A few years back, Dutch entrepreneur and watch fan Tom van Wijlick chose to relaunch an old watchmaking name: Lebois & Co. Which began as an irregular task established on Kickstarter immediately moved to the following level with multiple relaunch ( here and here ) editions. Today, Lebois & Co. is the thing that we could call a “microbrand” and we needed to talk with Tom van Wijlick around two significant subjects. First is the launch of another watch, the Venturist, which you’ll get a sneak preview of in this interview and will before long be reviewed on MONOCHROME. Second is the presentation of another (and really interesting) plan of action, where customers and watch devotees will have the freedom to become a shareholder of the company… Let’s hear all the details.
What is your first horological memory?
The absolute first horological memory I have dates back to 1987 when I got my first Swatch (pilot), which I in reality actually have. I really adored it. In school, Swatch watches were hot around then. I likewise remember the time Swatch Pop watches were well known, in spite of the fact that I never claimed one. After some time I purchased a few more Swatch watches including a James Bond edition.
What carried you to Lebois & Co?
I began exchanging Swiss made mechanical watches in 2011 and (co-)established both single and multi-brand online extravagance watch stores from 2012 to 2014. During that time, I met with a few great free watch brands and it was then that I realized that I needed to be on the other side of the table; I needed to begin my own watch brand. While searching for motivation with my significant other Eveline we went over a photograph of a dazzling vintage watch that was sold at Christie’s. The watch was a Lebois & Co. chronograph. We were struck by the excellence of the watch so I printed the photograph and took advantage of our refrigerator. Then we began our research of this new brand and their previous proprietors. The rest is history…
Who is behind the brand?
Being a microbrand and a beginning up, our group is still tiny so we will in general work with self employed entities essentially. I’m helped by an architect and at the present time we are sorting out some way to frame our future deals team.
How has the excursion been up until now?
To express it in single word: interesting. The great thing about Lebois & Co. is that we are spearheading. Nothing is unchangeable. We can be imaginative in our items, advertising and deals. For example: we are chipping away at a tick and-mortar concept; an omnichannel concept that will permit customers to check the accessibility of their number one watch at their nearby retailer or buy on the web and organize neighborhood pickup. This likewise implies that we should permit ourselves to commit errors. The last isn’t in every case simple however we’ll get there.
You’re beginning to offer customers the chance of becoming a shareholder. What would you like to accomplish with this?
From a business point of view we need assets to execute our marketable strategy and by doing it thusly, we desire to get great represetatives for the company and the Lebois & Co. brand. In return, we offer advantages to our shareholders like discounts on future watches and even free watches or a seat on the warning board. Of course, this is up to the shareholders. They can be pretty much as included as they want.
How do you manage your shareholders? What is the relationship with them?
First of all, the degree of venture chooses the proper degree of association of the shareholder. While the conventional rules are yet to be settled, we notice that of the shareholders that are already ready there are some that need to assist us with the skill and information they have. I trust in these sorts of collaborations since the two players have a similar objective here; a more fruitful Lebois & Co. would profit both of them.
What are the greatest chances and difficulties for Lebois & Co.?
Being the microbrand Lebois & Co. still is, it comes with the disadvantage that we can’t launch as numerous watches and however many promoting efforts as the enormous brands. Notwithstanding, this doesn’t imply that we can’t offer watches with comparative quality, which we demonstrate with the new Venturist. Additionally, I figure a customer will get a watch that is more interesting since it won’t be seen on everybody’s wrist. A little watch brand additionally has the advantage that the customer’s relationship with the brand can be closer.
What is the future of Lebois & Co.?
I would say – energizing! Yet, truly, there is still a ton that must be done however I am convinced that our persistent effort and tirelessness will get us where we need to be. Our objective: we need to present more items as options for those of the set up request of extravagance watch brands by combining the prescribed procedures of horology and data technology.
If there was just a single Lebois, which would be on your wrist?
Oh kid, that is an intense one! I trust that I won’t ever need to settle on that decision! Of course, I have all the variations of the Avantgarde and there are likewise some vintage Lebois & Co. watches I wear every so often. Currently, I am wearing number 079/100 (my introduction to the world year) of the Avantgarde date – 3rd re-launch edition (dark dial, cognac earthy colored lash) consistently. I really love it. Notwithstanding, when the Venturist is ready I will authoritatively be wearing that one for some time. Thus, to respond to your inquiry; since I am so amped up for our most current watch, I would say the Venturist (however in the mean time I would want to have the option to keep my other watches).
Soon on MONOCHROME, we’ll have a hands-on gander at Lebois & Co. new watch, the Venturist – so stay tuned.