Have you ever wondered what you’d get if you crossed a Watchmaker with a Business Consultant? You get very little time on your hands! It may seem like a bit of humour, but when it comes to Iceboat Watches, its certainly true.
Quality Watchmaker and Accredited Professional member of the British Horological Institute, Mike Dimery (top left) has set up a new business with Business Consultant Robert Harris (top right), and the mix of skills has proved interesting! Around 18 months ago, Mike engaged Robert to help with some corporate work, which proved successful and allowed Mike to develop bigger plans. Both are watch collectors and enjoy quality watches and saw an opportunity to rethink the watch market ing with giving birth to Iceboat Watches.
Robert Harris smiles as he recalls the first meeting about this business idea ‘I remember talking to Mike about how the watch industry was treading the same old path. There has been a decline in lower end watch sales and the industry seems paralysed about how to move on in the modern connected world.
Looking up from his coffee, Mike adds ‘..and its time someone tried something a bit different, something that can engage and excite the real watch user.’
Mike is referring to Iceboat Watches peculiar business model. They have a website, of course, but their strategy is a little bit different from the norm. ‘Instead of buying a shop and waiting for the customer to come to us, why not create an environment for people that love watches? Why not have a dedicated event, an evening where watch fans can enjoy being in the company of other enthusiasts, and talk watches?’
Robert nods enthusiastically ‘It seems so logical, doesn’t it? We will put on an event, which will include some film, a presentation and a discussion about aspects of Watchmaking and ownership that people always wanted to know. We all love to learn and none more so than watch fans.’
They are both eluding to their exclusive VIP Club that is open for dedicated watch fans. Their first event is planned shortly and invites are about to be sent. ‘It’s numbers are limited, as it’s about the experience, the engagement of fans with their hobby. Plus, our Watchmaker will be there to give tips and advice on ownership questions. We are really different, and have even provisionally arranged for a selected group that will join us in BaselWorld International Watch Fair to meet a CEO of a quality watch brand.’
Mike reveals that they are working with a number of quality Swiss watch companies to bring their watches into the UK. Being an industry professional, he has carefully evaluated and hand-picked the names, the foremost being Edox. ‘Edox is an interesting company. They are 135 years old and produced the world’s first world time watch. They currently hold the world record for the smallest calendar movement at just 1.4mm thick. They also produce one range that has a water resistance of 1000 metres, and is very popular in America, Australia and the far east’.
They reveal that the most exciting thing they are looking forward to is engaging with the VIP Club. ‘The first event is planned for a very niche cocktail bar, so members can enjoy food and drinks, and can even try a cocktail if they feel the urge! It’s all about engaging with the people, and a website just cannot bring that experience.’
In closing, both Robert and Mike mention that there are other plans to engage watch fans on the horizon and knowing these two, they are going to be interesting!