Introducing a Watch With Timeless Style
Some people are fascinated by the people they meet while traveling, some are impressed by their newfound friends and some are simply inspired.
Filip Tysander made a huge life decision based on his meeting with a modern-day dandy named Daniel Wellington in London. Impressed by Wellington’s colorful personality and great personal style, particularly his vintage Rolex watch with sporty Nato straps, Tysander returned to Sweden and promptly set up a watch company named after his stylish new friend.
And so goes the creation myth of Daniel Wellington watches, a line of bold and clean European timepieces that look timeless despite the line debuting in May 2011.
Nice to meet you
And it was another chance meet-up that brought the stylish watches to Indonesia — the first location outside of select European countries to offer the Daniel Wellington brand. The classic and simple watches caught Teddy Koentjoro’s eye last December and after purchasing one, Teddy said he was impressed by the style and substance of his Wellington timekeeper. He was so enamored with his new accessory that he reached out to Tysander and asked what it would take to bring the watches to Indonesia.
By the end of January, Daniel Wellington had made its debut in Indonesia.
“I thought it was a good product and the trends here now tend to lean more toward European style than American,” Teddy explained. “And price-point-wise, from 1.8 million to 2.1 million rupiah [$190 to $220], everyone can afford a Swiss-quality watch.”
Adapting to the situation
Teddy said almost one million Daniel Wellington watches have been sold in Sweden alone since the brand debuted and the watches are gaining popularity throughout Europe with their vintage look and unique concept: The Wellington’s Nato straps are interchangeable.
“The Daniel Wellington philosophy is simplicity. As you can see there is no date and no seconds hand [on the watch],” Teddy said. “It’s very simple and very classy.”
The watches are gaining a growing fan base in Indonesia, too, a fact that surprises Teddy as he said the line is still new and any buzz generated has been through word-of-mouth.
Daniel Wellington’s soft opening took place at Brightspot Market, the semi-annual bazaar produced by the same team that owns The Goods Dept. The Daniel Wellington booth stood out with its refined library look and attracted a lot of curious visitors during the three-day event .
“The response was amazing at Brightspot, especially since we did no promotion before the event,” Teddy said.
He ventured to guess the watch struck a chord with Indonesia’s fashionable set because of its timeless look.
“If you look at the history of the Nato strap, it was originally created for diving watches, then it was featured in old James Bond movies. That was like 30, 40 years ago. It was then out of fashion but now it’s back,” Teddy said.
“A lot of vintage style is coming back and Jakarta really likes very European styles so I thought this watch could work here.”
Despite Jakartans’ love of the sophisticated European look, Teddy said sales data shows that the top seller in Indonesia is the St. Andrew model, which comes equipped with a conservative and classic leather band.
“The market here is very safe and conservative, a bit different from the more risk-taking Europe,” Teddy said with a smile.
A good time for a good cause
No matter which watch styles are purchased in Indonesia, Teddy said part of the proceeds will go to Pansophia Indonesia, a two-year-old NGO that provides early childhood education for underprivileged children in Jakarta. Each Daniel Wellington watch purchase will support a child’s education and needs, such as nutritious meals, for a month.
“In Sweden, Daniel Wellington supports a group that gives back to street kids. After discussing it with Filip, we thought it would be a good idea for Daniel Wellington Indonesia to give back too,” Teddy said. “But I wanted it to be a project that would benefit Indonesia.”