Fashionable Watches

Spending Time with Adam Hodge of Farr and Swit Watches at MicroLUX Chicago | aBlogtoWatch

Spending Time with Adam Hodge of Farr and Swit Watches at MicroLUX Chicago | aBlogtoWatch


Hey everyone Ariel Adams with aBlogtowatch at Microlux Chicago. I’m joined with Adam Hodge from Farr and Swit. Thank you so much for joining. Thanks for having me. Okay, so your brand two models
brand-new how old is this company? We started in November of 2017 talking. We all met together in Chicago and came up with a concept. We finally delivered
these models out May of this year. So they’ve actually been live since May. It’s a limited run we got 250 black 250 in the
steel and the plan is to run a small batch of a different model
here and there and keep it limited. Adam you said that you and some
people met here in Chicago who is “we?” If you look at our brand name we’ve
taken three pieces from each of us so the “Farr,” is my middle name “Farrand”
and comes from my grandpa Nelson Farrand. The “and” sign or the “plus” sign
design is our jewelry designer, Andy Paetzold. And then “Swit” is from Zachary Switalski who is the other partner. So it sounds like you have some background in watches. Tell me a little bit more about your background. So I’ll start my background
at when I first got kind of hooked I’m on a cruise somewhere in the
Bahamas and I’m 18 and I walked by this shop and has a Citizen Pro Divers and
it’s got this like lume face pro diver and I walk by and I remember
coming back and I like “guys I gotta go in the store.” You know I’m 18 years
old. I think I bought the thing for $350 which was a ton of money for me at
the time. I got that and then people are commenting on it I kind
of get in from there then I go into like a Seiko Kinetic watch. Then I get into a
Ball, which is my first Swiss ETA movement and I get hooked. Then I get into watch time magazine I’m going on aBlog thewatch. I’m going to watchuseek. I’m running through and trying to
pick up watches. Slowly my collection kind of grows as I
start to increase my income and then start going to watch events and it
just kind of got into my veins. I tell people it’s kind of infectious. When you get a piece like this and you have the mechanical movement
beating like a heartbeat it’s like runs through your body runs
through your blood I don’t know about you guys but I actually get a faster pulse when I see a watch sometimes. You are talking about this
addictive quality of watches and I’ll share with y ou that when I first started
aBlogtowatch one the main reasons was I found that I had this desire to
talk about watches every single day. A day could not go by where this wasn’t
going through my mind and I found that my immediate circle didn’t seem to share
my passion. So I had to go elsewhere so I went one direction you
went another direction bu t how does someone go from being a a relatively new
but hyper enthusiastic consumer to saying I would actually like to build
a brand? Because that’s a big leap. lt is. I guess like I’m kind of a
creator. I’ve been like a creator when I was younger. I used to make like t-shirts
in junior high and sell the people. Then I did hip hop. I was a hip-hop
artists at one point. Then I’m into watches and I’m like I I kind
of want to make one of these I know that sounds crazy and we were telling my
family I want to make a watch and then I went down the path to
explore what can I do, where can I pull this? I pulled those guys in
and collectively we just made it happen. Now it’s interesting parallel
with beers because there’s plenty of beer out there. It’s not like “there’s
not enough beer, I better make some for myself,” but there’s something about
expressing your character your taste your background your values, in beer and,
in a watch. So you seem to be a serial creator you have a lot of passion
for the things you like what are some of the values about you and maybe the rest
of the names on there that you want people to think about when they’re
looking at your dial? So what we kind of wanted to embody, speaking of the seaplane, so with the sea plane we all travel meaning Zach
and Andy were big into traveling we’re big into exploring, trying new things,
getting out of our comfort zone. We want to do a pilot / diver combo and the seaplane kind of fit in perfectly with that and it kind of ties into Indiana Jones and a whole
idea of adventure. If you’re on a seaplane you’re going somewhere fun. You’re somewhere a little more unique somewhere that you’re gonna have a good time. So for me our tagline has always define your time it means like
make the most of your time have fun enjoy life right that’s kind of what I
want to embody is go exploring go out of your comfort zone for the most part
though take your time because time is something we can’t control right
take your time and make the most of it So tell me a little about this watch.
This is the “Seaplane,” and what is the price of this watch? The the steel
comes at $629 and the PVD is $649. Did you begin with the price point in
mind or did you begin with the design and a feature set ? So first we try…our
goal was “hey what’s a watch we can design that’ll get our friends who
tell me I got an Apple watch I got a phone I don’t need a watch.” How do we
hook those guys into the automatics so yeah we’re like let’s try and get around
$500. Then I start building it I decided I wanted to bring manufacturing over to
Mentor, Ohio and have it assembled here I want to get the band’s
the strap from Barton I want to get we’re gonna work with this box company in Florida so our you know we start throwing the BGW9 lume in there and
then the Swiss Selita automatic the price kept creeping up so we had
an Idea price point in mind but that was not top tier. It was
basically, build the watch that I want people to wear and get excited about…and
then figure out where we can go, whats we’re comfortable with to get the price point and
still hook in new new buyers you watch people so you are inspired by seeing
other people creating I’ll call them new brands micro brands if you will and that
gave you a sense of confidence that you could do the same now that you are in
the space and you see this very rich and thriving micro environments of sort of
startup brands enthusiasts driven brands as I say. You must think a few steps down
the road where do you think this is all going from your perspective? So for me
we’re pumped would pumped up on this it’s rolling we got a couple more models
in mind. My goal is to keep rolling out small batches at a time. Do you think
that the future and I’m sort of taking brands like yours collectively because I
think that your story the Farr and Swit story represents a lot
of common threads of other stories started as a collector very near after I
got enthusiastic with watches something clicked in my mind that I could do this
too. Actually went a head and did it and now you find yourself in a group of a
lot of people have the same idea that means there’s a movement if you will, right? So here do you think this movement is going? We’ll draw it back to beer ag ain. So beer beer has got gotten one from I remember
I go to Michigan I was like hey these guys got awesome beers you know and I
don’t see it sometimes in different parts of country too now
anywhere you go you’re gonna find a good micro brew pub of and some
type of special beer. When I go to the beer store even if I love
“Victory Gold Monkey” I may NOT grab that six-pack. So that’s kind of where
we’re going to be at, I think, as micro brands collectively. People are gonna
be looking for something different they’re gonna be grasping for I want
something new “I want something kind of unique” and you’re gonna have to keep
reinventing and keep people hooked in. So there might be that person who never
would have considered a Budweiser. but gets into the micro brew gets
excited about the diversity personalities and now possibly and again
I’m making a guess we don’t know but a new part of the population is going to
be interested in watches because they represent these sort of micro stories as
opposed to just being into the the generic large brands that say luxury say
success but don’t really have enough of a personality would you agree with that?
I would. For me I just want to get guys hooked on watches right, if you buy my
watch in the next thing you’ll buy as an Omega or even a Rolex I’m happy I just
want people back into watches. The brand is Farr and Swit. Adam thank you so much. Thanks a lot Ariel.


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