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Human creativity knows now boundries, it pushes innovation ever further and forges art that outlasts centuries. Superior in precision even to the most modern machines, human craft passed down the generations led to one an artform that combines complexity and beautiful craftmanship alike into a trademark of Swiss culture, resulting in one of the biggest marketing clues in recent history by building upon the picture of Switzerland as an idyll for craftmanship and precision. But today we look at the more questionable ideas watchmakers came up with as we share our five picks for the weirdest watch advertisments ever released.


Waterproof marketing

With the release of the Rolex Oyster in 1926, the first truely waterproof timepiece on the market, wristwatches once and for all began to conquer the elements. But the fact that such a precise mechanism as a movement could be kept completely dry had to be proofen first, so Rolex consulted Mercedes Gleitze to wear the Oyster while crossing the British channel, becoming the first true brand ambassador of the Swiss watch brand and cementing itself as one of the most ingenious marketing coups. Sadley, not every advertisment that followed kept up with this high standard.

This advertisment for the Datejust, the younger brother of the orignal Oyster, didn't get the same chance to show its capabilities by adorning the wrist of athletes, but rather by keeping the goldfish company. Clearly a serious downgrade, especially since its Oyster case ensured the watch to be waterproof up to a depth of 100 meters, really selling probably the most famous Rolex timepiece under value.


Another questionable use of animals to underline a watches resistance against water was Timex marketing to advertise their cheaper alternatives to luxury brandes like Rolex or Omega for underwater use, resorting to the help of turtles by decorating their shells with their products.



Lazy Photoshop

Using the likeliness of celebrities is oftentimes neither cheap nor a process allowing you to waste time, as for every second you use them for a photoshot, time is, in the truest sense of the word, money. But in attempting to maximize profit, you should never shy away of giving every one of your products to be used in the photoshot itself, as adding them in post production can be rather tricky.


But it gets even worse, as it is important for the modell to be positioned right for the watch to be added at the right spot later. In this Tag Heuer commercial with Leonardo DiCaprio, the watch definitly didn't end up being worn at the wrist, but rather as a bit expensive brass knuckles.


Patek Phillipe dragged this concept to the absurd in this not really meant serious April first add.



Man's best piece

Men are simple creatures and able to appreciate the most mundane of things but in one thing a man knows no mercy, is competitive and proud while still liking to exaggerate and brag about having the biggest and best one - their wristwatch. Swatch perfectly encapsulated this feeling of proudness by showing us a small moment of male intimacy where to fellow watchlovers appreciate the others best piece.



Modernized Obelix

Even an invincible gaul has to move with the times as actor Gérard Depardieu, known for his many film appearances as Obelix, ditched his plaid pants for a fashionable suit and his menhir for a hunting rifle to no longer just hunt wild boars and roman soldiers. How a wristwatch is supposed to be the center of attention in this ingenious TV spot is beyond us, though.



One wants to cover his eyes

Advertising with famous asian musicians would in our todays world mainly be associated with the korean Kpop bands which are well received by fans in the western world. But this practise also seemed to be common in post world war 2 Japan by promoting products of daily use as well as luxury items as steady companions of celebrities. But the lead singer of "Bam and the Boom Clan" clearly wasn't familiar with the concept of a wristwatch as he wore a quite oversized specimen even Diesel owners would be jelleous about as a pair of glasses.



The watch with the needed sex appeal

Okay we are propably a little bit cheating here as the watch is just as ridiculous as the advertisment itself. Appealing to the most primitive of insticts, this wirstwatch promsises the perfect companion for every wannabe womanizer, posing as an accessory even Casanova eagerly desires from the afterlife.



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