As already mentioned Chris Grainger-Herr is not the only creative at IWC. Christian Knoop, who joined IWC in 2008, is the manufacturers Creative Director. See, you may think he is responsible for all the watches designed coming out from the Schaffhausen company. Knoop is of course overseeing every single watch created. But he does so much more.
“We are of course a creative company that does great watches,” Knoop says, replying on my statement made several years ago. “But we are so much more. First and foremost we are a watch company. We make watches and have done so for more than 150 years.”
“We have a very industrial approach to our watchmaking inspired by Florentine Ariosto Jones, who founded IWC in 1868. But we are also surrounded by creative minds that help us sell our watches. Today, we safeguard our brand 360 degrees. We can only do this as we are 15-16 designers, five architects, watchmakers and engineers, and an in-house creative agency and social media experts at the table when new watches are discussed. This is far from what it looked like at IWC ten or fifteen years ago,” Knoop says.
“Of course, each department wants their own ways. The social media team wants images of new watches every day. The designers wish they had more budget to create assets, and the engineers want a watch design that lasts another 50-100 years. Yet we all agree on protecting the aesthetics of the brand, but also proving the agility of the manufacture.”
Knoop adds that creative marketing is needed. That marketing gives better visibility on a hot market. “But we are good at telling great stories. We always tell great stories,” Knoop smiles and emphasises the need for creativity in a modern-day watch company.