It was in 2019 that Thomas Baillod, a Switzerland-based watch distribution and marketing consultant, decided to put some of his radical ideas into practice by launching his own watch brand.
Publicity surrounding the launch of BA1110D was enigmatic, referring more to the concept behind its distribution, sales and marketing than to the actual timepieces it was producing.
That concept was based around “afluendors”, a term Mr Baillod coined to describe how BA1110D’s customers would be given the power to influence more customers, sell them watches and feed their views back to the company.
Speaking to WATCHPRO at last week’s Geneva Watch Days, Mr Baillod demonstrated how the affluendor network has become a global sales network for the company.
It works like this: anybody who buys a BA1110D watch automatically earns the opportunity to earn a commission selling another BA1110D watch to somebody else.
A clever app tracks all of these transactions and interactions, and encourages the afluendors to keep promoting and selling BA1110D timepieces.
The only way to buy a BA1110D watch is directly from its website or through its community app.
Timing of the launch in 2019 could not have been better, not only because the pandemic drove a surge in ecommerce sales and digital marketing but, because afluendors were promoting BA1110D, to known friends and associates, their message cut through more than algorithmically driven campaigns.
Two years on from launch BA1110D says it has achieved sales of CHF 1 million.
“Isn’t it great to think that still today, in the midst of a pandemic, you can raise 1 million francs starting with nothing but just with an idea of rethinking the way watches should be sold,” Mr Baillod says.
Now he feels BA1110D has proved its concept, Mr Baillod believes it is ready for a dramatic surge forward in the coming years and is looking for outside funding.
“Next objective: bring investors onboard and target 10 millions in two years. Who’s in?” he asks via his LinkedIn page.