How and Why Did You Venture Into The Watch Industry?
Year 2003, when I got out of college, I was fortunate to get into a Management Trainee program at ABN AMRO Bank in South Florida, and that’s when I met Steven. At the time, Steven was leading the bank to become one of the most admired companies while I was rising quickly through the corporate ranks. I always knew that the “cubicle life” was not something that I would be doing for the rest of my life and my focus was on 2 ideas which I was very passionate about: software development (which is now Moomkin.com) and, you guessed it, the Watches.
I knew that Steven was a serious watch collector with some very respectable timepieces and I’ve used that to my advantage to bond with him. After numerous attempts to get his attention, I had to get really creative which eventually resulted in bringing him on board first as an Adviser, and later as an investor.
What is the Mission of Stranger Watches?
Stranger story starts with integrity. We are not here to make “a quick buck” and pass it on. We are here to create a movement of individuals who constantly question the status quo and refuse to fall into the routine of the “average”: get good grades, get a good job, get a mortgage and save to have a decent retirement.
When you rock a Stranger timepiece, you’re not trying to be different, you are being yourself. You are wearing a Stranger timepiece to make yourself feel good about what you stand for, what you have accomplished and what you had set out for yourself to achieve.
As cliché as it may sound but to us, Confidence is not “walking into a room and thinking you are better than everyone else, but not having to compare yourself to anyone to begin with.”
Tell Us More About Yourself Jahn?
I am originally from Kazakhstan and the watch making as an industry is pretty much non-existent there. So my goal is to put my country on the global map as one of the manufacturers of quality timepieces. We currently have 1 collection (4 Seasons by Amir Watches) dedicated specifically for Kazakhstan market which has been very successful so far. We are definitely looking to continue that tradition of bringing limited collections specific to these emerging cultures.
What is the difference between Stranger Watches and the Thousands of Brands out there?
Our focus is on quality time keeping with elegance. What I mean is that there are so many watches out there with super sophisticated movements, complications and other auxiliary elements which focus on aesthetics of the watch and tend to overlook its main purpose, which is precise time keeping. We wanted to combine the simplistic yet modern design with reliable movement and make it affordable.
Why Thoroughbreds? The idea dates back to early 80’s to the city of Taraz (Kazakhstan) – the city with 2000 year old history which was one of the main stops on The Great Silk Way, the city where I grew up. My uncle owned a horse ranch and his primary business was domesticating wild horses. He would turn wild horses into these beautiful galloping horses and most of them were later participated in Equestrian and Polo. Growing up, I visited his ranch every summer and was truly amazed by these elegant yet powerful creatures. The most amazing part was seeing the wild stallions turn into these gracious horses. This was quite an inspiration and I really wanted to pay tribute to that in some shape or form, and this collection was a perfect opportunity. Thoroughbred Collection consists of 4 models: Akhal Teke, Andalusian, Mangalarga, Oldenburg. These were the actual breeds that I’ve got a chance to meet in person at my uncle’s ranch.
Where is the watches available and how do our readers order one?
We have just launched our Thoroughbred Collection by Stranger Watches (strangertime.com) via KickStarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/998202114/stranger-time-thoroughbred-collection-of-watches)
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