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We keep reading great interviews that talk about inspirational people making new things from a knowledgeable customer’s perspective. They might be master craftsman or just life’s do’ers and more often that not they’re doing it through a burning passion that manifests itself from initial frustration that there just “wasn’t anything out there for me” or “I think can do this better”. Mainly it’s not the result of a detailed plan.
Some of the emerging, warrior type brands have great missions to create emporiums all around the globe selling nothing but their expertly crafted goods – setting out perhaps with a non industry, simple view and bringing in outside skills to do something new or different and sometimes both. Those missions seem to develop from what was a simple desire to make something better. Rapha is a shining example of one guy inventing a whole category because he couldn’t find what he wanted but had the marketing and branding skills to pull it off – brilliantly.
Other, enterprises such as our good friends a little closer to home in Cardigan – Huit Denim, are putting denim grand masters back behind sewing machines to make the best damn jeans on the planet. They simply make jeans using the finest materials, the most highly skilled craftspeople and doing it all in the beautiful town of Cardigan in a very personal way.
Our mission is simple – to make beautiful, durable, well made watches – good enough that we want to wear them no matter what’s thrown their way. We were frustrated customers who realized that we could make something different if we really put our minds and souls into it.
It turns out that what we made is a little more different than we initially intended because when you make something rugged enough to withstand incredible punishment, a nice by-product is that it also happens to be highly functional and durable and that means you can develop the sort of relationship with it that only comes with the passing of time. What’s most surprising is that we find ourselves sitting in this cool little niche where there’s just us. Surely we’d find a direct competitor having trawled the halls of Baselworld?
So here we are occupying this unintentional niche, making different, handsome, rugged, serviceable, affordable, nicely engineered watches that we want to wear ourselves. That feels pretty special.