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The Filmic Art of Master Watchmaker Commercials​

The aesthetic designs and enduring functionality, of prestige watch brands, make them highly desirable. Not only for their monetary value, but also as treasured family heirlooms with anecdotal histories of sentimental value.

The legacy of precision chronograph crafting skills by master watchmakers, in the art and science of measuring time, for various activities and occupations, make for inspirational themes to be brought to impressionistic life on film.

1. Santos de Cartier, The Thrill

Advertising Agency: Publicis Luxe, Paris, France

The classic Cartier Santos wristwatch is dedicated to the memory of Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian inventor and aviation pioneer who spent most of his adult life in Paris dedicated to aeronautical study and aviation design.

In Brazil Santos-Dumont is believed to have created the world’s first practical aeroplane and is fervently regarded as a national hero.

His ‘Demoiselle’ monoplane did indeed make aviation history with its 15 kW air-cooled engine, and a wire-braced wing mounted above an open-framed fuselage built of bamboo.

 In 1940 Alberto complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch during flight.

To solve the problem, Cartier inventively created his first men’s wristwatch so that Alberto could check his flight-times while keeping both hands on the controls.

The compelling cinematic ‘Santos de Cartier’ commercial, directed by filmmaker Seb Edwards, stars actor Jake Gyllennhaal, in a surreal dream about the thrilling freedom of flight that Santos-Dumont pioneered.

The music soundtrack features singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Dixon, and producer, composer, and violinist James Underwood’s collaborative ‘Fyfe & Iskra Strings’ composition, titled “Peaks”.

2. Cartier, Shape Your Time

Advertising Agency : Publicis Luxe, Paris, France

Production Company : Quad Films, Paris, France

Post Production and VFX Studio: FIX, Paris, France

Masterly directed by filmmaker Bruno Aveillan, the multi award-wining short film ‘Shape Your Time’, features Cartier’s Panther icon in a magical epic of watchmaking art, precision crafting, and the science of measuring time.

The music soundtrack to the superbly produced film, with its spectacular imagery, in an immersive time-travel epic of Cartier’s horology past and future, was composed and arranged by Pierre Adenot, Antonio Gambale, and David Menke, recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London, and awarded a Cannes Gold Lion for music.

3. OMEGA Speedmaster, Pure Magic Watch Movements

This superbly produced 3D animated film is breathtakingly detailed and a visual delight to behold.

Production Company and Creative Studio: Tax Free Film, Palma, Italy

3D Artists: Giovanni Grauso, Andrea Bazzini, Davide Quagliarini, Francesco Tassi, and  Nicolò Graiani.

The spectacular dream-like world of Omega’s Speedmaster commercial, features a soundtrack of bass, brass, drums, electric guitar, and piano, in a composition by Michigan, USA, Artist, Reed Mathis titled, “Here Come The Raindrops”.

4. TAG Heuer, The Race Never Stops

Advertising Agency: DDB, Paris, France

Production Company: Collider, Sydney, Australia

Since 1860, Luxury chronograph watchmaker, TAG Heuer, based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, has developed innovative, high-precision timepieces for sporting activities, where even a fraction of a second can be crucial in determining outcomes, and this year marks the 60th anniversary of their famous racing watch, the TAG Heuer Carrera.    

Worn by many of the greatest drivers in history, the celebrated Swiss Chronograph was designed by Jack Heuer himself in 1963, and named after Mexico’s gruelling border-to-border Carrera Panamericana, sedan road-racing event.

DDB’s ingenIously conceived, TAG Heuer Carrera anniversary commercial, about making a commercial, and directed by filmmaker Nash Egerton, starring Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, American actress, comedian, and writer, Vanessa Bayer, and famous action film producer, Daivd Leitch, is a highly entertaining production with spectacular stunts and many laughs along the way.

The humorous scenario centres on Ryan Gosling who, after filming the anniversary commercial, refuses to give back the new TAG Heuer timepiece with its advanced functions, resulting in an action-packed race for the Carrera, with tenacious prop master Vanessa Bayer in hot pursuit.