For Oris Watches USA, the time is right to sign new deals.

The 113-year-old independent manufacturer of Swiss mechanical watches this year has signed new partnerships with two music festivals: The BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival and the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival.

The ties build on Oris’ long-running involvement in music, with a focus on jazz. The company sponsored the Oris London Jazz Festival in the 1990s and makes limited edition watches themed after iconic jazz musicians.

Oris also has built on its long-running partnership with the Williams Martini Racing Formula 1 team with an endorsement deal with Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi.

Di Grassi, whose helmet featured the Oris logo at races in Berlin, Paris and Brooklyn, N.Y., went on to win the 2016-2017 Formula E Drivers’ Championship.

Oris, which sells $1,000 to $5,000 watches through independent retailers, uses sponsorship to accomplish one primary objective: raise brand awareness. The company targets 30-to-55-year-old men with $100,000-plus HHI.

“If you ask the average person about Oris, they think Orvis,” said VJ Geronimo, Oris Watches USA CEO- North America.

Oris also uses sponsorship to promote its positioning as a small, independent watchmaker.

Case in point: Oris partnered with the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival to engage consumers in a key market and promote values it shares with other small independent organizations. The performing arts festival draws roughly 200,000 attendees to some 30 mostly free shows over ten weeks during the summer.

Oris activates the sponsorship in the five following ways:

  • A custom replica watch that serves as the festival’s VIP credential
  • Oris clock displays on two new stage screens five minutes before performers take the stage
  • A live on-site music/time-centric painting that will be auctioned off in support of BRIC at the end of the season
  • Branded clocks in festival dressing rooms
  • On-site watch displays

"From our first correspondence, the team at Oris were genuinely very open-minded and extremely creative partners eager to collaborate with a like-minded organization. They took to heart our desire to create an integrated partnership that added value to the overall festival experience while we helped them accomplish their marketing initiatives,” said Brett McNamara, BRIC/Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival senior sponsorship manager.

Oris planned to bring di Grassi to the festival before or after the July 15-16 Qualcomm New York City ePrix but could not due to a scheduling conflict with the driver, said Geronimo.

The watchmaker also uses sponsorship to engage retailers. Oris sponsored the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival on behalf of Tick Tock Jewelers, a local retailer. Oris leveraged the sponsorship with a ticket giveaway designed to drive traffic to the retailer and replica watch VIP credentials.

Oris sponsors the Williams Martini Racing F1 team due in part to shared values of independent companies that specialize in advanced mechanics. Oris activates the tie with a Williams F1 limited edition watch.

Oris also leverages the F1 team with promotions around races. The company activated the 2016 Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix with a consumer sweepstakes, trade promotion and a driver appearance at a local retailer.

Oris supports ocean conservation programs through proceeds from watch sales. The company supports the Coral Restoration Foundation from sales of the Oris Staghorn Restoration limited edition watch.