Over six years, Swedish Filip Tysander has made the watch brand, Daniel Wellington, a million dollar company. The man who has given the watches his name is probably unaware of the success.
In 2011 Tysander financed $24,000 out of his own pocket to start DW watches. Now he us 33 and his company is selling watches for around $200 annually – with a margin of over 50%.
It was a coincidental meeting during a backpacking tour to Australia that sparked the idea for Daniel Wellington. A man he met wore a Rolex with a black military looking black watch band around his wrist. The fashionable Englishman was named Daniel Wellington, and Inspired by his new acquaintance’s timeless style, Filip decided to create his own line of watches: Named Daniel Wellington.
“Maybe it was just the fact that the industry was so conservative, that made it possible for a slightly more innovative watch to penetrate in the market,” said Filip Tysander in an interrview with Veckans Affärer. The name also sounded right for an international watch brand.
Minimalistic and refined, the classic design with interchangeable straps truly has wide-ranging appeal.
The watches began ticking in an Uppsala basement. Tysander realized that making wristwatches most people could afford but at the same time looking expensive, was the only way to stand out.
However, the success didn’t happen overnight. Before he enrolled in business studies in Sweden, Tyssander was fired from a couple of jobs. To finance the watch idea he was selling neckties and plastic watches online. Six years later the brand has over two million followers on Instagram, and he has hardly used a Swedish krone on marketing. The design is still an important part of what makes Daniel Wellington watches so special.
“I started a little webshop and designed the logotype myself in Photoshop. Then I sent designs back and forth to a factory in China manufacturing the Nato watch bands”, Tysander said to Veckans Affärer.
Daniel Wellington loved to wear his watches on old NATO straps. We liked the idea and feel of the mix so much that we wanted to incorporate the idea into our own line of watches,” it’s stated on their website.
The company’s strategy was to actively getting influencers on social media with lots of followers to showcase the watches. This strategy has proven to be a success.
According to the magazine Bloomberg Businessweek, the timing was correct in several ways. “Tysander chose a good time to build a watch brand. After a drop in sales during the financial crisis, the industry has grown every year since,” wrote the magazine in an article about the company. A survey quoted in the article shows that 40 million analogue quartz watches were sold in 2014 in the United States alone, seven million more than the previous year.
With lucrative margins above 50 percent, Tysander, who is the sole owner of the company, wasn’t exactly scraped when he bought Stockholm’s most expensive apartment.
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The Swedish Watch King, written by Tor Kjolberg