IWC Schaffhausen

The Sound of Color with Hans Zimmer


Watches and Wonders

Watches and Wonders…the global watchmaking summit extraordinaire, is a vast salon of creativity and innovation. Held annually in Geneva, Switzerland, the 2022 event drew 22,000 visitors to the city’s bustling Palexpo Center.

For IWC Schaffhausen, an iconic brand in the world of luxury watchmaking, and a lead exhibitor, Watches and Wonders is a primary focus of its marketing and branding efforts. This year’s headline was the company’s newly launched TOP GUN Pilot’s watches collection. IWC specializes in highly engineered technical watch cases, manufactured from advanced materials coupled with magnificently beautiful design. For the TOP GUN Collection, IWC’s creative specialists engineered five striking new ceramic colors and crafted timepieces in stunning, monochromatic designs. Each color draws inspiration from fundamental elements of the TOP GUN U.S. Naval Aviation School.

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Unveiling a watch collection so unique and iconic, IWC dreamed of an exhibition event of equal creativity and stature. Ultimately, Christopher Grainger-Herr, CEO of IWC, envisioned a collaboration with the legendary composer of the Top Gun Maverick soundtrack, Hans Zimmer, to craft the ultimate creative expression. Grainger-Herr turned to Steve Kofsky at Remote Control Productions and Global Experiential Producer Executive Visions to turn his dreams into reality. Key to the producing mix was the show design, lighting and visual artistry of longtime EVI partner John Featherstone of Lightswitch, Inc., who is currently on tour as Hans Zimmer's Lighting and Visuals Director.

What ensued was a collaboration with the IWC team unlike anything ever produced in the industry. The project became known as “The Sound of Color”, with Zimmer creating five pieces of original music, one for each of the new IWC colors…Ceratanium, Mojave Desert, Woodland, Lake Tahoe and Jet Black. Each piece featured an individual melodic theme, placed over a mesmerizing rhythmic beat that placed the listener dramatically inside the essence of time. The score successfully added the surprising and emotional dimension of sound to the colors and design of the timepieces. Zimmer’s use of cutting-edge technology to push the boundaries of music composition proved highly symbolic of and cohesive with IWC’s engineering approach to watchmaking.

“What I love about music is the playful element and the opportunity to try out things I have not done before,” explained Zimmer. “I enjoyed creating sounds with IWC because it was quite different from my work on films. Writing music is always about telling a story and taking people to new places, whether inspired by a moving picture or a color, and this was no different.”

The Sound of Color Concert Premiere

With the music completed, short film abstracts were created to develop a multi-sensory experience around the colors. The films were creatively choreographed into a stunning mix of visual art as part of live performance debut.

For the grand premiere of the work, the team produced an original live presentation and concert at the Theatre du Leman in Geneva. Titled “The Sound of Color”,  Messrs. Grainger-Herr and Zimmer guided the audience on an imaginative journey of sights and sounds into the world of IWC, the story behind the colors and the TOP GUN watch collection. From there, the experience unfolded into a captivating concert performance by Zimmer and his musical troupe…venturing into the depths of his nearly four decades of iconic film composition.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The accompanying photography beautifully illustrates the sophisticated multi-dimensional display of story, music, visuals and light produced by this highly imaginative group of impassioned collaborators. An invitation only audience of 1,000 were appreciative participants in what is quickly becoming a legendary event in the sphere of IWC and the Watches and World exposition.

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