Time is ticking away, and you never got around to buying that fancy luxury watch that would keep track of it. Usually, the price is the main deterrent. After all, Swiss brands are supposed to be exacting on your wallet. Right?
Weird Ape disagrees. This is a startup company selling luxury watches and pocket watches for men and women at affordable prices.
Their models cater either to the steampunk, daring wardrobe or to the more elegant, conservative tastes. Their watch menu ranges through so many styles, colors, and sizes, you are sure to find one that fits your needs.
So how does Weird Ape do it? How does a startup company build up a profit of $140,000 and a database of nearly 30.000 customers in its first year by selling luxury watches for a fraction of the price set up by other retailers?
After all, $46 for a stainless steel mechanical Gold Standard watch might raise some questions regarding the quality or the manufacturing process.
Weird Ape is ready to answer all of them. More than displaying a disconcerting dose of frankness, Stefan Kozikowski, founder and director of Weird Ape, also revealed some of the watch trade secrets in an interview with Forbes this year.
The Story of Weird Ape
‘Weird Ape was born out of two problems.’ – The main statement to greet you as you enter the company’s website.
The first problem, they write, was the models themselves. Even the fanciest, most expensive types did not reflect the less conservative, quirkier tastes. No head turners among the Rolexes and Rolls Royce of this world.
The second issue was price. It’s a well-known and often disregarded fact that the brand name is the one stretching your dollars to the range of thousands. But how pure is a watch carrying the high-priced label ‘Swiss Made’?
Apparently, in the world of timepieces, ‘Swiss Made’ does not mean ‘100%Swiss Made’. A movement will be considered Swiss if at least 50% of its value has been realized and assembled in Switzerland.
The rest can be made in China, for all we know. Weird Ape, for one, is honest about its suppliers. The UK company is sourcing its wrist watches from the same Chinese manufacturers that, they say, also provide the bulk of the timepieces for the rest of the luxury watch market.
A Lean Business Model
Weird Ape says it invested its efforts in marketing rather than focusing on which products to sell.
Social media has proved to be a gold mine in terms of ROI. The startup company was catching on speed on the online highway.
On Facebook, $4 worth of initial advertising lead to their first sales.
The core foundation of their business plan runs on marketing. Weird Ape knows their watches cannot compete on all levels with the designer timepieces. The quality is less, for one. Plus, the trademarks of the thousand-dollar watch, like the precious stones, the Sapphire glass or waterproof abilities don’t come with the package.
Additionally, the company’s watches only come with a one-year warranty.
However, Weird Ape expanded their offer this year by adding sunglasses to the product list. Next, they’re planning to include jewelry and bracelets to keep their current customers involved. The signs are promising.
It seems Weird Ape could be the next big-time operator of the luxury watch market.