Three years since it was founded SevenFriday watches are presently available in 88 countries and the numbers sold seem to be growing with each day, thanks to the reach of the social media. Hiren Kumar Bose chats up with Daniel Niederer, CEO, SevenFriday to know how they did it—selling 80k pieces within three years of arriving on the scene
About the brand’s founder
A 45-year-old Swiss citizen, he is a lawyer by education and spent 10 years in cities like Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo and Bangkok restructuring companies which were into distribution of luxury goods including Swiss watches. “Having encountered the mid-life crisis I returned to Switzerland along with my family and invested in a product design company which was mainly into watch design beside household items and elements of cars.”
What does SevenFriday stands for
The name is a modern interpretation of a Latin aphorism, Carpe diem, usually translated as “seize the day”. “I didn’t want a French name more so because we didn’t have history on our side and not my name either. As our watches have both classical and modern elements we thought Seven Friday suited us.”
Why the look of an old fashioned TV
“Yes it does have the look of the TV’s which were popular in the 60s. We call our shape as round-squared and squared-round. Continuing in a trade you tend to become either industry blind or brand blind and tend to be a follower than a trend setter. When you talk of watches you obviously think of a round watch. In fact, in business schools they talk of only round watches. We wanted to be different. Our watches are inspired by industrial design, architecture and engines! It’s not easy reading the time in our watches and that’s on purpose, so that one can get to the story behind it.”
Is it Swiss-made
The concept and design are done in Switzerland; the movements are from Japan and assembled in Hong Kong. “We are 200 per cent sure of our quality. We are no way inferior in quality from watches made in Switzerland.”
Harnessing the social media
If you are not rich enough you tend to be creative. The social media gives you a voice. It helps a local brand to become a global player. “Ours was a self-funded and we thought of reaching out to our prospective clients through the use of social which no other brands had attempted before. We began with posting pictures of our collection on Facebook and Instagram. In fact, we were the first brand to do so. We got excellent feedback from the social media. We never believed what we were upto until we received inquiries from the US and Philippines.”
The brand’s first buyer
Daniel’s father. “In fact, I forced him to buy one.”
Reaching out to clients
“We didn’t take the traditional route. You can’t just focus on social media but need to balance it with traditional media and follow it up with events too. We reached out to bloggers and being a start-up it did really help us. Since we began in 2013 we have held 50 parties all over the world, of which I have attended 44 of them.”
Numbers sold so far
In the first year SevenFriday sold around 12,000 pieces, in the second 27,000 pieces and this year hopes to notch 40,000 pieces. “80,000 pieces in three years. Isn’t that great!”
Servicing the watch
“We just take two weeks to solve the problem. They are repaired locally. We have outsourced the servicing our watches.”
Seven Friday collection
Its latest V Series creates a new way to read the time, thanks to the design of the Hours indication as an industrial gauge. Apart from the obvious change in the look of the watches, V Series possesses an embedded NFC chip that allows authentication official SevenFriday watches by consumers and retailers. This chip enables to authenticate the watch with the SevenFriday mobile application. By scanning the watch with a mobile phone (NFC enabled) one can check the authenticity of the watch; the application will show an immediate positive or negative result. With the chipped models it can be assured to not buy a fake. Design-wise, the new watch takes off from the square like face design to a circular shape design. It still sports a stainless steel body, but this time around, the V Series has a special Day & Night display (white & dark blue) and white small second indication.
The M Series is composed of 6 layers and ten applied parts. The chic black-plated steel case houses a unique dial displaying three internal discs- outer, middle and inner- supplying readings of the hours, minutes and seconds respectively.
The brand’s maiden collection, the P Series is a mix of urban, industrial and mechanical inspirations combining clean lines and classic styling with sporty looks. The interplay between impressive visuals and complex mechanics is one of the things that make it interesting. This distinctively masculine timepiece also features automatic movement with customised special disc for 24H indication and small second function.