Spider-Man: Homecoming hit cinemas on July 7 and if – like this writer – you saw the film and caught the red carpet premiere videos on YouTube, you probably noticed that Robert Downey Jr., rocked an incredibly cool wristwatch. The watch was, in fact, a stunning Urwerk UR-110 RG but the really, really cool thing is that the watch was personally picked by Robery Downey Jr. himself. In other words, this was not a product placement deal.
Hundreds of watch brands factor product placement into their marketing plans, so in most cases, whenever you see a watch in a movie or on a public figure’s wrist, it’s because the brand paid for the opportunity. It’s simply a form of advertising but with regards to Spider-Man Homecoming, absolutely no money changed hands and the watch was even returned to Urwerk after the fact.
So, how did Robert Downey Jr. come to wear an Urwerk UR-110 RG (rose gold) on his wrist in the film, and at the premiere? The story began late in 2016 when representatives from Sony Pictures got in touch with Urwerk, and said that a ‘major character’ in their forthcoming Spider-Man Homecoming production had requested to ‘see and maybe wear’ an Urwerk.
Urwerk is a small independent brand, and in its 20-year history, it has never appointed brand ambassadors or engaged in product placement. As a result, the company politely declined the first request. Sony Pictures persisted however, and in its next conversation with Urwerk’s representative, the company let slip that Robert Downey Jr. had personally requested an Urwerk timepiece because he felt that the brand’s watches were something his Tony Stark character would actually wear. Now that’s one heck of an endorsement!
Since this was now a genuine request that didn’t call for money to change hands, Urwerk obliged. Yacine Sar, Urwerk’s Communications Director, then flew to Pinewood Studios and personally handed over the watch to the actor.
According to Sar, Downey’s team has since returned the watch to Urwerk, and discussions are now underway to figure out what will become of it.
To learn more about Urwerk, click here.