Ken Laurent

Oris’s Ken Laurent explains the creative vision behind the ProPilot X Calibre 400 campaign

Reading Time: 3 minutes

For Watches & Wonders 2022, Oris launched the ProPilot X Calibre – a pilot watch inspired by more than a century of aviation heritage and powered by our five-day automatic. As we are used to by now, the Hölstein brand has a new interview for us, this time on the artistic side…

Keeping an eye on time

Ken, tell us a bit about your background…
My background is in photography. As part of my creative director role, I still go back to this practice, which helps me conceptualise and live out my genuine curiosity for the world. But what I love above all is experimenting with different mediums in order to tell stories.

When did you join Oris and what do you do for the company?
I joined Oris five years ago and I’m a creative director tasked with using visual language to continue building the brand.

Ken Laurent
In full colour
The beauty of a mechanical watch is in knowing how its many parts combine to keep track of time

Who or what are your influences?
I have many interests, but two surface quite often in my work: nature and architecture. I’m fascinated by the perfection of nature’s design, and by great architecture that manages to translate the same principles into man-made elements. I’m driven by the essence of things – I strongly believe this is what makes a story worth telling.

Ken Laurent

How do you develop Oris campaigns?
It all starts with the intrinsic nature of the product. Whether it’s the product’s history, or a material used in it, or an innovation, or simply a particular design element of a watch, getting excited about what makes it great is the starting point that helps me to create a campaign. And we always want to be honest and creative, and to have some fun. That’s why we play with the sizes of watch parts – to show function can create emotion.

Ken Laurent

Is this a team process?
Yes, of course. Without the team, none of this is possible. It all starts with great product design. Oris is an independent brand, so we work very closely across disciplines. It’s personal. The campaigns are there to support the products from an emotional perspective, and for me it’s very exciting to be the liaison between the watches and their stories.

Ken Laurent

How hard is it to tell a story that gives Oris cut-through in such a competitive market?
I think that when you approach things with honesty and with a curious eye, there’s really no way of going wrong, and you do manage to stand-out. Oris’s forte is being a great watchmaker, and being inclusive. All we have to do is make sure this story reaches people.

Forces of nature Ken’s work is heavily influenced by nature and by how architects apply its rules to their designs
Forces of nature Ken’s work is heavily influenced by nature and by how architects apply its rules to their designs

What’s the story behind the ProPilot X Calibre 400 campaign imagery?
We’ve tried to open a secret door for people to experience the watch’s design. Being in Xavier Corberó’s palatial home with human-sized watch parts moving through it is like walking through the watch. Corberó had a unique way of creating poetry through architecture. This is what the ProPilot X Calibre 400 is: a watch with great design, mechanics and functionality, but also one that makes people smile and brings joy.

Ken Laurent

What does the ProPilot X Calibre 400 say about Oris as a watch designer?
It reflects Oris’s identity – independent, always striving to carve its own path, but also able to bring beautiful mechanical watchmaking closer to the customer.

Ken Laurent

What should we expect to see next from Oris in terms of creative storytelling?
Insights into how things work, the joy we find in the marriage of design and mechanics, and how we take the unbeaten path.

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