MVMT's First Automatic Watch will Make Watch Nerds (and Newbies) Very Excited

The impressively affordable Arc is available now.
IMAGE Courtesy of MVMT

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. 

IMAGE: Courtesy of MVMT

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.

IMAGE: Courtesy of MVMT

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."

watch now

Consider this the shape of things to come.

IMAGE: Courtesy of MVMT

This story originally appeared on Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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About The Author
Nick Sullivan
Nick Sullivan is Creative Director at Esquire, where he served as Fashion Director from 2004 until 2019. Prior to that, he relocated from London with his young family to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. He has styled and art directed countless fashion and cover stories for both Esquire and Big Black Book (which he helped found in 2006) in exotic, uncomfortable, and occasionally unfeasibly cold locations. He also writes extensively about men's style, accessories, and watches. He describes his style as elegantly disheveled.
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