Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Just Because

A BIG Shout-Out to IWC and Kurt Klaus (About Smartwatches…)

Bringing back the humour of the heydays of IWC's advertising campaigns.

| By Frank Geelen | 2 min read |
kurt klaus IWC smartwatch video

A few days ago an email from the IWC marketing team popped up in my inbox. Nothing unusual, and like always I had a quick look to see what the brand plans to communicate now. Maybe a new watch, another limited edition, or an update on the Silver Spitfire that is on its flight around the world? Nope, the email was about three videos featuring legendary watchmaker Kurt Klaus… and a smartwatch. 

Now for those who do not know Kurt Klaus, he’s the one who co-developed the IWC Doppelchronograph (split-seconds chronograph in English or rattrapante in French), the perpetual calendar module that is still being offered in many IWC watches, and he co-developed the iconic IWC Deep One, a diver’s wristwatch with a built-in mechanical depth gauge. To name just a few of his feats. Anyways, this gentleman (and he’s a real gentleman!) is still connected to IWC and apparently he’s now featuring in three short movies about smartwatches.

IWC GST Deep One

Here on MONOCHROME, we do not cover smartwatches. The very reason for starting this website is our love of mechanical watches, how they are built, what they have meant to society, their role in all sorts of explorations (deep sea, mountaineering, and on the Moon) and so much more. But always the beauty of mechanics is what makes our hearts here at MONO beat faster. And that’s not going to happen with an annoying buzzing thing on the wrist that alerts me of another email, WhatsApp, Facebook message or Instagram like. My iPhone does all of that and, believe me, I’m often very happy to be able to turn the darn thing off.

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Now before moving on to those videos featuring Kurt Klaus and a smartwatch, I want to remind you of the IWC advertising campaigns of the early 2000s. Remember these?

IWC ads

To me, those ads made me like IWC a lot. Yes, some of these ads were perhaps not so ‘correct’ and they caused some discussions, however, it was also a sign to not always take things too seriously. There’s a sense of humour that really speaks to me and I would love to see more of these ad campaigns. OK, for old-time’s sake, a few more…

iwc advertisements

And before you’re wondering (or before you’re already in keyboard warrior mode), no this is NOT a sponsored post. This is because I like Kurt Klaus, I like his inventions, and I really like those IWC campaigns. Now seeing a video about smartwatches with the same sense of humour is absolutely great. Hope you will enjoy ’em as much as I did. Here are all three videos and of course, you can also see them on IWC’s Youtube channel.

video about setting the time zones

Video about the power reserve

Video about the service intervals…

9 responses

  1. This is a very unique way of addressing the appreciation of mechanical watchmaking. Thank you for this IWC and Mr. Klaus. Very funny and unseen. I hope there is more like this coming soon.

  2. I’d like to see an ad for F.P. Journe where he insults the assistant, knocks over a display then nonchalantly walks out.

  3. La falta total de solemnidad es adecuada para un producto serio como IWC los creativos publicitarios deberían realizar más de esas acciones

  4. La mirada del sr klaus como compadeciendose del muchacho y de sus explicaciones es realmente propia de una película de scorsese realmente no puedo dejar de mirar los cortos y están subtitulados justo para mi mal ingles

  5. 👏👏👏 Soooo true ! Kudos to IWC for the best way to show the weakness of your “competitor”

  6. He pretty much sums it up. It does a lot but requires a phone and the wrist worn device both of which need charging often. My automatic watch just works all of the time , when a “smart watch” can do that it may be worth considering.

  7. Slightly rubbish but totally worth it for Klaus – who knew he was a comic!

  8. I am surprised the time zone video didn’t highlight the TimeZoner, on which it truly is extremely easy to change time zones. Kurt Klaus wasn’t involved in that one though…

  9. These ads are simply pathetic in my opinion. The ads are focused on only one aspect of the watch which is showing time, but completely ignores the fact that digital smart watches excel in offering benefits way beyond just time. And people buy smart watches exactly for those additional services and benefits they offer such as an ECG function that alerts the user of irregular heartbeat or sends emergency calls when the user falls or any other feature that can save lives just to name a few. I’m not against mechanical watches, I own IWC watches and cherish them, mechanical watches have their place in our lives. But to go after smart watches just on the basis that they show time gives me the impression that IWC is not connected to 21st century realities. They are stuck in their traditional ways, not willing to innovate and adapt and defending their position by sarcasm. That has never been a successful formula for long term survival for any company.

    And how do these ads relate or resonate with the next generation of young buyers, who most likely are watching these ads on their smart phones because they got an alert on their connected smart watches? All these young buyers will not see the humor in these ads, rather they will see an octogenarian man (with all my due respect to Mr. Kurt Klaus) trying to figure out what is a smart watch. They will watch these short ads and forget about them just like any other trivial video they watch on their social media feeds.


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