Building a Watch Brand
Follow our simple step-by-step guide to building your very own watch brand or company.
How to Start a Watch Brand
A watch is one of the most important fashion accessories you can own. There are hundreds of watches available on the market, but how do you design your own watch brand?
Starting your own watch brand or company is about successfully blending form and function to create timeless pieces consumers will love. Working with a skilled and experienced watch manufacturer that will ensure you receive high-quality, premium watches customers will keep coming back to.
A watch is something personal. Everyone has their own taste in design and style. American Watch can guide you in making quality decision options throughout the design process and keep you within your budget. We are a genuine manufacturer that wants our customers to be satisfied and ultimately succeed in what they are trying to accomplish.
At American Watch, we offer private label services across a range of styles, colors, materials, and finishes. We work together with entrepreneurs to create timepieces for upcoming and established watch brands.
If you’re thinking about starting a business and not sure how to start a watch brand, here is what you need to know.
We offer 2 options for the OEM (custom, made from scratch) process:
- OPTION 1 – Create working prototype(s) only and go into production at a later date:
- OPTION 2 – Commit to the minimum order quantity (project by project basis), which include design and prototype and production.
We offer the ODM process (a variety of popular existing watches):
- Ask to see our American Watch ODM Watch Catalog.
- Select a watch(es) – there are no minimums.
- Send us your digital logo/images to print on the dial and engrave on the case back.
- We send you virtual images to approve.
- We produce and ship these watches within approx. 2 weeks.
Review our OEM vs ODM page for more information.
Defining Your Watch Brand
Before we go into the nuts and bolts of actually designing a watch for a brand, the first step is to take some time to define what your brand’s look and feel will be.
When thinking about how to start a watch brand, you’ll first need to consider:
- Who is my target audience?
- What is their desired price point?
- What kind of materials and looks do they gravitate towards?
- How much investment is needed?
- How will the brand sell its products (i.e., solely e-commerce, brick-and-mortar stores, wholesale, etc.)?
Once you have a general idea of the style you’re looking for, you can do some market research to see if your thinking lines up with your market. Even doing a small survey can help you figure out how best to start a watch brand that matches your potential customer expectations.
Designing A Watch
The OEM (custom, made from scratch) process calls for you to have visual references (sketches or images), some spec ideas (Material: Stainless Steel, Titanium, etc., Movement, Case Size, Glass Type, Dial Design, Band Type, etc.) and have some budget range in mind for the complete project or a price you want to pay per unit. This information will determine what materials, functions and movements we can offer you. Ultimately, we want to you to be satisfied and successful.
Once you start to get a clearer picture of your designs’ look and your target price points, you can start looking for watch production services. It’s crucial to work with a watch manufacturer that offers a wide range of styles and materials available so that you can have a large variety of choices.
Watch design options include:
Movement: Choose between battery-operated quartz, mechanical / automatic movement, hybrid or Smart movement.
Material: Common material options include titanium, ceramic, stainless steel, carbon fiber, brass, or metal alloys.
Case: High-quality and handcrafted options to keep your watch safe.
Bezel: The frame of the dial, or the top ring and surrounds the crystal.
Dial: Is the part of the watch that displays time.
Hands: The part of the watch that tells the time, with a range of options available depending on the style of the watch.
Crown and Pushers: The small knob on the side of the watch that helps adjust the time.
Bracelet or Band: These come in a variety of options such as metal, leather, canvas, rubber, etc., so there is an opportunity to get creative with this part!
Buckle: The metal portion on the band that is used to lock the watch on the wrist.
Packaging: How your watch will be packaged and presented to the customer.
At American Watch, we offer many watch designs in different material options, colors, finishes, and band options. Working with us makes it easy to create, design, and build tailored men’s or women’s watches that fit perfectly with your new watch concept or brand.
Anatomy of a Watch
Before delving into design, when considering how to start your very own watch brand, knowing the different parts of a watch is incredibly useful! As a watch manufacturer, we understand that each timepiece is high-quality, complex parts that make up the final product, but it might not be as obvious to others.
Bezel: The outer edge that goes around the watch face and the glass.
Case: It’s the main body of the watch, located under the bezel, and makes the shape and keeps the face of the watch, the dial, and other inner workings parts together.
Case Back: Placed on the back of the watch and is removable in case the inner workings need to be accessed.
Crown: A small part on the outside of the watch that is used to wind the watch.
Pusher: Is a small part on the outside of the watch that is used to adjust the time or functions.
Crystal: A protective, transparent cover place on top of the watch and in some models, also at the backside of the watch for exhibit the interworking of the watch
Face/Dial: This is where the time is and usually where most of the branding will be. Designing this part perfectly is crucial to your brand’s identity.
Dial Ring: This is the ring surrounding the dial
Hands: The small parts that point to time and can range from 2-3 depending on whether you want to show seconds along with hours and minutes. And possibly more if you use GMT, a chronograph or multifunction movement.
Lugs: The outer part that connects the watch case to the straps.
Movement: The interior part of the watch that makes it tick, literally. Mechanical-based movements are harder to create (but attract a niche audience) whereas battery-powered Quartz or smart movement is relatively easier and can be more affordable. Your watch manufacturer can better guide you on what to pick.
Subdial: A smaller dial, this can be added to display other kinds of information such as seconds, other time zones or used as a stopwatch
Signature / Marking: The logo or branding on the watch face or back case.
Strap / Bracelet: Are the bands used to clasp the watch around the wrist and fasten it. There are many, many options available.
Buckle: The metal portion on the band that is used to lock the watch on the wrist.
Now that you have gotten an idea of the different parts of a watch, it’s time to start thinking of design.
Based on the price point you are thinking of and your knowledge of your target customer, you can work with a watch design company to begin creating the perfect watch for your wristwatch startup.
The process for designing a watch for your watch brand includes:
Mockups: We’ll take your initial ideas (sketches or photos) and create a 3D mock version of the watch. It provides an opportunity to finalize the design and work through details.
2D drawing: Once the design comes into place and is approved by you, we’ll create a 2D engineering drawing to start bringing it to life and make any changes necessary.
3D modeling: After finalizing the 2D drawing, we recommend creating a 3D model of the watch so you can see and feel it, the size and how it will come together. The 3D model is also helpful if you have something very specific in mind since it’s easier to explain any changes that need to be made.
Prototyping: Once the design is completed to your satisfaction and you are happy with the models, we’ll then begin developing a working prototype of the watch so you can see the final product before it goes into production.
If you have a general idea of what you would like but are not really sure about the specifics, we can take care creating your watch from start to finish. We’ll take your personal branding and key design elements to create designs that you can evaluate and approve at each stage of the design process.
When it comes to starting your own watch brand, we offer an easy and flexible process for creating your own watch. You can be as involved or choose to be more hands-off and let us take care of it all. We have the necessary experience and knowledge to ensure that each watch we design is given the utmost care and attention to create a superior product.
American Watch can also assist with packaging, as that is an integral part of the branding experience. We always recommend addressing it sooner rather than later in the process so that the entire brand comes together cohesively.
Manufacturing Your Watches
Once you have evaluated the prototype and you are satisfied with the design, it’s time to start manufacturing and getting the final products to customers. Once quantities are confirmed, we’ll start the manufacturing process.
When you work with American Watch Company to design and make your watch, there will not be any need to worry. We take care of the supply chain and watch manufacturing, as well as providing after-market care and service.
Our decades of experience in the watch industry ensures that your customers will receive quality products. American Watch’s ties across the supply chain enable us to provide a smooth watch production service for your brand from beginning-to-end.
Marketing Your Watch Brand
To start and operate a successful wristwatch startup, there are a few different steps you can take to market your brand:
Use social media to build an audience.
Social media marketing continues to be one of the fastest methods to promote your brand and build a loyal audience. You can use product imagery and talk about the materials so that your customers can learn more about the product.
Customers gravitate more towards authentic brands that work hard to cultivate a connection. We’re happy to work with you to create new and unique designs to set you apart to accomplish this. Coupled with a strong social media presence, you can create an open and transparent wrist watch brand that customers will love.
Don’t compromise on quality.
It’s hard to gain and retain customer trust. One of the best ways to ensure that customers continue to shop your brand is to create high-quality watches. That’s why it is crucial to work with reputable watch designers and manufacturers such as American Watch Company so that you can feel confident in the products that customers love.