Monday, December 28, 2020

Heroes and Villains - The COVID / 2020 Edition - Best New Brand Launch

It's that time of year again, our semi-annual Heroes and Villains list.  While we might be a few days late for the naughty and nice list, I will be reviewing some standouts and stinkers this week.

So for today's "My Opinion As Fact" entry we're going to talk about the heroes!

Best New Brand Launch -

Stella Watch Company

Courtesy of Stella Watch Company
The new Stella Felix is, at least to this writer, the perfect combination of a high quality watch imbued with just the right amount of whimsey.  Yes, I realize that coming from your's truly this might seem a bit out of character.  

Shamelessly borrowed from the worldwide infoweb

To paraphrase a quote that other great commentator on the watch business, Lenny Henry as Chef Gareth Blackstock in Chef -

"I am Henki, I am seriously unpleasant, I am a bastard."

Now a certain Europe based "colleague" will no doubt copy and paste that for global distribution ; )

The point is, I am not easily swayed, and it tends to take more than a goody bag and a press release to sway me. Curious to relate, I actually like new ideas that are put forward by people looking to actually create something, I don't know... interesting.

The Felix hits this on a few levels, but the dial design is at the forefront -

Courtesy of Stella Watch Company

I love the font, I love the shape of the hands, and I really like the round date window. The indices pop, and the use of different dial colors and pattern effects mean that there is far more on offer than the usual black or grey. And the price? It is REALLY fair - US $1,185.

But beyond just the watch, I have truly appreciated the launch approach that the brand owners - Marcella Dolan and Stephen Rowley have taken. 

Courtesy of Stella Watch Company

I first encountered them at the District Time show in DC.  Watch shows are full of people who are, unfortunately, full of themselves, as well as full of shit. And there were the two folks from StellaWhere most of us would strut about bending any ear that would listen as to how amazing our new watch was going to be, etc. here were two decidedly different types of folks - polite, friendly, asking questions and listening more than speaking. If you didn't press them, you would have no idea that they were in the process of a pretty impressive launch, or have an inkling to the depth of experience they had in the watch business. Hopefully they will offer a "how to" program for the aspiring out there hoping to follow in their footsteps.

And it seems that fortune, at least in this instance, has favored the worthy. A visit to the Stella website will inform you that sales have been brisk, and initial stocks are very low, and sold out in a few instances.

So congratulations to Stella Watch Company - Tempus Fugit's Best New Brand Launch for 2020!

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