The Camden Watch Company's 4th Anniversary

July 05, 2018

The Camden Watch Company's 4th Anniversary

Four years ago, on 3rd July 2014, The Camden Watch Company opened its doors for the very first time in a pop-up store on Camden High Street. What started as a showcase for our co-founders Anneke and Jerome's design studio, soon became an established British watch brand with two stores in London and distribution in Japan and Taiwan.

Here at Camden Watch Co. we've stayed true to our identity and the British-Swiss founders have grown the business through not only hard work but an ongoing and contagious passion for what they do.

Let Anneke take you down memory lane to the very beginning of The Camden Watch Co.'s wonderful journey...

How was The Camden Watch Company born?

Around five years ago, Jerome and I were running our watch and jewellery design studio, but we were finding it hard to get new clients. The watch world is notoriously secretive and it was impossible to show people the work we had done previously without breaking all sorts of NDAs. So we decided to create our own brand that would serve as a showcase, showing people the A-Z of what it is we do. Little did we know that the showcase would soon overtake the studio itself!

THE CAMDEN WATCH COMPANY award The Camden Watch Co.'s first award, the WatchPro Hot 100.

How did you finance the launch of the company?

We’re completely self-funded, it was very important to us from the get go that if we were going to do this, we were going to do this our way. No angels, no investors, no VCs. At the time we were looking for an initial loan to get us started, and it just so happened that the shared office space where we were working (Camden Collective) was about to run an accelerator, with the chance of a £10k loan at the end. We did the course and were granted the loan. That at some money from our own pockets helped us kickstart the brand and got us going. 

THE CAMDEN WATCH AT CAMDEN COLLECTIVEThe Camden Watch Co. at The Camden Collective.

What were the make or break moments in the early days of The Camden Watch Company?  And later on what have been the high notes during this journey? 

We’ve taken a lot of risks with The Camden Watch Company, but never blindly. Opening a store was one of them, at a time when retailers were, and still are, closing down faster than you can say House of Fraser, it seemed crazy to open a single brand watch store. But we had the data to back it up and three years down the line we have another store with a third on its way. 

In terms of highs, I think positive customer feedback is always incredibly rewarding. We’ve received emails, cards, letters and reviews from people who truly love what we’re doing and that’s so motivating.

THE CAMDEN WATCH COMPANY camden market store The Camden Watch Co.'s next office was in the stockroom of their first store in Camden market.

How did the company develop and how did it feel like to see your team grow?

Because we were self-funded and still running our design studio, Jerome and I really had the luxury of growing the brand organically. For the first year, it was just the two of us. We’ve grown steadily since then and we’re now a team of seven. Our employees are hugely important to us so we choose our team carefully. It’s so great to build up a group of people around us who are as passionate about what we do as we are.

CAMDEN WATCH COMPANY Spitafield The Camden Watch Co.'s pop up store in Old Spitafields, Shoreditch.

Were there any fearful moments and how did you get past it?

I think running out of stock is always tough, when people are there and actively want to buy your product, but you have to say no, it’s really difficult. But we’re working hard on streamlining the whole process and trying to get on top of stock. Another thing about running a small business is that you’re always on, holidays aren’t quite the same when you have one eye on the view and one eye on your emails to make sure you’re staying on top of everything. But that’s the life of a small business owner and we wouldn’t change it for the world.

CAMDEN WATCH COMPANY Boxpark store
The Camden Watch Co.'s build of their Flagship store in Camden Stables Market.

 

Where did you see yourself 4 years ago? And where do you see the company in 4 years time?

Sometimes I feel as though we’ve always ran The Camden Watch Company, and other times I can’t believe we’re only four years old. I feel really proud of what we’ve achieved so far and can’t wait to see what the future holds. We don’t have a strict corporate plan, more like a Big Idea of where we’re headed and how to get there. I can’t say to much about what we’re doing but for sure it will involve more watches, more events, a lot of hard work and a lot of fun!

CAMDEN WATCH COMPANY 4 years anniversary Eroica Britannia The Camden Watch Co.'s first time at Eroica Britannia vintage cycling festival in 2016.


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