This feature on Microbrand Watch World is about introducing the people behind our favourite watches to the world. This week we talk to Doug Kim from ManchesterWatchWorks.
I first met Doug in late 2014 when he was campaigning for his first watch, the Flagship LE. It was a field watch with a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. It didn’t catch the crowds imagination though and never made it into production.
Now a lot of people might have given up at that point but not Doug. He launched his second campaign, this time for the TatoskoQ, not long after. This was a Swiss quartz diver with a cool puck case themed around a local water monster similar to Loch Ness’ famous inhabitant.
Once again, the crowd did not come forward and the project went unfunded. Who wouldn’t throw in towel now? Not Doug. Taking the feedback on board from the previous campaign, the TatoskoQ was tweaked and relaunched as the Tatoskok.
As they say, third times the charm. Not only did the project get funded, it blew past the $29,000 goal by another $20,000. Doug followed that campaign with the Armada, another diver, and a series of vintage trench watch styled pieces, The Monarch, Vergennes and Westminster.
In the time it’s taken other brands to put out a single campaign, ManchesterWatchWorks has done 5! If you want to learn a thing or two about hard work and tenacity, you need to talk to Doug.
Tell us a little about yourself and your brand.
Horology is my passion. I’ve always admired those who could turn their passions into successful businesses. And I would love to see that happen. So far, ManchesterWatchWorks is on track to make that happen. When we opened our virtual doors in 2014 we sold 0 watches. This year, we’ve sold over 400! However, even if we do continue to grow, we will always hold true to our mantra which is to make exclusive, high quality, affordable watches with timeless designs. And I will always only make watches that I would want to wear.
Who is your ideal customer?
Of course I welcome all customers. But my watches are made with enthusiasts in mind (because I only make watches I would wear). You know, the ones who sweat all the details (no matter how small) and who probably have more than just a strap changing tool in their watch kit. These are the ones who can see all the details I embedded in my timepieces down to the millimeter.
What motivated you to become a watchmaker?
I’ve always been a watch nut ever since I was a kid. Most pics of little me have a watch strapped to my wrist. As I delved deeper into my hobby and started tinkering with watches, that sealed the deal. I knew I would never be able to beat this addiction. So, I fully embraced it. After I tired of using someone else’s parts to modify my watches with, I decided to make my own watches from the ground up. Hence, ManchesterWatchWorks was born.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve got a couple homages to iconic watches in the works and a couple completely original designs in the works. The homage line was actually shelved until my fellow enthusiasts at Watchuseek resurrected it.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
Continue to build high quality desirable timepieces for my awesome customers and deliver great customer service…and maybe go to DisneyLand.