Today marks the launch date of TRIBUS, a fully formed, multi-million pound British watch brand that will be the Official Wristwatch Partner of Liverpool Football Club for this season and the coming five years.
This is no ordinary debut from starry-eyed entrepreneurs with a five-figure kitty raised on a crowdfunding platform.
It is the creation of James Ward and his two brothers, Jonny and Jake, and has their father Chris Ward — eponymous co-founder of the Christopher Ward watch brand — on its board of directors.
The TRIBUS name is a loose reference to the three brothers involved in the company.
Out of the gate, TRIBUS has multi-million pound funding from a group of wealthy investors who are all said to be fans of Liverpool FC and passionate watch collectors.
The five year partnership with Liverpool has been on the table for two years, and was originally discussed with Christopher Ward. When that business decided it would continue with its policy of not working with brand ambassadors and influencers, it looked like the football club would move on.
The Ward family — all massive Liverpool fans — kept the conversation alive and took the decision to create a new watch brand that could take advantage of the massive global reach of the football club and its players.
The Coronavirus pandemic delayed the launch plan by a few months because TRIBUS’s manufacturer in Switzerland was shut down and terms of the deal needed tweaking for a world where football is likely to be played in empty stadia for some time, but goes live today with a blitz by Liverpool FC to its millions of supporters around the world.
The company would not disclose the full details of the agreement, but did describe it as a “chunky seven-figure deal that includes branding around Liverpool’s Anfield stadium, broadcasting Tribus to the club’s reach of 800 million people”.
Tribus is taking pre-orders today for the only watch officially linked to Liverpool FC, winner of the Premier League in the never-to-be-forgotten 2019/20 season.
The key watch launching today is a tribute to that championship win, the first for 30 years. It comes in the club’s famous red colour and has its logo subtly embossed into the sunburst dial at 6 o’clock or an alternative golden dialed version.
The TRI-08 Premier League Champions Special Edition is a three-hander housing a Sellita SW200 automatic movement in a 41mm brushed and polished steel case that can be bought in gold or steel.
Prices range from £995 on a leather strap to £1,295 for steel on steel.
While this special edition will grab all the headlines thanks to the coordinated launch with Liverpool FC, TRIBUS has a full collection of other Swiss-made watches available from day one.
The black PVD-coated TRI-04 Power Reserve GMT Sport COSC can track two time zones, plus 45 minutes of a football match using its adjustable bezel.
It uses a chronometer-certified Soprod C115 movement and retails for £2095 on a leather strap or £2295 on a gunmetal steel bracelet.
The same movement is used in a more retro-styled COSC-certified TRI-03 Power Reserve GMT priced at £1895 with a steel finish and cream or black dial; £1995 for a gold finished case; and £1995 on a gunmetal case with cream, black or yellow dial.