June 05, 2019 3 min read
Please join me in welcomingIntoWatch owner Jun Kim to our circle of NTH retail partners. Jun works out of his shop in South Korea, and I caught up with him recently to ask him a few questions about his business. This is what he had to say:
What made you want to open an online watch boutique?
I was kind of like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I loved looking at expensive and complicated watches through the window of local shops when I was in my early 20s.
I started off buying a watch after I got my first job and then bought a few more along the way. I joined a watch community and found out there are actually thousands of brands that I can actually afford. So I did some research and some of those brands were good while others were disappointing.
However, during the purchasing process, I had doubts about these brands because of clunky websites and a lack of information about the pieces. I wasn’t able to try the watch before I bought, so having trust in the brand was crucial. Not to mention, the language barrier before and after the purchase.
I saw an opportunity for business.
When the time came, I quit my job of 10 years to pursue my dreams. I wasn’t the most knowledgeable watch enthusiast but I knew my passion for watches would carry me until I learned everything I needed to know.
I just love that working automatic and manual movement is like giving life to the nonliving mechanism. And I admire its complication and craftsmanship, something man developed and mastered.
How do you decide which brands you want to carry?
I should say that the fun of owning your own business is that I get to hand pick every watch I carry. It is entirely my preference that curates my collection. However, there are a few things I always look at.
What’s your “grail” watch? And why?
There are too many to pick. But if I had to, my true grail watch would be the Panerai 360, aka BBQ. I have to admit that I’m a Paneristi. I know it’s a luxury brand but it was the watch that helped me fall in love with timepieces. I love its simplicity. But at $12,000, it’s a luxury I will never (and honestly don’t want to) afford.
One interesting fact about your business?
I only handle microbrands in Korea and I really like my market. I have a good sense of what people want and what will sell quickly. I also make straps to order. I love leather straps and leather goods and have started making custom straps for a few elite customers. It’s just the beginning but I expect to expand that part of my business in the years to come.
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