The Brathwait Journal: Behind the scenes of the watch industry

Founder's note

An introduction to Brathwait’s journal by founder Henrik Torp

April 2, 2014. That was the day Braithwait sold its first watch. That day marked the beginning of a humbling journey. We’ve never looked back.

Each and every one of our customers has played a part in Brathwait’s growth and success. That’s why we’re launching this journal, dedicated to sharing with you our ups, downs, and everything inbetween. We wanted to start 2016 by re-committing to what we hold most dear: transparency, honesty and creativity. The best way to honor this commitment is through bearing it all, right here on this journal, and sharing it with you.

"The expertise and technologies for watchmaking were once exclusive to a handful of luxury watchmakers, which allowed them to charge exorbitant prices for special features and unmatched durability"

Why I started Brathwait

People rarely question the craftsmanship of recognized brands. Why would they? It’s safe to assume companies charge fair prices for their products right? Not so much. More often than not, what you’re paying for isn’t unparalleled quality; you’re paying for their “luxury” advertising. Two watches can be of equal quality and durability but one costs several times more than the other. How is that possible?

The expertise and technologies for watchmaking were once exclusive to a handful of luxury watchmakers, which allowed them to charge exorbitant prices for special features and unmatched durability. Eventually these manufacturing techniques became standard and affordable, but brands refused to reduce their prices to be proportionate to the new, lower manufacturing costs. Even new, non-luxury brands have adopted this practice, charging hundreds for what cost $10 to make. Before Brathwait, you couldn’t find the best possible quality for the best possible price.

I felt uneasy about this discrepancy and wanted to do right by consumers. That’s why I founded Brathwait. I didn’t want to plaster words like “fair”, “honest”, “transparent” and “luxury” on our site but cut corners on production behind the scenes, the way so many other companies do. I wanted these words to be the building blocks for the brand and to influence every decision we made regarding design, manufacturing and working with people who share our values.

Putting the team together

2014 marked our launch, but in 2015 it was time to build a team; a team of people who wanted to help Brathwait inspire transparency. Esquire and other media outlets took notice of us and our community of like-minded people grew. We saw a lot of success in 2015, but took our fair share of punches as well. One story about our look-book brought us so much traffic we were 30 days away from bankruptcy: yes, for real. We weren’t able to keep up with the onslaught of backorders. But our followers stuck by us and we weathered the storm; came out on the other side more determined than ever.

Going Forward

So what’s in store for 2016? We’ve told you how fair, honest, and transparent Brathwait is. But going forward, we want to show you just how fair, honest and transparent we are. This is year will bring new designs, exciting collaborations and special edition products. With our journal, we’re going to take you behind the scenes to show you how we do things at Brathwait, and give you an insider’s look at watchmaking. We’re also going to showcase other cool companies who share our values. We are more committed than ever to give our community -- that means you-- what it deserves: quality, style and honesty. While I write this, I am on my way to La Chaux-de-Fonds, the heart of Swiss watchmaking; so we may or may not have a totally Swiss-made line in the works...Stay tuned. We have just begun and we will spare no details along the way.