Last year, the watch brand, Zenith, released their first-ever art watch collaboration. The limited-edition piece was designed by artist Felipe Pantone, best known for his use of bold colors and geometrical patterns. Spearheaded by Adrien Martin, head of Global Social Media Strategy, the limited edition collection sold out within an hour. We recently caught up with Martin to learn more about the collaboration, and how he fused his passion for contemporary art, watches and new technologies.
How did the collaboration with Felipe Pantone come about?
Like a lot of brands, at Zenith we were looking to increase brand awareness as well as the desirability of our watches. I was convinced that Art could be a great vector for that. I was thinking about which artist could be a great fit for the brand, and Felipe Pantone was on my shortlist as his work could give birth to various versions of “concept” watches. One day, I was talking with a gallerist who was working with Felipe and he told me that he was a fan of the brand. That was really the defining moment.
Was there an experience that stood out during the collaboration / or favourite part in creating the product together?
The best part was definitely to work on the product with Felipe, and see how he was able to push the boundaries of watchmaking and seamlessly add his unique vision and artistic sensibilities to it. He chose our Zenith Defy 21 as the canvas and took it to another level. The team at Zenith also did an amazing job as no shortcuts were taken on the product.
The watch came out exactly how Felipe had designed and envisioned it. This collaborative project actually ended up with the development of several world-firsts in the realm of watchmaking.
What drew you to collaborating with an artist?
It’s always fascinating to discover the result of two very different worlds coming together. And with Zenith I was curious to see how an artist could reinterpret a timepiece as a wearable sculpture.
Why do you think it is important for brands to tap into the art world?
Artists will draw you out of your comfort zone, it could be painful but the result would lead to something exceptional and impactful. For such a traditional industry, it’s important that we challenge ourselves and try new things.
What was the impact of the collaboration on the company and your audience?
The impact has been huge, it’s definitely one of the Top 3 launches in terms of awareness and desirability since I joined Zenith.
Do you have a dream artist collaboration?
Too many to mention!
What is your favourite museum or gallery to visit?
When in Zurich or Geneva I always stop by the Kolly Gallery to discover his new exhibitions. He mainly focuses on street artists and the selection is sharp.
You can find out more about the watch on Zenith’s website here.