The watch is certainly a staple in anyone's outfit. Whether it be the classic analogue or the more modern tech ones, you'll always see them being worn and that's something I believe that'll never change. I sat down the the founder of watch brand Bavarian Watch to speak to them about the tradition watch making techniques and what inspired him to launch his own brand.
What was your mission when you decided to launch your watch brand Bavarian Watch?
I found out that Bavaria had a rich tradition in watch making long time ago. In opposite to our Swiss neighbours nearly all that tradition has been lost over time. There are only some fun products and some very exclusive products remaining. The luxury watch market has some traditional icons and many followers, but there is very few innovation in design. As I started I wanted to create new brand with it’s own distinctive Bavarian design language, which can last for a long time.
What was the motivation behind you launching your own brand?
I like watches since I was a little boy and I bought my first luxury watch as I got my first salary. To be honest I never thought about owning my own watch brand. Initially I just wanted to create a watch for myself. But in the middle of the process it became more and more clear to me, that the watch I designed is something really new and people like it. At this point it was clear to me that I must launch the brand.
When looking to design a new piece or collection where do you start?
I'm thinking about what's missing, not what already exists. I ask myself what I want to have if everything would be possible. Usually I try not to look around and research the existing market. I’m searching for the inner meaning of a product. Just like if no other product of this category exists. In the case of my first watch model it was easy. I did not find a robust watch, which also looks fashionable. I started sketching some ideas and played with typical Bavarian icons. I made many sketches and most of them did not convince me. But at a certain point I found the DNA of the new design.
What is the most difficult part of designing a new watch?
The long tradition of watchmaking and the restrictions makes it difficult to find a new formal language. I also love some designs of the established brands and it is not easy not to copy from them, because they are always in your mind. Some ideas may be interesting when you draw them, but they look bad when you make a real model. The real hard thing is to find something new, which also make sense and has a meaning of it’s own. The design must show this, but also maintain the functionality and usability.
Where do you get your creative inspiration from?
From the landscape and city I live. Munich is surrounded by the alps, lakes and impressive landscapes, but is on the other hand also a very modern city. It was and is still a centre of typography, graphics and arts. It's a melting pot of different cultures. Some people call it the most northern city of Italy and there is indeed some truth in it. There is also a hard to explain special spirit, a mixture of madness and seriousness at the same time, which you only feel when you are grown up here. This is a good and
nearly endless source for new designs.
With the huge advancements of technology and phones that tell you the time, why do you think the classic watch has stood the test of time?
When watches were invented the most important feature was telling the time. Later it was a challenge to reach more exactness. Today this is no more a question of interest. With little effort is is possible to produce the most exact time tellers ever. At this point things starts to get interesting. What is a watch? Smartwatches are interesting tools, but they need much attention and they don’t last for long. For that reason you can hardly build up a relationship for such a product.
Today we have a discussion about sustainability. Will we ever see a smartwatch that will last for generations? I don’t think so.
Today, without the need of using a watch, it is a question of personal attitude to wear one. A watch is a companion which you can rely on and it helps to express and communicate your personality.
Do you think there will ever be a time a watch fades out of style?
For some people a watch is no choice. This is not a new phenomenon. But I think this is a very personal decision. Do you add a watch to your style or not? I personally feel incomplete without a watch.
There will be ever a certain amount of people using watches.
The ones who use smartphones or other devices for telling the time are the same people who bought cheap digital watches in the past.
How much can the right watch improve your outfit?
Every detail of an outfit is important. I usually prefer a classical style, not necessarily super modern, but good materials, interesting details and a watch, also as good shoes or the right belt can complete a simple outfit in a fashionable way. It makes the difference between dressed and well dressed.
Did you always aspire to own your own watch brand?
I always aspired to learn, try and make new things. I feel more like this watch brand hired me as the designer.
Where do you see Bavarian in 5 years time?
Normally I should answer here that I want to be market leader in whatever market segment. But the truth is that I want to offer affordable luxury products. It’s an interesting journey. I believe in the importance of
luxury for everyone, regardless how rich or poor one is.
Some people say then something is affordable it couldn't be luxury, but this in not true in my eyes. All depends on the quality of making, the materials and the design. This must not be too expensive if you make intelligent decisions in the design process. But, to be honest, I cannot offer such products at a dumping price. I don't think my brand BWG will be one of the best selling watch brands ever. My vision is that BWG offers interesting watches for watch enthusiasts in every price segment. Many very young people like my watches and that makes me really happy because I never expected that. Most of them don't have the money to spend thousands of Euros for a watch.
I will offer them a watch with all features of an established luxury watch at a fair price. But I also have plans for watches which are more exclusive and expensive.
What would you say Bavarian watches offer that others on the market dont?
Every luxury brand has its own design language which makes their products recognisable. BWG has its own design DNA which will be revealed by each new model which will entering the market. This is a slow process, but the people who buy one of the first models never will feel that they own an outdated product. May be it will be vintage in future, but never old fashioned. I also think the design approach is different. When I look at the competitors I see many products which are either unemotional tools or fashionable, very rarely they are both. Funny enough also the tool watches come in white gold or similar precious materials and are a symbol of status today, just by the fact they are expensive and
everybody knows it. I believe that 90 percent of all divers never get wet, not even if their owner washes his hands. The other extreme are handcrafted, decorated watches which you hardly can read. Or they
are so sensitive that you wear them only in special situations. A BWG watch is designed for daily use. That means it is shock resistant, good readable and watertight enough for swimming, doing sports and
everything you want to do, but on the other hand it is a stylish and fashionable accessory for you outfit.
Is there anything you can tell us about any upcoming releases?
It‘s no secret that we work on a automatic version of our current model.
Not because quartz movements are bad. I think a top level quartz movement, as we use it, is the best choice for most people in most circumstances. But there is also some irrational emotion in the love for
watches. A mechanical movement can be fascinating, even it will not be as precise as a quartz movement. But to find the right one was not easy. Finally I found a really good and exclusive movement which is made in Le Locle, Switzerland. I’m sure our customers will love it. This movement gives us the chance to offer also bespoke versions.
As the next new model I designed a diver watch. It will be recognised at the first sight as a BWG watch, but for all that it is completely different from the current model. You will be surprised.
Thank you for your time.
You can shop the full range from Bavarian watch over at www.bavarian-watch.com