IWC AND THE FACTION COLLECTIVE DESIGN LIMITED EDITION FREESTYLE SKIS WITH LUMINESCENT “IWC LAKE TAHOE” DESIGN
Ready to hit the slopes? IWC Schaffhausen is teaming up with the Swiss high-end ski brand FACTION to bring to you the “Faction Studio 1 IWC Collab Ltd.”. Limited to just 55 pairs, the freestyle skis feature a luminescent “IWC Lake Tahoe” design with glow-in-the-dark letterings on the topsheet. The partnership underlines both brands’ commitment to the highest standards of sustainability and responsible production.
Founded in 2006 by a group of passionate skiers, FACTION has earned a reputation for manufacturing high-quality skis and skiing equipment. The collab skis are handmade in Austria at a 100% renewable energy factory and engineered to the same specifications used for the skis of Eileen Gu, IWC Brand Ambassador and Double Olympic Champion. Every pair of the “Faction Studio 1 IWC Collab Ltd.” skis come with an option to purchase the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” (Ref. IW389105).
The JOURNAL spoke with FACTION’s Chief Brand Officer Olivier Gouby about the collab with IWC, fair weather skiers and the top skiing destinations.
SHARED EXPERTISE IN ENGINEERING AND ADVANCED PERFORMANCE MATERIALS
“POP, PRESS, SLARVE, CARVE…” YOUR WEBSITE READS LIKE A MANUAL FOR SKI PROS. ARE YOUR SKIS MEANT TO BE PRIMARILY FOR ADVANCED SKIERS, OR ALSO FOR BEGINNERS AND THE OCCASIONAL GOOD WEATHER SKIER?
As a premium ski brand, we need to serve the most advanced skiers in quality, but this doesn’t mean we exclude any skier types. We use engineering elements that at once enable precision for strong skiers and intuitiveness for skiers looking to progress. I point to our Elliptical Sidecut design as one example. The most important thing for us is to provide tools for skiers to express themselves in all mountain environments, from the resort to the far reaches of the backcountry.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO COLLABORATE WITH IWC?
I’ve been a true fan of the IWC brand for as long as I can recall, especially the Pilot watches. I’m a fan of minimalist and efficient design combined with highest quality, and I’m also passionate about aviation ever since I started flying with my dad at a young age. FACTION is a brand rooted in passion. Our employees and fans around the globe live that passion every day. Combining our worlds with a collaboration between our new Studio Ski and the Pilot's chronograph Top Gun Edition “Lake Tahoe” was a perfect match, embracing technology and top engineering with shared passion for the outdoors. As brands, we share these common values.
Clear and recognizable: The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe” in crisp white ceramic
IWC x FACTION: Two Swiss brands with a proven track record in engineering
Faction’s Chief Brand Officer, Olivier Gouby
Olivier Gouby on the Grand Combin in Switzerland
HOW DOES A FACTION SKI DIFFER FROM ANY OTHER BRAND’S SKI?
Freeskiing is what runs through FACTION’s DNA. The spirit of freeskiing is to choose your own unique line down the mountain. To approach terrain features in creative ways. To jump and to soar. To plane sideways across snowfields like a boat. Even to ski backwards. From the beginning in 2006, we wanted to make skis that allowed us to ski the way that we wanted to ski. Not to follow the pack. This approach of freedom of expression and connection to nature has attracted like-minded skiers from all around the world who have formed our tribe: The Faction Collective.
We are a Swiss brand producing skis with premium, Austrian manufacturing partners with a focus on pushing the limits of eco-conscious ski manufacturing. We are producing most of our skis in a 100% renewable energy factory, cutting the carbon emissions of each ski by over half. We source materials local to the factories to reduce the carbon cost of transporting goods across great distances. We’re integrating recycled materials into our topsheets, bases and sidewalls, and we’re incorporating a plant-based resin into a number of the skis.
The tone-on-tone white top sheet and black base perfectly match the “Lake Tahoe” design
The ski’s wooden core is composed of sustainably harvested poplar and ash
BUSINESS AS A FORCE FOR GOOD
WHAT MAKES A LIMITED PAIR OF IWC X FACTION SKIS SO SPECIAL?
Our respective teams took a deep dive assessing our shared design values. We loved the Lake Tahoe approach, the purity of the color. We proposed the idea of using a glow-in-the-dark treatment on this ski, something we have not seen before. The new Studio 0 ski is also a brand-new shape and design from our top engineers, designed with input from our Olympic and X Games gold medalists. It is elegance and innovation combined.
FACTION HAS RECENTLY BEEN B CORP CERTIFIED. WHY IS THE SUSTAINABILITY AND SOCIAL ASPECT OF IMPORTANCE TO YOUR BRAND, AND TO YOU PERSONALLY?
We believe that ski manufacturing must be done in a more innovative and sustainable way. This is a top priority for us. As a Certified B Corp, we are committed to using business as a force for good. We have amended the legal framework of our business to put people and planet first, not just profits. As a Collective we are stronger, catalyzing the social and environmental change that our planet needs right now.
IWC AND FACTION SHARE THE WONDERFUL EILEEN GU AS BRAND AMBASSADOR. WHAT VALUES DOES SHE REPRESENT BEST?
Our athletes are heroes to us. And to skiers everywhere. They reshape our perception of what is possible to do on a pair of skis. We are mesmerized by their talents and we partner with these extraordinary individuals because they share our values, engage as a Collective and are committed to moving freeskiing forward. Eileen is the embodiment of this ideal, pioneering in sport while also using her platform and voice to spread the message of inclusivity and empowerment for women and girls.
There are no good or bad skiers when the soul is right. […] Find peers who value the spirit of a day shared in nature, with less emphasis on just skiing fast
Premiere: Faction introduces its first luminescent ski design
The winter landscape around Lake Tahoe served as design inspiration
Glow in the dark: the IWC and “Lake Tahoe” logos in luminescent paint
An XL 7.5 mm sidewall provides maximum edge hold
“CATCHING A LITTLE MORE AIR”
YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PLACE TO GO SKIING?
I live part-time in a small village called La Clusaz, in the French Alps. It is a wonderful, authentic ski resort full of tree runs, steep skiing, and secret ski runs. It’s a great place for my family who are all deep into skiing. A piece of my heart is also with Saint-Gervais, a few miles away at the front of the Mont-Blanc, where I spent most of my free time since childhood.
WHO IS THE BEST AND WORST COMPANION WHEN HITTING THE SLOPES?
I am fortunate to have many friends to share my mountain experiences with. The great thing about living in a small village is that getting on the first chairlift of the day or getting on a ski touring track, you’re almost certain to meet one of them. I really enjoy sharing rides with friends and more and more with my kids.
The worst companion, well, some might tell you it’s me when my feet start to hurt.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR BEGINNER SKIING ENTHUSIASTS?
Skiing should be fun and filled with pleasure. It is fresh air. It is connection to wild places and big mountains that make us feel small. There are no good or bad skiers when the soul is right. For me it’s about progression. To build your skills from one block to the next. To unlock a new way of turning. Or catching a little more air. Patience may be required. Lessons from experts help. Find peers who value the spirit of a day shared in nature, with less emphasis on just skiing fast. And of course, find equipment that you’re comfortable with and that injects energy into your skiing.
This is why we do what we do.
The “Faction Studio 1 IWC Collab Ltd.” skis are available in a limited edition of 55 pairs in two sizes (25 x 171 cm or 30 x 178 cm). When purchasing the skis, the client will also receive an option from IWC to purchase the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Edition “Lake Tahoe.”
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