IWC Launch Special Edition Portuguese Yacht Club
written by A.Morgan - 7th Nov 2011
Sponsorship deals are fairly straight forward; Company A gives money to fund the activities of Company B, and in return Company A gets to enjoy the marketing benefits of being associated with Company B. For the relationship to work, there are three boxes that need to be ticked, which are as follows:
1) Are the two brands compatible? Some combinations are best avoided; ‘Occupy London, brought to you by the Royal Bank of Scotland,’ for example.
2) Does the relationship make sense? ‘Evo-Stik – proud sponsors of the Grand National,’ probably wouldn’t be all too popular.
3) Is there a good product tie-in? The ‘RNIB edition Maglite,’ isn’t exactly a product people will be clamouring over each other to buy.
In this instance, Company A is the International Watch Company, and Company B is the Volvo Ocean Race, which makes sense in the sense that IWC make waterproof watches, and the Volvo Ocean Race is on water. Other than that, unless you either get to see the race live or are taking part in said race, the amalgamation probably isn’t all that exciting, but it’s rule number three that piques our interest most – is there a good product tie-in?
Of course, it’s very easy to just take an existing product and lazily slap an extra logo on it, but that just isn’t IWC’s style. What they’ve done here is take the 3902 and make a light-weight special edition – think Porsche and GT3, think BMW and CSL, think Fern Britton and Ryvita. The steel case has been swapped out for a featherweight titanium one, and the dial for a carbon fibre version with a visible weave, which also carries the Volvo Ocean Race colours as a subtle nod to the event.
Any mention of the race is kept to the case back, surrounding the sapphire window into the unchanged Cal. 89361 movement with sub-dial located chronograph and flyback function. This is a sensible decision – the queue of people looking to buy a Volvo branded watch is probably quite low, but the queue of people looking to buy a titanium version of IWC’s sporty Portuguese will be around the block. Looks like IWC got a good deal.