In the last few decades, it has become a common practice for watch brands to team up with actors, athletes, and other well-known individuals as a part to market their products. In the beginning, this approach was often quite simple, combining a famous name and face to a watch model already existing in the collection. In some cases, special limited editions were made, but again it was usually the watch brand that decided on the design, with limited influence of the celebrity.
Photo Credit: Piaget
Piaget was among the first brands to take a different view on this when they teamed up in 1967 with no-other then Salvador Dali. His approach to this was unique, as could be expected from the artist. He crafted his own coins, calling them Dali d’Or, which Piaget incorporated into watches and other pieces of jewelry.
Today it is much more common for celebrities to not only align themselves with a watch brand but also to play an active role in the design of the watches that they will be associated with. A force not to reckon with in this matter is Hublot. They have teamed up with renowned artists such as Romero Britto, Richard Orlinski, and Sang Bleu, but also undefeated boxing champion Floyd “Money” Mayweather infused a Hublot with his signature style.
Avid watch enthusiast and Grammy-winner, Swizz Beatz made his mark on the watch world, by giving his own spin on some Zenith models. His unique approach made it that these watches where a distinct extension of the brand’s original line. At the latest edition of Art Basel in Miami his collection was expanded with yet another model.
This also illustrates one of the advantages of having a celebrity playing an active role in the design of the watches that they will also promote: you create unity between the product and the person and because of that a significant added value for clients. A brand who also understands this is Richard Mille, who has become legendary of creating watches specifically for the sports in which the top athletes they have teamed up with excel. This resulted in extraordinary creations which push technical boundaries and created an undeniable want factor among collectors, even when they weren’t particularly active in the sports the watches are crafted for.
Giving celebrities influence in the design of watches can also help brands to connect to specific demographics. Kaia Gerber, daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford, is also an Omega brand ambassador when not on the catwalk herself. Her love for street-style has resulted in two new strap designs for the Omega Trésor. With an unexpected camo-pattern, she turned it into the perfect statement piece to wear with designer jeans, confirming once more the added value that celebrities can have when they not only promote a watch but also play a role in its creation.