The versatility of time

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WHEN MOVEMENT is bound by time, so is the chance to do (and wear) something bold and brave.

In 2005, TW Steel CEO Jordy Cobelens and his father Ton, saw an opportunity to start a business selling oversized watches. They took the risk and produced the first four Canteen-styled models and began selling these to friends and relatives. Things took off and at present, TW Steel has 5,000 retail outlets in over 100 countries and has sponsored motorsports such as Formula One and the Race of Champions.

This year, the Dutch watch brand launches the #haveitalltwsteel campaign which aims to promote TW Steel watches as having specific designs that fit all occasions, match and keep up with any lifestyle, and make bold sophisticated statements.

In line with the new campaign, the brand has released 14 new models — seven Sophisticated Mavericks, four Son of Time Special Editions, two Race of Champion Special Editions, and one Red Bull Holden Racing Team Special Edition.

“Essentially, they’re not very different. They have the same power. They have the same attitude. However, what we are doing more and more is we are trying to infuse different things together,” TW Steel global marketing director Auke Possel told BusinessWorld of the new models at a media event held at Corregidor last week.

Taking inspiration from the Son of Time masterpiece, TW Steel introduces seven Sophisticated Maverick timepieces — MS73, MS84, MS93, MS104, MS114, MB33, and MS1124. Available in 45mm and 48mm, the models are designed with sapphire coated crystals, engine piston-like pushers, “fuel cap” crowns, and 10 ATM water resistance.

The 45-mm and 48-mm Son of Time Special Editions are what Mr. Possen describes as a design merge with Son of Time custom bikes. Made of high grade 316L steel, sandblasted PDV black coating, with either black Milanese and Italian leather straps, the models are the Chronos Joyride MST3, Aeon MST4, Desperado MST13, and Son of Time MST14.

The Motorsport models — the 45-mm TW965 and 48mm TW966 Race of Champions, designed with three hands, the date display, and black textile straps with orange stitching; and the 48-mm Red Bull Holding Race Team TW967 with PVD blue coated accents and a blue textile strap — complete the new special edition releases.

With the evolving trends in watch designs and the advent of the smartwatch, TW Steel remains confident on its strength in oversized watches, “We like to think that we make our own trends. In 2005, we set the trend. We were the first ones to do oversized watches,” Mr. Possel said, noting that the brand veers away from doing minimalist designs, exploring changes in size, and adding smartwatch features. “We believe in ourselves, and we like to do what we keep on doing,” he said.

“We’re a bold brand that shows the watch as a statement. We are not the most practical watch since [it’s] very hard to tuck under the sleeve, but that’s exactly what we want,” Mr. Possel added.

Asked what makes a watch timeless, Mr. Possel noted that it was the balanced combination of design and technology. “[I think] it has to do with how a watch is produced and designed. I think if it is built on a philosophy or a certain vision, people will see that. If you allow yourself to be daring, I think it has a good chance of becoming a timeless watch.” — Michelle Anne P. Soliman