Oliver Goffe and Gordon Fraser knew little about watchmaking when they first started discussing the creation of their own watch brand.
But passion for traditional hand wound watches, coupled with considerable sales, marketing and design skills, led to a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised £179,000 last year (smashing a target of £30,000), and allowed them to launch the first collection under the Marloe Watch Company name.
“We had no background in watches, we just wanted to make hand-wound watches,” recalls co-founder Oliver Goffe.
“As watches get smarter, and lives more complicated, there is a movement embracing the slow-living counter culture. Marloe is proudly going against the grain to create the most traditional of all watches – the hand-wound timepiece,” he adds.
Mr Fraser designed the first collection and packaging; and also oversaw the imagery and videos that are key to a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The company wanted to use Swiss movements from the start, but was unable to secure movements from ETA, so its first watches house Far Eastern calibres. The upside of this compromise is that Marloe is able to price its first watch collections — which have been given English and Scottish place names of Cherwell, Derwent and Lomond — at £249-449.
A second crowdfunding round in March this year has raised the money for the next phase of Marloe Watch Company’s development; it intends to start using Swiss-made movements in watches that will launch later this year, and it is looking to start wholesaling to retail partners.
“The second Kickstarter campaign in March had a target of £50,000, which was hit in 24 minutes,” Mr Goffe reveals.
The campaign closed after raising £192,318.
The Swiss-made watches will launch in August or September, WatchPro was told, and is likely to coincide with the push to find retail partners across the UK.
Manufacturing in Switzerland is expected to push the retail price up to around £749.