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IWC Schaffhausen

The Journal

The Art of Timing

The Art of Timing
Read Time: 5 min

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“IWC pretty much kicked off my photography career in 2009 with my first real photoproduction, shooting the Portugieser Line in the Mediterranean on a crazy big sailboat, the Moonbird. After that we always bumped into each other multiple times throughout my career if it is in Soccer or especially the last 4 years in Formula 1 where I was the team photographer of the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team. When Chris and Maurice contacted me two months ago and asked if I could tell my story in the IWC Surrounding, I was super stoked and deeply honored. Writing the concept for this portrait I realized the biggest driver of my career was by far timing”.


I started my career as a photographer in music and hip-hop. What fascinated me the most was the story behind the people. Being enthusiastic and hungry to meet more amazing characters I spent a couple of years documenting the German Music Scene.


Pretty soon I felt it was time for a change and so I started documenting soccer. Luck was on my side with the teams I followed, especially being the Team Photographer of the German National Team ‘DIE MANNSCHAFT’ when they won the World Cup 2014 in Brasil. I published a book called One Night in RIO, and it definitely was one of the best nights of my life ;-)


Paul behind his lens



Big Pilot’s Watch

€ 14.200

Stainless steel case, Automatic winding. Black dial with luminescence, Black calfskin strap, Strap width 22.0 mm.

Made in Switzerland

Paul Ripke


Nonetheless, deep inside me I felt, that I needed a new challenge. So I changed the pic of my stories again: motorsport came into my life, but definitely not the cars (I never took a good picture of a car in my life), the human side of this fascinating world was what attracted me.


After a memorably great time and a few championship stories, in 2019 I took the hardest decision so far and asked the team to let me out of my contract for 2020. I never left any job, because I had a better one lined up. I left it because I wanted a blank slate, because I think that is the biggest opportunity there is. Now I am pretty much only telling my own story instead of somebody else’s.



If someone asks me, what I do, I guess it is storytelling. And what it means to me, is creating moments worth sharing, through photos, video and podcasting. Or even creating clothing through PARI, which is my fashion brand. I think PARI is more than just a hoodie with my name on it – it’s part of my lifestyle here in California.



Luck is when opportunity meets preparation, they say. But never underestimate timing. Anybody could have taken most of the photos I took in my life. But I took them. I was there at the right place, at the right time. Yes, I got a bit lucky, but also I may have a talent for timing. And “good timing” means knowing when to start, but more importantly when to stop. 



Luck is when opportunity meets preparation, they say. But never underestimate timing.
Paul Ripke
— Paul Ripke working on his own brand and collection “Pari” (short for Paul Ripke)


Recently I started what you would probably call “camping” – but my own version of it. I put a roof tent on my SUV and spend one or two nights alone in the desert. I bring my bikes to explore the landscape and connect with the beautiful nature. I look for places worth telling their story, which I really enjoy very much. The best thing you can do is create moments, memories, that other remember. Basically being alone makes me act instead of react, because the is no distraction from outside. So most of the time when I’m creating, I’m alone.

The freedom of truly deciding what to do with my time, is probably my biggest success. To be able to tell my story with IWC here and now makes me super proud, and I hope you like the little film I created! 


Venturing through the desert

— Venturing through the desert



IWC Schaffhausen