Marloe Watch Company is an Oxford based start up specialising in hand-wound mechanical watches that WatchPro first noticed when it completed a highly successful round of crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Now we want to know what’s next, so Emma Calder sat down with the company’s co-founder Oliver Goffe for an update on how he intends to avoid being another Kickstarter brand that fails to kick on from the start up phase.
WatchPro: What have been the main challenges that you have had to overcome to bring the brand to market?
Oliver Goffe: The biggest challenge has been building awareness, and in-turn, trust in the brand. We launched Marloe on Kickstarter to a fantastic reception – we had worked extremely hard on putting our campaign together and I think that was apparent to our backers, hence putting faith in us. But we still had to deliver a solid timepiece.
We actually worked with several manufacturers to ensure we achieved the quality we wanted, and although with that came increased costs, it allowed us to produce a timepiece that exceeded our expectations. Once the watch was in the hands of our customers the feedback was incredible – so many positive comments. This really gave us a solid foundation to build the brand from – all of a sudden we had 1,500 customers who were praising the brand and the product, we owe an awful lot to those guys, our Backers.
WatchPro: Why does the vintage ethos play such an important part in your brand? Is there a back-story or a personal connection at all?
OG: When I was young my father had a Smiths watch that he adored, and rightly so. This thing was utterly beautiful in every respect, but it wasn’t only he who felt this way, as I was also very taken with it.
The watch in question never made it home from our family holiday to the south coast of France, although my mourning for it did. I can only imagine how lonely it feels lying at the bottom of the Mediterranean.
The single most vivid memory I have of this superb English timepiece was the gentle sweeping motion of the second hand. It infatuated me. I could stare at it for minutes on end. Whereas my watch at the time, a hapless football themed plastic monstrosity, merely ticked around the dial in a clunky and unwieldy fashion.
My father always owned manual timepieces and in his day they were rather popular, but nowadays not so much. Here are Marloe we feel very passionately about these mechanical pieces and connecting with your watch on a daily basis, so the company’s values are strongly bound to tradition and design. And it’s these values, along with a passion for timepieces, that inspired the creation of beautiful watches powered by manual, mechanical movements.
WatchPro: What are your hopes for the collection (Cherwell and future Marloe releases) in the future? How do you hope to see it evolve?
OG: We are constantly working on new designs to expand the range, and at time of writing have a couple of new ranges in production – one of them with a Swiss manufacturer. We’re looking to introduce some really interesting pieces such as a dive watch, and maybe even a tourbillon or other form of open dial work.
But the backbone to all of our watches is a hand-wound, manual movement, and remaining true to our core belief of essentials only, clutter free design. These elements are vital to the evolution of our range and brand.