The balance between heritage and modern. A dedication to technology but also to craft. A love of flawless design. Swissness as part of our identity. We are talking about Victorinox but these values could equally apply to The Builders Club, the London-based directors duo Jonas Hegi from Switzerland and Julien Simhauser from Germany. “Victorinox combines craftsmanship with heritage and technology” explains Hegi. “I think we work in quite a similar way”.
We asked the duo to consider some of our key products and to represent them in a way which reflects the theme of our season, the balance between modern and heritage. The common ground between Victorinox and the Builders Club is clear, but we wanted them to take an artistic look at our products, something which went beyond the standard product video. The result? Four unique pieces of digital art, crafted by artisans and featuring products which sum up the spirit of Victorinox – innovative, functional, superbly designed and deeply rooted in our Swiss heritage and craft traditions.
The Builders Club for Victorinox
The I.N.O.X. Carbon watch turning its surroundings into an ethereal carbon world. The Spectra Expandable enlarging everything around it. The Cyber Tool splitting and transforming the objects close by. Watch the short films below to dive into the abstract world created by The Builders Club for Victorinox. Each of the three products featured is able to transform their surroundings in a way that mirrors their most important attribute – the durability of the watch, the expansion of the carry-on case and the functionality of the Swiss Army knife. The worlds which are created as a result are at once exciting and beautiful, showing that our products can help you to be prepared for even the most unexpected adventure.
To watch the longer film which The Builders Club created to highlight our Spring/Summer 2017 Limited Edition CottonShell collection, please click here.
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Meet The Builders Club, digital artisans with a fascination for the abstract
The Builders Club formed their partnership in 2015 but can already include Fendi, Adidas and Hunter amongst their clients. With both coming from fine art backgrounds, these days they focus chiefly on the media of film and still photography. Making a name for themselves as master storytellers, we talked to them about digital innovation, combining old and new, and what’s next for them as artists.
What makes you digital artisans? We often use the newest technology to enhance our work. For example we shoot with real film, but then work with the latest visual effects technologies to create images which weren’t possible a couple of years ago.
How do you keep up with innovation in the digital world? A lot of hard work. We also both started what we’re doing in a young age and are the first generation that grew up with internet - so at the moment we have a first mover advantage. The generation after us might make our life difficult though, ha!
How do you combine modern and heritage? We take some of our inspiration from classic photography and art from 10, 50 or even 100 years ago. We then give this timeless inspiration our own contemporary spin - using digital tools such as new computer software to make the images and stories come to life in a new and exciting way.
Why did you decide to work with film? Do you work with other formats as well? We basically love every kind of image-making, we still do a lot of stills as well. I love photography and Julien surreal art. With film however we have the possibility not only to create nice images, but also to tell a story. That’s why we’re focusing on film right now.
Jonas, how do your Swiss roots influence your work? Since I’ve been living in London, I’ve started to miss nature a lot more than I thought I would. I guess growing up in the countryside in Switzerland did leave its mark on me. Also, I’m quite a perfectionist – I don’t mind working on a detail for hours until I’m happy.
Where do you find your inspiration? Everywhere. Art is a big influence for sure, but also friends, daily life, nature and books. Inspiration is in everything, you just have to develop a certain sensibility that allows you to perceive the beauty in everything you see.
What or who are the biggest influences on your work? There is not one single influence. Our influences come pretty much from everywhere, but if we’d have to choose our biggest influence, we would probably go for women and red wine.
What are the Builders Club keen to start exploring next? We want to dig deeper into combining filmed footage with digital art which will allow us to tell stories that no one has seen before. Furthermore we’d like to work on our profile as a film director duo. But we rarely can think more than two steps ahead. It’s really just about doing one new thing, and then what happens next becomes clear.
About The Builders Club, Directors Duo:
The Builders Club was founded in 2015 by London-based directors duo Jonas Hegi and Julien Simshauser. Part creative studio, part production company, the duo creates strong and distinctive visual content for projects ranging from music videos and TV commercials to interactive experiences and digital art pieces.
The Builders Club’s favorite Victorinox product and why?
I really fell in love with the kitchen knives, as I'm using them every day. My favorite would have to be the Santoku knife.
The Builders Club at work – curated by Todd Selby
Photographer, director and author Todd Selby not only took photographs of the Builders Club but also interviewed them. Interviews with Todd are quite fun – they are a bit brighter, a bit more curious and surprising than any regular interview. Check out his discourse with Jonas and Julien.
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Makers of the Original Swiss Army Knife | Established 1884