Interview with Tony Villa, Founder of Deaumar Watches

More pics in Deaumar Watches’ Dropbox.

1. What makes your watch unique?

The case, bracelet, face, bezel are unique. The watch has no direct equivalent. Although it is a pastiche of what I love about sport watches, it is a direct copy of none and there isn’t another watch of these specs (all steel, sapphire crystal, applied markers with superluminova, ceramic bezel, automatic) at this price. I just wanted to design something that would appeal to as many people as possible, go with whatever you were wearing or doing, be made of the best materials and be at an impulse purchase price. I was never intending on “re-inventing the wheel” and admitting that, is also kind of unique in the over marketed watch world ?

2. Why did you start a watch company?

I’ve been a lifelong watch nut since I was young. I got my first Seiko automatic when I was 10. I’d started a watch company, Bravus, in my 20’s back in 2004. But the market wasn’t there and social media wasn’t there to promote it. It failed. But I still loved watches. With the rise of the MB watch “scene” I felt it was time to give it another try. Older, but not necessarily wiser, it seems to be working this time. I don’t golf. This is my idea of a hobby that I hope may turn into a career.

3. How did you get your first customers?

I did 2 Kickstarters. I cancelled both. In a nutshell it was because I was offering a low margin watch, but needed to buy a high MOQ to achieve it. Kickstarters inflexibilty with the funding goal meant I actually had enough backers to produce but, thanks to their percentage and bloat, not enough to fund but it did give it exposure and got me backers…and it’s free to fail, so it’s a great marketing tool in itself. I also marketed through Facebook. Got reviews of the prototypes done by The Time Bum, WatchReport, Tiempo Dinamico, The Watch Face, Watch It All About and lately Worn And Wound. I also started asking opinions on the usual forums, but forums can be a harsh place for a new brand. When you’re established and you have your “fan boys” there, then they’re great, but right now they’ve not really produced significant sales.

4. What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a watch company?

Wait. There’s a gold rush on at the moment. Rebranded off the shelf designs with thousands poured in to marketing BS are restricting the market for those who are producing honest / innovative watches. It will come to an end. Design well, bide your time, then try to launch…but be prepared to put your own money in to production runs. Don’t assume that you’ll get funded on KS or through pre sales alone…at least not at the start.

5. What is the URL of your website?