These three university friends have only been in business for a year, but already James Street, Neil Walker and Jono Holt’s brand of utilitarian watches with interchangeable straps has caught the attentions of two of the most sought-after luxury retailers in the UK.
“Net-a-Porter and Liberty both called on the same day, both wanting to stock our products,” says Street, explaining what can only be described in retail terms as a massive high-five moment.
Waller says this moment of triumph had a deeper effect than just adding a couple of stockists to the list. “As a new brand it gave us the confidence in what we are doing,” he says. “It reassured us that there are people out there who like our point of view on the world and design approaches. It’s given us an amazing platform to grow from. We are moving quicker than we thought as sales are great, which is making things more exciting both for us and our customers.”
While posing for their Hot 100 shot in the foyer of their London office clearly shows they spend far too little time outside it, when they do get a rare moment of reprieve the boys like to head for the British seaside that has inspired the entire brand. This love of the great blue has also driven them to donate £1 to the Marine Conservation Society for every watch sold. “It’s not a huge thing, but it’s important to us and shows that we care beyond just selling products,” says Waller.
Working with your friends can strain relationships, but luckily the trio still seem to like each other and Holt says this is because their personalities gel incredibly well. “We complement each other, both as friends and colleagues, which has been key to making things happen quickly and effectively,” he says. “The only real change from our social lives is that we don’t drink beer every time we see each other now.” Well, nobody ever said the road to success was without sacrifice.