The Brand That Changed How We See Watches

The wristwatch as we know it today is perhaps the most classic and enduring item in a man’s wardrobe. Like many of today’s popular trends (Think bomber/Military Jackets) it’s origins are in the armed forces. The British army began issuing watches to soldiers in 1917 in an effort to synchronize the creeping barrage approach.

By Anthony O'Dell

Since World War I, the watch has become an integral part of a man’s everyday wardrobe. Baby Boomers and Generation X not only wear a watch everyday but many collect watches and view them as heirloom items to be passed on from generation to generation. The fashion industry has even increasingly looked to interweave technology into everyday products—most notably Apple’s iWatch and TAG Heuer’s Connected.

Until recently, men either had to shell out thousands for a pricey model from a name brand, or take their chances on a mall brand. Enter Daniel Wellington, an affordable, on trend and Instagram-friendly brand that has taken the notoriously hard to please social media generation by storm.

Founder Fillip Tysander was backpacking through Australia when he met an alluring British man named Daniel Wellington. Tysander was struck by Wellington’s style, and his ability to be gentlemanly while relaxed and unpretentious. Wellington had a penchant for wearing vintage watches on old NATO straps, a classic style pioneered by the British Navy in the 70s. Upon returning home to Sweden, Tysander started an eponymous watch company for the stranger he’d left behind. “We could see an opening in the market for a watch brand with a timeless and classic design at an attractive price point. This concept is still very much a part of what makes Daniel Wellington so special,” said Tysander.

In an industry where more is better and brands are expected to produce up to 12 collections a year, the thing that sets Daniel Wellington apart is it’s unwavering commitment to minimalism. “I was looking for a slim thin and minimalistic watch, but I couldn’t find what I was looking for,” said Tysander reflecting on the direction of the aesthetic. The brand has managed to create products that are recognizable yet don’t overpower the rest of the outfit.

The aesthetic of these watches may rival luxury competitors but one thing DW provides is an affordable alternative for the masses. The collection runs from $185-$330. They currently come in five different sizes; from 26mm to a more substantial 40mm. As a consistent aesthetic— and one of the hallmarks of this brand—all the faces are minimalistic and dials are white, with slim lines marking each hour.

Straps are available in Nato or Leather styles for both men and women. Nato, the more youthful strap, was pioneered by the British navy in the 70’s, while the leather option offers a more formal and classic choice.

All Daniel Wellington watches have individual serial numbers, which is rare for watches at this price-point and is a testament to the brand’s commitment to quality. While Tysander is delighted by Daniel Wellington’s success - with sales of over 200 Million last year in over 100 countries— with success comes the inevitable knock-offs trying to emulate the formula. The company has requested over 13,000 takedowns by fraudulent users on ads, marketplaces and social media since last December.

Daniel Wellington was an early adopter of social media and has since grown an admirable following: The brand has 2 million followers on Instagram and over 400,000 thousand on Facebook. “It has always been a priority for us to work with contemporary methods, and social media has felt like a natural choice from the very beginning,” said Tysander. “Social media allows us to interact with the most important people: our customers and fans around the world.” The brand has actively engaged their followers through their #DWPickoftheDay contest and the recently launched #WheresmyWellington campaign.

As for the future of the brand, Tysander is excited about a number of new and interesting projects coming up. “Our future looks extremely promising,” he says.

We’re excited to see what this brand will accomplish next.