Why time is golden for this startup team of watch lovers

September 18, 2015 10:52
Mechanical watches are some of Quinn's greatest passions. Another is photography. He takes photos of watches and posts them on the company website. Photo: Eoniq

Many startups would mention clients and business leads as their most pressing need.

Some might say a good IT developer, capital or both, but the founder of bespoke watch retailer Eoniq wishes he had more time.

The company is planning a major product launch between October and November to coincide with the golden festival season.

Eoniq targets customers between 25 and 35 years old.

Its website lets people choose from a spectrum of watch parts -- dials, straps, arms etc. -- to create timepieces for self-use or as gifts.

Other watch fans can simply visit the shops or read watch magazines.

Quinn, Eoniq's founder, taught himself how to take mechanical watches apart and reassemble them.

Later, he trained under a professional watchmaker to hone his skill. His engineering training from Stanford University certainly helped.

Then he decided to turn his hobby into a career.

He is lucky to have found a group of watch lovers to share his dream with.

Rebecca is in charge of marketing. She came from the hotel industry and is eager to try her skill in something different.

Charles handles software and Jacky design and sourcing.

Quinn looks after strategy, execution, product management and other tasks.

Before ramping up their marketing campaign and production, Quinn and his team are working on enhancements to the DIY watch design interface.

They noticed that many visitors to their website stop on the design page, indicating they probably find the choices overwhelming or the interface not user-friendly enough.

Eoniq is solving the problem in two ways.

One is to make the watch design process simpler. The other is to put in more marketing effort to educate customers and show them how it's done.

Just back from a major trade show, Quinn is on the lookout for better parts suppliers and keeps himself updated on the latest industry trends.

The watches use China-made movement -- the heart of a mechanical watch.

Quinn is planning to shift to better quality Japanese parts from brands such as Citizen. Swiss parts are also under consideration but these may be offered in a premium line, in addition to the current offering of US$198.

How can you tell if a movement is good or not?

“Accuracy, batch consistency and polish are some of the features we look at,” Quinn explains.

But at the end of the day, experience is important.

The company is stepping up marketing activities through Facebook and Instagram to gain more followers before hitting the market in full force.


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EJ Insight writer