In the hope of consistently providing the latest industry news to my followers, I have turned to Kickstarter. As some of you know, Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. From its' inception, Kickstarter has been instrumental in bringing affordable entry-level pieces to market--successfully and unsuccessfully.
One recent Kickstarter campaign that deserves the attention of the watch industry is a brand called LIV- Swiss Watches. LIV is a newly established men's watch brand hailing from Brooklyn, NY. Founded by a seasoned veteran of the Swiss watch industry, the brand has set out to make quality "Swiss Quartz Chronographs" at the sub $1000 USD price. Although there are quite a players in that space --Hamilton, Tissot, Certina, and Mido to name a few, LIV believes their products offer a unique value proposition.
Breaking conventional norms is what LIV is all about. The tagline for this brand is "AIM. CONQUER. LIV." Relaxed masculinity is at the heart of this brand. On the brand website, they assert that the LIV Man is "...masculine and rugged while effortlessly fashionable, with an innate attention to detail." With this assessment in mind, it is easy to see why the design and branding of the Genesis X1 is catered to a younger male audience.
Turning back to the brand's efforts at watch making, LIV launched a successful Kickstarter campaign in late September of this year. Within the first hours of their campaign they managed to surpass their target goal of $30,000. Their first product was the Genesis X1.
The Genesis X1 is a pretty attractive piece that will have broad appeal with younger audiences. Various color options truly complement the sporty design of the watch. Where this brand diverges from the rest of the market is in the attention to detail and the overall quality of their products. Using the RONDA Caliber 5040D, and coming in just shy of $600 USD, the Genesis X1 definitely stands out from the quartz chronograph market at that price point. Additional features such as the 300m depth rating and a multi-layered dial all add value to the piece.
LIV hit gold with the design of the Genesis X1 but the timing of this company may be a little off. As the Swatch Group and LVMH ( parent company of Tag Heuer) move further into the entry-level space, the market simply does not have room for another major Quartz brand. In defense of LIV, emerging giant SEVENFRIDAY has successfully created a similar brand ethos --minus the chronograph, and quartz movement. Adding automatic movements to the LIV lineup could be their saving grace. Until then, I think this brand will experience some boutique success but limited success with the masses. If I can get my hands on a piece to review I will.
Visit their website- http://www.livwatches.com/