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How to start a 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 manufacturers that will ensure you receive high-quality, premium watches customers will keep coming back to.
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.

Defining your watch brand’s look is crucial

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.

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: 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: comes 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: 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.

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: 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.

How to design and prototype a watch for your watch brand

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 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, 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.

We 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.

How to manufacture and deliver watches for your new watch brand

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. Our ties across the supply chain enable us to provide a smooth watch production service for your brand from end-to-end.

How to start and market a 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.

Be authentic

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 reputed watch designers and manufacturers such as American Watch Company so that you can feel confident in the products that customers love.


Let’s work together

Happy to discuss your next watch project!

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