British watch brand IWI has extended its partnership with ambassador James Walker for another year.
IWI has been working with the racing car driver since last year and IWI chief executive Tim Nadin said that the partnership has proved to be a commercial success.
Walker, who this weekend secured an LMP2 lights to flag victory at Silverstone in the opening round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, carries IWI branding on his No.25 G-Drive Racing by Delta-ADR car and wears a specially created helmet with an IWI watch design on it.
Nadin said that the exposure the brand has gained through the partnership – and in particular the distinctive helmet – has had a direct positive impact on its sales.
He said: "It has done wonders for our chronograph sales, which is what the helmet is based on. People want to see the watch it is derived from and this has had massive effect on sales which we weren’t expecting; we just thought it was a nice marketing tool."
The helmet has also proved an attraction for the media, with the IWI watch helmet gaining a lot of TV coverage in the process.
Nadin said: "On the TV at the weekend we counted five laps where they just followed the helmet."
IWI sells its watches direct to the public, following a brief stint as a wholesaler shortly after its launch in 2006.