REC is a new watch brand from Danmark. REC is entering the market at a price-range of $456, where there are many competitors. But why is REC different? WatchInsight had a chat with co-founder and CEO Jonathan Kamstrup.
In general the REC watches are not that different from other watches in the market, except that REC uses recycled parts from “forgotten” icons like e.g.cars . The result is that each and every REC Watch is not only completely visually unique, but also embedded with the story of the particular object that has been recycled.
REC’s first collection named Cooper and Mark 1, is based on the classic Morris Mini. They used parts of the cars body as dials. The watches have been designed to subtly refer to the vehicles iconic design. REC takes forgotten objects on a journey from “wreck” to “REC”, by transforming objects that have reached the end of their time into something timeless.
Some questions for Jonathan:
Will you gonna start using more old materials for fabricating more parts of the watches?
In the very beginning we wanted to create the entire (or as much as possible) of every watch from recycled material with a story. However, when we started with the classic Mini, we were also keen on creating affordable pieces, much like the car was an affordable working class vehicle. As such, it proved impossible to create both a highly customized watch which was also affordable. The dial, being such a central part of a watch appearance, was therefore an obvious component to originate from recycled material. However, expect to see much more of our products originate from recycled and reused material in the future!
You completed the watches with “low end” watch-components (Miyota movement, mineral glas) will this change in the near future?
It definitely will. As touched upon, our first collection is based on the classic Mini which was a very affordable and working-class type car. However, as we dive into other collections, based on other classic icons, we will definitely by moving up in both component quality, and as a result, price point. Our customers are able to vote for what they think should be the next “object” we transform to watches on the poll tile of our website, and based on the results, we will design a new collection with completely new components.
Whats your future vision for the brand?
Our brand is completely new, and only a handful of people have still heard of us. In the near future, we hope to change that. As far as we know, we’re the only producer on the market that can offer completely unique watches at our price point. We have plenty of competition, but we feel we add so much value in the story of the recycled objects, handmade components, and completely unique appearance of our watches that we cannot wait to enter the consumers mindspace and compete against other brands in our price range. Longer term we really want to experiment with more customized (and more expensive) mechanical/automatic pieces. We have so many ideas, and we cannot wait to show what we can do!
Your background? Are you experienced in the watch industry?
While not actually educated watch-makers, both Christian (the other co-founder) and myself are avid and very passionate watch enthusiasts. During our visits to fairs such as BaselWorld, we would continually become disillusioned that so many of the smaller brands were all trying to do roughly the same thing. Dont get me wrong, I admire and own quite a few watches from smaller brands, but we felt that we could add a whole new dimension to what a watch can offer. As such, we endeavor to put a unique story and look into each and every watch we produce, instead of having the story “in the brand” or an ancient year of establishment. To do this, we have cooperated with some of the most prominent watchmakers, aficionados, critics and more, including the likes of Søren Andersen (who is perhaps most famous for restoring Jens Olsens “World Clock”) and renowned watch critic Kristian Haagen.
WatchInsight is curios what REC will bring in the near future. They started with an interesting watch collection which differs from the existing competitors.