MVMT's First Automatic Watch will Make Watch Nerds (and Newbies) Very Excited
Since its launch in 2013, Los Angeles-based watch brand MVMT has quickly become a poster child for millennial start-up success. The company, founded by 20-something college dropouts Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante, generated a very healthy $71m in 2017, almost entirely from direct-to-consumer sales of its well-priced quartz watches. MVMT shoots right at the bullseye of online sales—to the design-conscious, street-fashion-wearing millennial crowd.
What sets MVMT apart is the design. It looks clean, streamlined, and approachable—much, you might think, like a lot of accessibly priced watches these days. No. Unlike many watches in this hotly contested segment—which use simplicity of design as smoke and mirrors to obscure the cheapness of their components—MVMT has an elevated coolness about it, inspired more by the design ethos of high-end street fashion brands than the language of watchmakers. It is this, to our minds, that makes MVMT a brand to watch. It's also what made traditional watch brands sit up and take note.
And sit up they did. The heavy engagement of a young, elusive, non-traditional segment of watch-wearers quickly brought MVMT to the attention of veteran watch brand Movado. In August, it bought the company in a structured deal that all told could reach $100 million, retaining the founders and giving MVMT the potential to grow its business many times over. And raise its game, too, no doubt.
Recently, the brand launched online its first mechanical watch. An entirely new design, the $300 Arc model features a new take on the open simplicity of MVMT's previous watches but with some subtle nods to the grown-up language of classic watchmaking, like the elegantly curved case and the domed sapphire.
But looks aren’t everything. The 41mm Arc’s beating heart is the real news. It’s a robust Miyota 821A automatic movement that was literally willed into existence by MVMT’s own customers—"automatic," it seems, is the top search word on MVMT’s site. Says Kassan: “We had so many people who wear our watches e-mail and ask if we could put mechanical movements in existing MVMT watches, so this is something we feel the brand’s customer base will love."
Consider this the shape of things to come.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.