Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx “The Bull” Watch (Zaltbommel, Netherlands)

Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx (The Bull) Watch - 2

Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx (The Bull) Watch - 2

Hi Stephan, thanks for taking the time to speak to us today. Would you tell us about yourself and your background in this industry?

Thanks for inviting us for this interview.

Educated in international marketing, I spent over 20 years working for A brand companies. Ranging from automotive, consumer electronics, music industry to energy. I always had a passion for watches.

When I arranged a joint purchase of some New Zealand Magrette watches for a Dutch watch forum in 2007, it all started.

Not only did I really discover the so called micro brands, it really clicked with Dion, the owner of Magrette.

My marketing background kicked in and we found ourselves chatting away about everything. That led to me becoming the first dealer of Magrette outside New Zealand. Still next to my daily job of course.

I loved the contact with customers and thoroughly enjoyed seeing Magrette grow whilst staying small and personal. It also showed there was potential for more.

After a few years I became dealer of Halios from Vancouver. Jason really takes his stuff seriously as well. Original designs and very customer focussed. In 2014 Tempest was added to our shop. It makes for a great mix. My contact with the owners is fantastic. Business is just part of it.

I got involved in some other watch projects and got to know a good designer. It only was a small step to make the next move.

What drove you to start the company and who is behind it?

Selling products designed by other guys is enjoyable. Maybe it is a midlife thing, but at a certain point I really also wanted to create something of my own. Maybe every marketing guy’s dream.

There is a little boy inside of me that is recalcitrant and more outgoing than you would guess when observing me.

With Stuckx, I found an ideal way to channel that energy. I always had a weak spot for seventies design watches. Funky colors, different case shapes. I really felt that was a blank spot in current micro watch offerings that mostly focus on divers.

It all started with a belief there is room for a micro watch brand that dares to be different. Selling watches is not new to me. Starting a watch brand is another ball game altogether. We simply started and I never looked back.

Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx (The Bull) Watch - 1

What were your influences when designing your watch?

I love very different styles. I like everything original. From Genta to Nooka. From Sarpaneva to Grönefeld. Somehow I feel our watches should have the rock star quality of late 60’s, early 70’s American muscle cars. Chrome could shine and colors were so much better than the 50 shades of grey we see now.

Color and 3D elements on the dial that catch the light are crucial for us. And an original design case. No catalogue case for Stuckx!

Why are wristwatch still so relevant today?

Are they? I wonder. “Relevant” maybe has a bit of “necessity” in it. I believe that you only wear a watch if you want to. Not because you need to. It is a very personal choice. The practical use is zero with all phones and screens in our immediate surroundings.

So that leaves “love”, “like”, “style statement” and such. Exactly the reason why we do not design Stuckx watches with only pure function in mind.

Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx (The Bull) Watch - 5

Do you face any difficulties in the manufacturing process?

Manufacturing requires experience. I am lucky to know the right channels and to be working with the right people. It can be a true bottle neck for every watch brand. It often is.

As we truly design the watch ourselves, we cannot simply buy catalogue parts and change bezel, crown/pusher design, dial and hands. Our designs really need to be translated to construction drawings, tooling needs to be made for everything. It is the “long” route, takes more effort and money but is required to do it the Stuckx way.

What is next for Stuckx Watches?

We just funded our Bull models through kickstarter and we will start delivery of our RocK model end of October.

We have several new models designed. Biggest question is how to finance all the models we want to make. We probably will need to take it slower than we want. The watch business is one of high stakes and high risk.

We might test going into retail as well. Some markets simply do not work well with only direct sales. But we will take things slowly.

Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx (The Bull) Watch - 4

What do you see in the future of wristwatches?

I hope we will see more micro brands that dare to make different designs. That listen to their customers and will have a fair price/value ratio. Every time I walk around on the Basel watch fair, I see too many me-too brands. Lots of very well made similar stuff. With prices that just seem out of touch for the majority of people. I see a future with more diversity. More choice. Better value.

What do you personally look for in a timepiece?

I would never be able to have only one watch. As a motorcycle owner, I often compare it to motorcycles. One simply won’t do all the jobs. For racing you want a Ducati, for a long haul a BMW, for feeling bad ass a Harley and to run around town a modified Triumph street racer. I can make lots of lists that way. For cars, but definitely for watches.

As I can’t afford buying all watches I like, I am looking for affordable choices that come close to the perfect ones at a more realistic price level. Some I simply have to make myself. 😉

Interview with Stephan Trimbos, Founder of Stuckx (The Bull) Watch - 3

Is there anything else you’d like to add to this interview?

Yes. A big thank you to the watch lovers who make micro brands possible. The customers, supporters and the press. It is hard to succeed. An uphill battle. Asking lots of personal energy. It is only possible if at times you are being cheered on. Micro brands are people too 🙂

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