Wristwatches are no stranger to celebrity endorsement. For example, Timex’s famous “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking” slogan was featured in magazine and television ads back in the 50’s, allying itself with names like Rocky Marciano; Mickey Mantle; and Bob Hope (among others). Yes, the power of celebrity can reinforce the narrative of a watch—and elevate its status. Whether watchmakers are engineering a performance watch, or something of the luxury sort (or perhaps both), having an easily recognizable face and name on the brand can keep a watch company looking fresh and modern. Being a well established brand already, the IWC (International Watch Company) has recently adopted Bradley Cooper as a brand ambassador. His motorbike in tow, a current advert for their “Big Pilot’s” aviation watch tells quite a story.
The advertisement itself kicks off with Bradley standing at a sign reading “end,” somewhere in the middle of the mojave desert. Looking concerned, Bradley examines the sign. The Big Pilot then gets a close-up—showing an elapsed time sequence in reverse—with a city skyline in the background. After the rewind, Bradley is seen grabbing his keys in his big-city apartment, his Big Pilot’s keeping time while he makes his escape. As the rest of the ad goes, Mr. Cooper keeps trucking past the “end” sign previously seen. He’s cruising his bike on the I-15, with IWC’s Big Pilot set to the 15th on the date window—a clever excuse to cut to the dial once more. The ad then lands with Bradley meeting up with an airplane at a desert airport; IWC then states, “IWC Pilot’s. Engineered for New Horizons”.
Being a brand that’s existed for over 150 years (1868), IWC demonstrates its ability to stay relevant; stylish; and up-to-date with this latest ad. On top of the original advertisement, they also have a video series featuring Bradley Cooper taking a short road trip on a “road less traveled” (another phrase from their current advertising). Considering that their Big Pilot’s series is designed primarily for aviation and luxury menswear, the narrative power and celebrity backing of this latest ad is substantial.
Since Bradley Cooper was brought on with IWC in 2018, their watches have made it to some pretty big cultural events. Perhaps the biggest event was the 2019 Oscars, where the Big Pilot’s made its own star appearance—affixed to Mr. Cooper’s wrist. That particular IWC Big Pilot’s is titled “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince). This name dates back to 1943, when famed French poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry released his book of the same name (speaking of culture). Mr. Cooper’s relationship with The Little Prince at the Oscars netted quite a decent price at auction. This particular timepiece—due to his celebrity pull—sold for $60,000 to a private buyer. Though this might not be the biggest bill amount dropped on a wristwatch, it demonstrates why IWC’s relationship with Bradley Cooper has built great value for their brand name. Especially since this “Petit Prince” is currently priced at $12,900.
Although Bradley Cooper rocks just one of the many designs in IWC’s Big Pilot’s line, there are plenty of designs left to choose from—most of which feature a well-engineered chronograph. Overall, Mr. Cooper’s endorsement gives a fresh look to a watch company that’s successfully kept itself ticking for over one-and-a-half centuries. Perhaps, if one decided to make a film about the Big Pilot’s line, they could title it “A Star is Worn”; For now—one can only hope. And in the meantime, have a look into picking up this solid piece from IWC, if you’re in the market for a luxury wristwatch. If the IWC’s latest advertisement is any indication, it’ll make a great travel companion both cross-country and—perhaps—into the skies.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.
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