Okay, so last week I was invited to take part at the TW Steel’s 10 Years of BIGTIME. I am a big fan of the brand so I was thrilled when I got an invitation. So incase you are not familiar with the brands history, here it is.
Photography by Kyle Wong
The saying “time flies when you are having fun” could not be any truer to TW Steel’s ten-year history. The brand has grown into a phenomenon in recent years and is still considered as one of the fastest-growing watch brands in the industry. After TEN BIGTIME YEARS, the brand has made it clear in the market: Oversized Watches are here to stay.
TW Steel started out in The Netherlands in 2005 and was founded by the Father-Son duo Ton and Jordy Cobelens. A simple conversation in 2005 on the popularity of oversized watches was all the catalyst needed for Ton Cobelens to take a bold step into action. Seizing the opportunity he designed and produced the first ever collection from his house. The iconic TW01, TW02, TW03 and TW04 were born and so began the epic TW Steel story. The original TW Steel timepieces came in under the radar to change the game in 2005. Today, the bold designs are still an immediate hit with watch lovers hooked on the larger than life attitude encased in premium materials, kick-starting an incredible success story and a growing fan base worldwide.
Ten years has been, to put simply, BIGTIME. The brand grew tremendously worldwide and has since been critically observed by several watch brands over the past years waiting to see what the brand will showcase next. TW Steel boasts itself with pride having opened their first boutique store in the Philippines in 2008 at The Podium Mall. To this day, the flagship boutique stands strong and is one of the top performing points of sale for the brand’s local retailer, Swiss Prestige. Six years later, there are now seven stand-alone TW Steel boutiques and over thirty multi-brand stores carrying TW Steel in their portfolio.
Aside from the distinct, innovative, and eye-catching design the oversized watches of TW Steel offers to the public, the brand has been active in collaborating with global brand ambassadors such as former Formula One British driver David Coulthard, American singer, composer and TV Personality Kelly Rowland, Italian professional motorcycle racer and multiple MotoGP World Champion, Valentino Rossi and international DJ/Producer Mitchel Niemeyer from Netherlands. Local collaborations with several celebrities and personalities were likewise established over the years such as Marvin Agustin, Coach Rio de la Cruz, Venus Raj, and Chieffy Caligdong have worked with TW Steel in launching the Pilot Collection in 2013. On the other hand Nico Bolzico, James Younghusband and Sebastian Ripoll were the leading personalities for the introduction of the Slim Line Collection in 2014. The brand has been an annual sponsor of the prestigious Mercedes Trophy Golf Tournament for the past six consecutive years.
During the event we were fortunate enough to hear some good words from TW Steel’s global marketing manager Auke Possel. Auke Possel has successfully strengthened TW Steel’s global brand voice and cemented The Watch in Steel’s position as a global powerhouse. Spearheading global marketing initiatives since 2012, Auke’s inspired campaigns such as Pilot Your Life and Slim Line: Designed Statements have secured the brand’s domination of the oversized watch segment and propelled it to new heights in key regions.
With 2015 marking TW Steel’s 10th anniversary, Auke is eager to roll out the brand’s celebrations around the world and incorporate its message all of its brand platforms – including its role as an ‘Official Sponsor’ of the MOVISTAR YAMAHA MotoGP™ team which includes World Champions Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.
Next to these Big Time celebrations, Auke is determined to grow TW Steel’s strong brand image worldwide ensuring their oversized watches remain market leaders for years to come. Passionately promoting the progressive ‘it’s not a watch – it’s a statement’ mantra, he is committed to make sure the lifestyle brand is a mainstay for consumers around the world.
Born and raised in The Netherlands, Auke was armed with a healthy adventurous spirit early in life. Seeing the world as his playground, he travelled the globe from Montreal to Bangkok at a young age. Soon he combined this international outlook with a passion for brands. Learning the ropes from his father who owned advertising agencies, Auke further honed his skills at Bournemouth University where he developed his own model explaining brand communications from a cultural perspective, the Possel Pyramid, which won the Barclay Award for Best Marketing Communications Dissertation. Soon he found himself developing brands and rolling out campaigns in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Now let me shift your attention quick to this special limited watch.
As part of the 10th year BIGTIME celebration, a Special Limited Edition 10th Anniversary Watch will be launched together with the new Canteen Collection, a collection that will surely captivate consumers looking to make a style statement with the brand’s stand-out design.
The Special Limited Edition 10th Anniversary watch, otherwise known as the “Apex Canteen” will only be limited to 200 units to celebrate the immense success of the brand and their “Canteen Style Design”, with only 15 watches allocated for the Philippine market.
Created to represent the very pinnacle of TW Steel style, these Limited Edition Canteen timepieces (TWAC 10 – 45mm), in addition to being Swiss Made, house an ETA 7750 Valjoux Chronograph Automatic movement for added accuracy and with sapphire crystal.
Bold design features include a steel case with hammered bezel and a black embossed dial, with month and date display. Each “Apex” model sports an opulent real crocodile leather brown strap and is 10 ATM waterproof. The attention to detail carries through all the way to the stylish 10th anniversary watch box.
As for the newly revised and reinvigorated Canteen Collection, a 45mm and 50mm case size will now be available per design. A major feature introduced for the new look collection is the presentation of each design in a 3-Hand, Chrono and Automatic movement edition. This is a new strategy, which TW Steel is more than happy to get into, to meet its fan base’s preference.
Each 3-Hand version features a brushed steel case and bezel while the Chrono versions sport a brushed steel case along with a hammered steel bezel. The Automatic editions also have a brushed steel case and hammered bezel along with an elegant steel piece situated on the leather strap by the casing.
All models utilize a high precision movement. For a sportier look, the new Canteen leather strap editions feature a big caliber chrono movement with two chrono eyes with a sapphire layer on the crystals.
Another notable highlight is the use of vintage leather straps on the new Canteen models, something which differentiates the new collection substantially from the existing Canteen models. The new Canteen Collection stands out with a more antique and aged-look flair. The other new leather straps are thicker and have an appealing bold stitching which makes the timepiece truly stand out.
The expanded bracelet offerings, the steel bracelets, in the re-styled Canteen Collection are a major attraction. Of particular distinction are the new 2-tone timepieces being introduced, very much on-trend with current tastes but equally timeless in their overall look.
The new steel bracelet introductions are presented in a wide variety of looks including brushed steel, PVD rose gold plating and PVD yellow gold plating – and in the case of the 2-tone editions, a combination of the steel and PVD plated offerings.
As with the leather strap editions, each Canteen bracelet model is distinctive with the 3-Hand executions incorporating a shiny bezel with shiny mid-pieces on the bracelet. The Chrono editions sport a tachymeter on the bezel while showcasing a brushed steel bracelet. Finally, the Automatic timepieces have a hammered bezel and hammered mid-pieces on the bracelet for a matching look.
“Personally, I take a great degree of satisfaction that ten years on from the introduction of our first Canteen Collection, there’s still room to develop the range as we’ve done with the 2015 models,” enthused TW Steel co-founder and Chief Design Officer Ton Cobelens.
He continued; “Canteen has showed its staying power in the market and we know how much people love their pieces. Re-styling isn’t done for the sake of it; it’s only done to improve the design aesthetically or technically. We’ve kept the DNA of these models to satisfy the consumer but we’ve obviously enhanced their appeal with the new adaptations and style improvements. It’s exciting to see such growth in the Canteen range, with the new collection taking us to around 200 designs. It’s been a substantial task but I’ve taken great delight in it knowing the enduring legacy of this design and its integral role in the success, both past, present and future, of TW Steel.”
Looking back the past ten years, TW Steel has a lot of reasons to celebrate. What started out with four models has grown into three hundred successful designs available in over one hundred countries in more than five thousand points of sale worldwide. From being a family business with the timepieces being worn by family members and friends, the brand has partnered up with Formula One teams and drivers, sports celebrities, musicians and actors, and even TV Channels such as FOX Sports Asia for the Formula One and MotoGP telecasts.
In the past ten years, TW Steel has made itself into one of the most coveted timepieces by every wrist worldwide. They have evolved and molded themselves into a serious statement timepiece and are now referred to as the “smart choice of successful people”.
With all these achievements and milestones, the brand continues to remain just as focused and motivated as when it started. TW Steel has seen its potential in the past ten years and is now rearing to outdo itself in the next years to come. Today the goal remains the same: to make something that is visually stunning and a thrill to buy. TW Steel – it is not a watch, it is a statement.
TW STEEL 10 YEARS OF BIG TIME PHOTO CONTEST
The year 2015 is a big one for the brand and to kick-off the celebration, TW Steel is hosting a “BIG TIME Photography Contest” in the Philippines.
Entries will be accepted starting July 1, 2015 to September 15, 2015 in select TW Steel boutiques. The contest is open to the public of at least 18 years of age and who currently reside in the Philippines. With the subject of each photograph being a TW Steel watch, there will be two categories for everyone to participate in: Lifestyle Shot and Product Shot. A maximum of 3 entries may be submitted per category per person.
The winner of each category will win Php50,000.00 and a TW Steel Watch. Special prizes will be given to the top 10 finalists per category as well. All finalists will have their pictures featured in the TW Steel Photo Exhibit at the atrium level of Shangri-La Plaza Mall, EDSA. For more details, see the Facebook page of TW Steel Philippines to find out more about the Terms and Conditions of the contest.
TW Steel is available at the TW Steel Boutiques (The Podium, Shangri-La Plaza, SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Aura Premier, Century City Mall & SM City North Edsa), Lucerne, Chronos, Swissgear, WristPod, Adora and Le Temps (New Port Mall).