner, filmmaker Matt Ruskin, who wrote and directed the “Untitled Colin Warner Project,” received his award April 14 during the annual, star-studded “For the Love of Cinema” Gala, hosted by actor Joel McHale.

As the award winner, Mr. Ruskin received $50,000 and will be provided with finishing funds for a feature-length scripted project, as well as a year-round filmmaker mentorship by Tribeca Film Institute.

For 2016, IWC selected to increase the prize money awarded to the winner, doubling the award stipend from $25,000 to $50,000.

“Given the similarities between watchmaking and filmmaker -- the elaborate mechanics, master craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail and timing -- it is not surprise that IWC supports film festivals across the globe,” said Anna Ponder, executive director of Tribeca Film Institute, in a statement.

“Tribeca Film Institute proudly supports storytellers of all backgrounds in pursuing their craft, and we are so pleased to continue to be a dedicated partner to IWC,” she said.

The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival opened April 13 and will run to April 24.

Cinematic connoisseur
Brands often leverage the ties between cinema and fashion in outreach programs and through sponsorship of international film festivals.

In October 2015 for instance, French fashion house Chanel extended its relationship with Tribeca Enterprises, the organizer of the Tribeca Film Festival, to support women in film.

Chanel’s “Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women’s Filmmaker Program” was a three-day workshop in collaboration with Pulse Films and Tribeca Film Institute and was designed to support emerging United States-based female writers and directors. While Chanel has maintained a relationship with Tribeca Film Festival for a number of years, establishing a support network for budding women in film authenticates its involvement (see story).

Also, Swiss jewelry brand Chopard strengthened its ties to cinema through a sponsorship role for My French Film Festival 2016.

My French Film Festival, held Jan. 18 through Feb. 18, was the first film festival to be conducted online rather than in theaters, making Chopard’s involvement a nod toward innovation. Luxury brands often serve as patrons to artistic happenings such as film festivals and art exhibitions as a way to connect with consumers through the humanities instead of product pushes (see story).

“As a brand, it is important to IWC Schaffhausen that we continue to support young talent and create opportunities for them to share their work,” Ms. Gsell-Etterlin said.

“We think the filmmaking and watchmaking industries are similar in that they share similar qualities,” she said. “Both rely on the appreciation of time and require the effort of thousands to produce the final product.”