I will (around every six months, or so) sometimes write special articles on watch brands that started small, and grew large (in terms of micro brands) and well-respected companies that produce great watches at affordable prices. Today I will focus on Melbourne Watch Company, which was started by Mr. Krishnan under the name: "Melbourne Custom Watches". During the days of Melbourne Custom Watches, all of their products were hand-constructed. After a few years in business, they raised enough money to create a prototype of their first watch. With this prototype, they launched an IndieGoGo campaign, and raised $27,122. After the watches were delivered, people quickly discovered that, although this was a larger-scale production, the Flinders (Melbourne Watch Company's first watch) was built with the same quality as the handmade watches from the days of MCW.
After Melbourne Watch Company was funded, Mr. Krishnan, like any successful crowdfunding creator, kept his backers up-to-date. In fact, he posted 30 updates on shipping, manufacturing, and basically everything that was going on at the time. Named after Melbourne's historic Flinders Street Station, the watch (at least in my opinion) represents the same things as the station: a long history of reliability. The watch features a number of finishes on the case and a design that instantly became a classic. With its moderately-sized 40mm case, the Flinders was soon found on the wrists of watch lovers worldwide. Inside of the watch beats the Miyota 9015, an accurate movement with a history of reliability. It is through this watch that Melbourne was able to build their reputation to what it is now. The watch (available with either a white or black dial) now retails at $494 USD or $525 AUD and can be found on Melbourne Watch Company's Website (the white dial version looks awesome!).
No watch manufacturer wants to stop after one model, especially when that first watch was as popular as the Flinders. When the time came to make a second model, Melbourne once again displayed an attribute of a successful watch company – they listened to their customers. Customer suggestions included (but weren't limited to): making a larger case, a more casual design, and adding lume. What did Melbourne do? Simple, they created the Hawthorn. This time, they launched funding on Kickstarter, a platform that has more members and therefore, a larger customer base. Maybe it was because they took the suggestions of their customers or used Kickstarter instead of IndieGoGo; but either way they raised $51,619 AUD (~$49,000 USD) and reached both stretch goals. Rather than going with the Miyota 9015 like they did in the Flinders, MWC used the Miyota 8205, a cousin of the better-known Miyota 8215. The only difference between the two movements is the presence of a day indicator on the 8205. The Hawthorn can be found on the MWC website and is available at a price of $371 USD (~$394 AUD) for the leather strap version, or $399 USD (~$425 AUD) for the bracelet version, which is currently sold out. Pictures of the other versions (tan leather and bracelet) can be found on their website.
What's next? Once again, Melbourne Watch Company has listened to their customers, and now there is currently a 36mm ladies watch in the works. The company expects it to be powered by the Seiko NH35 and be called the Parkville. You can see it on their news page. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post about Melbourne Watch Company and I hope you enjoy my future posts about micro brands.
Jake Fogarty is the founder and writer for most of what you will read here. If you want to contact me you can visit the contact and advertising page.