The last time I met with actor/athlete/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, he was promoting his final collaborative watch project with Audemars Piguet. Arnold has been very busy since then, with one of his many projects being the launch of his own Schwarzenegger watch brand, which he and his team are previewing here at Baselworld 2015. I had the pleasure of sitting down with “the Governator” again and seeing his very distinctive timepieces. Here’s a glimpse.
The Schwarzenegger brand — which, according to the man himself, represents perhaps the purest, most no-compromises vision of his ideal type of watch — came about when Schwarzenegger connected with the Brazil-based Magnum Group, a manufacturer and distributor of watch brands in its native country. The Hollywood legend had been itching to create his own type of watches, without the necessary design restrictions of historical brands like AP, for quite some time, and Magnum — which also makes a line of watches inspired by the international soccer star Neymar — gave him more or less free rein. (The watches, Schwarzenegger is quick to point out, are made in Switzerland rather than in Magnum’s manufacturing facility in Brazil.)
The Schwarzenegger collection — which their namesake says is intended to be a “more affordable” alternative for watch lovers who adore large, luxurious-looking sport watches but can’t necessarily spring for an AP Royal Oak or Panerai — comprises more than 100 references in three distinct collections, each representing one facet of Schwarzenegger’s eclectic career. The Schwarzenegger Legend Collection calls to mind his early days in bodybuilding, with designs inspired by weight room equipment, including models with barbell-shaped cases and straps reminiscent of weight belts. The Schwarzenegger Hero Collection includes various watches that cleverly reference his most iconic movie roles, such as the Terminator and “Dutch” Shaeffer in Predator; and The Schwarzenegger Heritage Collection (the only collection equipped with mechanical Sellita movements; the rest are Swiss quartz) is intended to reflect a slightly dressier, more refined “leadership” look representing Schwarzenegger’s tenure as governor of California. Most of the Schwarzenegger watches are, as you’d expect, decidedly large and robust — 52 mm diameters are the norm — and the average price point, according to Magnum, is around $1,000. As this appearance at Baselworld is a preview rather than a full-blown launch, some details of some watches may still change. The watches are expected to be released to the market this fall. Scroll down to see some photos taken during my interview and brand presentation (as yet, there are no official product photos), and keep checking out WatchTime.com for my full interview with Schwarzenegger, in which he traces the creation of his watch brand in his own words.