Microbrand Watches Business has recently interviewed Randy Seah of Bauche Watches in Singapore to discuss his upcoming launch of Bauche brand and the Stargazer collection. Hope everyone enjoy this conversation.
Randy, please tell us more about yourself and Bauche brand, and what have brought you into microbrand watch business in the first place?
As a marketing communications professional in the hospitality industry in Singapore. I started to develop his interest in horology when I bought my first mechanical timepiece, a Solvil Titus. It was only moving on to my first Swiss watch, a Ball Trainmaster that the interest, fascination and understanding in the world of horology took off. I constantly did online research, read up blogs and followed YouTube personalities and channels with a focus on horology, and often visited major brand websites to keep up to date on the latest offerings.
There are several reasons why I wanted to dive into the microbrand scene. Firstly, I seek to create elegant, beautiful watches in my own vision, offering fresh concepts that generate instant interest among watch connoisseurs and aficionados. Secondly, I want to create watches that one would choose wear among the many collections a watch collector may have. Thirdly, I want to bring beautiful creations that are often priced out of reach for the average watch collector to the ground, and allowing them to call one their own.
Bauche is a microbrand watch company based in Singapore. Derived from the horological term ebauche, Bauche represents the physical manifestation of a horological timepiece conceived in the founder’s vision. Our watches are inspired by the hallmarks of everyday objects and professions, exploring different cultures, lifestyles, and literary expressions. Although microbrands are constrained by what is available to us - in this case, the watch movements - what we strive to achieve is how to creatively integrate existing movements into our design ideas. We also look to bring honest value to watch enthusiasts and aficionados with a watch that stands out and above its price, to create a conversation starter and to leave an inedible mark in their watch collection.
“After months of deliberating, working with a couple of talented watch designers, throwing different ideas onto the table, ironing out technical and engineering feasibility, identifying trends, USPs, sellability, color schemes, design symmetry, case design, design DNA for the brand, we've finally nailed down a concept that we hope to launch in Kickstarter/Crowdfunding Q2 next year!” - Randy Seah
What is Stargazer? Where is this concept coming from? Please tell us a bit more about the movement and pricing.
We needed to come out differently, stand out among the crowd and breathe fresh air into a market dominated by submariner style and space themed watches. In many space themed watches, there is predominant use of aventurine stones or materials that evokes a similar aesthetic. This in turn reduces the USP for a new Microbrand startup. It is also important to create a well-designed watch that has a strong silhouette and versatility, able to take on any color and design ideas and concepts thrown at it.
The Stargazer concept started from the idea of creating an asymmetrical dial, using classical astro clocks as a point of reference. We expanded and evolved the concept further by incorporating the idea of what an astrologer peering into space in search of celestial objects in space would be looking at. The Stargazer collection is a series of space-themed watches that combines two different type of stones on a single dial, a unique offering often found in high end horology brands. Using the Aventurine stone as a base, the second stone represents 'Floating Planets' in space. The selection of stones was chosen carefully to ensure the best aesthetics and color, its material suitability as well as its resemblance and fit to the theme. With price point in mind, the Miyota 9122 was selected as the movement that powers the watch, where the triple calendar function comes into play. While this movement allows us to assimilate it into our asymmetrical concept imbued with a space-theme using two stones as the dial for the watch, it also leaves us with the next question: how do we incorporate symmetry within an asymmetrical design, so it doesn’t get on anyone's nerves! With this in mind, we took careful considerations to ensure we are not copying, but use existing designs and see how we can make it better using our own original ideas. Hence, the Raketa Corpenicus was looked to for inspiration to achieve the symmetry within the asymmetrical concept. We have also incorporated motifs at the end of our seconds hand, which will be part of the brand’s design DNA for all watch collections. This ensures that we bring originality into the Corpenicus inspiration. While it may seem ‘cartoonish’ to some collectors, we believe that we will be able to incorporate these motifs in an elegant and mature manner.
As I understand, you plan to seek financial backers on Kickstarter, when do you launch and what is the time frame? Have you done Kickstarter fundraising before?
The planned launching date is Q2 2021, with the prototypes slating to arrive in Q1 2020. This is my first crowdfunding project. I am working with an advisor, from design conceptualization to actualization, campaign management, marketing, factory liaison and warranty services.
When do you expect the official launch of your products? What is the price range?
June 2020. Crowdfunding prices hovers at the middle and slightly lower range of three figures, with MSRP at the upper tier of three figures. The most expensive will be the meteorite and aventurine option, but we expect the MSRP will not go above US$700.
There are many watch enthusiasts who might be interested in launching their own brands, what woould you tell them?
Create your own identity, believe in it and hang on to it. Most importantly, finds a good and experience watch designer and technical expert to guide you through the initial stages. This will play a crucial role in your crowdfunding success and brand launch.
Do you have a website or kickstarter link you can share with our audiences?
Website and Kickstarter links will be set up later. Our Facebook page is live: https://www.facebook.com/bauchewatches - welcome to check it out.
Finally, we wish the best to you and your new brand! Please keep us posted. Thank you for the interview.