, Jordi Cobelens is relaxed and loose as always when we meet him for an interview. While he has announced two important new steps for just his watch brand. For one, a supplement of the model policy. On the other hand, TW Steel has entered a new sponsor partnership. Cobelens shows on the motorcycle on the TW steel stand. Whether I’m also motorcycle? Unfortunately only motor scooter. But before we talk about this commitment, the new watches come into play.
Bridgat: on what models is the focus of TW Steel this year?
Jordi Cobelens: Our focus is on the slimline models. It reflects also the easy changing alignment of TW Steel. So far we had Yes a focus on very large watches. They have made us so strong. We want to stay in this segment of also the market leader. However, there’s a new trend: people want to continue to wear XL watches, but look for models that are slightly more upscale or elegant. We have responded with the pilot line already last year on this wish: is slightly flatter than our other models and is already in the direction of a dress watch. We go even one step further with the slimline.
Bridgat: what you do understand when TW Steel the term slimline?
Jordi Cobelens: Very flat watches, but also in our famous oversized look, which the business clothes fit perfectly. Our target group is a young business crowd. So people who wear a suit because of their profession, but have no desire for a classic watch. The slimline takes up elements of traditional watchmaking, but interpreted them in the design of a young fashion brand.
Slimlinemodelle and motorcycles: Jordi Cobelens consistently developed brand and models
Bridgat: This means a price adjustment upwards?
Jordi Cobelens: Not at all. The watches start at 279 euro and thus remain within the framework of the us. We will not do anything crazy in this direction there.
Bridgat: since this year, TW Steel is also a sponsor in cycling. There is also involvement in formula 1. How a young watch brand can afford that?
Jordi Cobelens: Well, we sell all over the world finally a couple watches. This presence is very important for us. We can give an identity of the brand so. The dealers and partners use this sponsorship to enable local markets targeted. The presence of a formula-1 team brings a strong attention in the audience. The cost-benefit ratio is ultimately very good for this kind of advertising.
Bridgat: it shows also the strength a brand if it promotes motor sport. Probably there’s a long list of candidates who want to appear here?
Jordi Cobelens: The money in the game comes of course. Without a thick checkbook no brand needs make hopes. So sober, you must watch this. But of course, the formula 1 teams always also are keen to protect their brand value. Therefore it is already taken who may advertise. And the brand value of a sponsor is a crucial aspect. You have to be already a strong brand to be noticed at all by a formula 1 team.
Bridgat: there are so many different racing series. Why is extending towards cycling now?
Jordi Cobelens: We wanted to make has always been something to do with motorcycles. Motorcycle enthusiasts are a completely separate world. MotoGP has many loyal followers, and is what is formula 1 for auto racing fans for motorcycles. With the Yamaha team, we’ve got a very good and reputable partner that has already won numerous world championship titles. We are not just another sponsor of the MotoGP team, but an official licensing partner of Yamaha. A State had so far by the way no other companies in cooperation with Yamaha. This extends, for example, our distribution: Yamaha has 33 000 merchants around the globe. Of course, not all of them will sell watches by TW Steel. But there are very many lifestyle shops of Yamaha, where there is appropriate clothing and accessories. And we believe that there is also an interest for our watches.
“You must be already a strong brand to be noticed at all by a formula 1 team”, emphasizes Cobelens
Bridgat: there will be also special models for Yamaha?
Jordi Cobelens: Yes, will be the first available soon.
Bridgat: How does such a Designpartnerschaft? Does Yamaha as influential on the design?
Jordi Cobelens: It is a very healthy partnership: you know that we have a very high level of competence in the watch design and therefore don’t talk. Of course, we sat at the top together and have jointly developed principles of design: “what colors go? What functions should have the watches? And so on.” From this base, we have watches then developed and presented. Yamaha officials were impressed immediately by our ideas. This shows us that we have the same way of thinking – just ideal for a partnership.