The story of MVMT Watches feels like one of those All-American Tales: two young college dropouts decide to take on the watch industry with inexpensive fashion watches that anyone can afford, and five years and lots of elbow grease later, they sell the company to the Movado Group for $100 million and ride off happily into the sunset.
Except that co-founders Jake Kassan and Kramer LaPlante didn’t just take the money and run. With sales in excess of 1.5 million watches to 160 countries based largely on a direct-to-consumer model, MVMT is well-poised to grow their fan base by offering something for the true watch nerds out there. “I think MVMT has been able to educate people on watches and get people interested in watches, where maybe some other (fahsion) brands were lacking that ability to do so,” says Kassan. The pair is determined to continue building MVMT’s business and satisfying customers who insist upon a more sophisticated product, and to that end, they’ve debuted the Arc, their first mechanical watch.
The Arc, which is available in four different models, is a 41mm stainless steel watch with exhibition case back featuring the workhorse Miyota 821A automatic hacking movement with date at 6 o’clock. It features a domed K1 crystal and vegetable-tanned leather strap as well as a clean, simple dial design inspired by 1960s California modernism and in keeping with the brand’s aesthetic. MVMT quartz watches begin at $95 and are geared toward young professionals, but Kassan and LaPlante have worked hard to ensure that the Arc remained affordable, and to that end the MSRP is still only $300. Given the incredible social following MVMT has built (especially on Instagram), it seems only natural that fans of the brand will perhaps consider upgrading to an automatic product and be willing to shell out a bit more for one, especially as these customers grow older and have a bit more disposable income.
“The aesthetic (of the watch) was a very minimalist look. It’s an emotional connection more than just the function of telling time.”- Jake Kassan, Co-Foudner, MVMT
Available colorways include the Jet Noir (dark grey dial with steel case on black leather); Bourbon Rose (brown dial with PVD gold-colored case on dark brown leather); Ivory Oak (white dial with PVD gold-colored case on light brown leather); and Iron Elm (white dial on grey leather). The standout feature to my mind, besides the use of the 821A movement, is the simplicity of the dial design employed: thin silver (or gold-colored) baton indices, minimal branding, slim baton/sword hands, an unobtrusive, round date window, and thin minute hash marks with dots at the 5-minute intervals ensure a clean look. This is a dial that will appeal to many different types of customer, which is something that Kassan and LaPlante understand intuitively.
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