Pilot your life and realize your dreams with TW Steel

Tha Good Life - by John Paul 'JP' Tanchanco

Posted at May 25 2013 09:04 AM | Updated as of May 25 2013 06:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Dutch CEO of global watch brand TW Steel visited Manila to launch the firm's "Pilot Your Life" campaign and collection.

I was able to hang out with the hip co-founder and chief pilot, Jordy Cobelens, during his visit to find out more about their success story and global campaign.

TW Steel

TW Steel is a watch brand from the Netherlands. The brand is known for its oversized watches and chronograph.

The company was established in 2005 in the Netherlands by father-and-son team Jordy and Ton Cobelens.

JP Tanchanco, Jordy Cobelens

According to Cobelens, watch designing has been part of his family life since he was 14 years old.

"My father started designing watches for his own brand in Holland when I was 14. I actually had an interest in the business side so I sold his designs to my friends, uncles and acquaintances," says Cobelens.


After 4 years of helping his dad, Cobelens decided to pursue his personal passions in music at age 18.

"I had a passion for music and decided to pursue my dreams. So I started my professional DJ career at the age of 18. That's when I started my own record store, JC Records, in Amsterdam," says Cobelens.

Making it big

According to Cobelens, his inspiration to renew his interest in his dad's watch business struck him while doing gigs in clubs.

"I was DJing around and I saw that a lot of females were wearing male watches. Since male watches were large, they looked oversized and cool on ladies. I thought that there was a gap for new designs. Then I talked to my dad and we decided to fill that gap," he says.

TW Steel was born in 2005 with 4 initial designs that created a mark as a niche product.

"In 2005, my father designed four design executions of oversized watches and I sold them in my record store. Our first order was 1,200 pieces, 300 of each design execution that my dad made," adds Cobelens.

The niche product the father-and-son duo created penetrated the market and its distributors, and eventually, TW Steel became a commercial success.

"After the initial success, I started to travel and meet distributors. Soon, we expanded the brand massively because of the warm acceptance of the market," he says. .

Cobalens attributes their success to their unique product design and value marketing.

"Our product design was very crucial but it's our marketing style that plays a very big role in assuring success. We even invest in events such as Motorsports, AWGP and even the Formula 1 racing, " he says.

TW Steel F1 campaign

Music Synergy

In 2011, Cobalens decided to marry his love for EDM music and its lifestyle with their watch brand. He opened an entertainment firm called Steel Entertainment Group.

"Me and my friend decided to start a 360 management agency and label for DJs and EDM producers. We built events around our artists while promoting the watch. Our company produces about 250 events per year around Holland and EU [European Union]. We also have some gigs in the United States and in Asia, " he says.

Steel Entertainment's most popular artist is DJ Chuckie.

"Let the Bass Kick " by DJ Chuckie

The Pilot Collection

Cobalens is happy to be in Manila to launch their new campaign, "Pilot Your Life".

"I'm very happy to introduce our new campaign and watch designs. The 'Pilot Your Life' campaign enhances TW Steel as a symbol of success and achievement," he says.

Peek at the Pilot Edition Collection

I think "The Pilot Your Life" campaign comes to our country at a very timely season. It supports and delivers inspirational messages of empowerment that a growing number of successful Pinoys nowadays can follow.

The new designs of their Pilot Edition Collection are in the center of the campaign. I specifically loved the one with rose gold and blue.

JP Tanchanco enjoying a Swiss-made Pilot

Cobelens is a living example of the campaign's piloting-one's-life-and-making-dreams-happen attitude. His achievements are officially validated by an "Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year" accolade at the prestigious Ernst and Young Business Awards.

TW Steel Pilot Your Life Video led by Jordy Cobelens

To strengthen the "Pilot Your Life" campaign locally to Filipinos, TW Steel chose four "Icons of Inspiration"--Bb. Pilipinas Universe Venus Raj, runner Rio Dela Cruz, Marvin Agustin, and Azkal Chieffy Caligdong were the recipients of the initial "Pilot Your Life" award.

Pilot Your Life Ambassadors

Proud to be in The Philippines

TW Steel's first international store is in Philippines.

"I'm very proud to be in the Philippines. Our partners here are really doing a great job. We aim to have more stores in the country by end of the year, " says Cobelens.

Pilot Ambassador Venus Raj

Pilot Ambassador Rio dela Cruz

Pilot Ambassador Marvin Agustin

Pilot Ambassador Chieffy Caligdong

"I think the Philippine economy is growing very fast. There is a growing wealthy class and it's the best time for everyone to pilot your life in this country," he adds.

TW Steel Timepiece buyers are eligible to join the "Pilot Your Life" contest. Should you be the grand prize winner, you will have the opportunity to realize your dream such as opening a business, driving an F1 race car, travel abroad or do whatever your heart desires.

For more info, log in to www.twsteel.com/pilotyourlife/

John Paul C.Tanchanco is a travel, food, party, film and music aficionado. He is also an economist, businessman, MYX/Awit award-winning media producer and Kala guitarist.

"Tha Good Life" is a special feature for ABS-CBNnews.com about pop culture, travel, music, entertainment, business, food, clubbing, shopping and events.

For questions, features and comments, e-mail him at [email protected] or [email protected]