It was March 2012. We had decided to take a leap of faith and take on the titans of the watch-making world with our vision, a microbrand that dealt directly with its customers and sold Swiss-Made and Swiss Movement watches equal to the big brands at prices most watch collectors, enthusiasts, freaks, and fans could afford.
One issue we knew plagued the big brands was lack of innovative, unique, and bold designs. To be sure, we had a concept in mind but needed a designer to move it forward. It was time to crowdsource!
For those not familiar with crowdsourcing, it is a process where a proposal is put before a particular community and challenges, or asks, for a solution. Think of it like having hundreds of designers in our case versus a single designer. We recruited hundreds of top product designers from across the globe and asked them to compete in the LIV Design Challenge. To provide some direction, we supplied them with a design brief and awaited the results. It was a bit wearing, waiting for the designs to start coming in for our review.
To our delight, we received hundreds of designs. That delight was tempered a bit as we realized we had to fairly and honestly assess each against the brief and our expectations. During this process, we found that we couldn’t settle for just one design. Oh, we knew our launch candidate design when we saw it. But, the design community had produced so many amazing designs, we ended up with a total of six designs.
As we said, we knew the design for the GX1 when we saw it. We felt it best represented what we were trying to achieve as a new brand, and as a game changer in the industry. It was a real winner, as the reaction to its launch was to demonstrate.
There were other winners in our design decisions, our fans. With a total of six fantastic designs “in the tank,” we were poised to amaze people for quite some time. To date, we have produced and delivered two of the designs, so stay tuned!
"After spending many years in the watch industry, I realized that there was room for an innovative Swiss Made Chronograph made with quality materials at an accessible price. A lot of the high-end Swiss watch companies had vacated the sub $1000 price point for a Swiss Chronograph."
Co-Founder at LIV Swiss Watches
After building several prototypes of the winning GX1 design, we launched our brand and first product line on Kickstarter. With Chaz’s knowledge of the industry and what was lacking, we made improvements to the GX1 other watches left out.
Just, for example, we increased the size of the Super-LumiNova on both the hour and minute hands as well as the indexes. This seemingly minor change meant our fans would have better low light performance as the additional lume glowed longer.
We felt we were on to something when our Kickstarter campaign reached our funding target in just 11 hours. Fans expressed their delight once they received their watches a few months later. LIV Watches had exceeded their expectations in quality, design, and of course, value.
Flush with our first success, we turned to our next task, to continue to challenge the big brands with our direct-to-consumer microbrand and to delight current and future fans with a steady stream of bold, innovative, rugged, and even rebellious timepieces. The rebellion had started and would soon hit a new plateau, but that’s a story for another time.
Below are three of the watches LIV fans actually received.
"It might not have been achieved in a New York minute but start-up watch brand LIV reached its funding target on Kickstarter after just 11 hours."
-James Buttery, WatchPro.com, Oct 2, 2014