Getting a new watch off the ground and into stores is a daunting task, even if you’re a famous brand with millions to spend. It’s even more challenging when you lack funds and are trying to launch it on your own. But when you have a passion, you find a way, and that’s why one enterprising entrepreneur is using Kickstarter to fund his project.
Dominick Cullari credits his grandfather Domenico with his lifelong love of fine watches. After inheriting a timepiece from the family patriarch, young Dominick began doodling sketches for a watch of his own. Now he’s ready to market the very first watch from his Domeni Co., and for a few bucks, you can help him get his dream project off the ground.
The Kickstarter page for the Domeni Company reveals that the project will be funded only if at least $21,750 is pledged by Monday, October 13. That goal is still pretty far away—like $19,907 away, with 114 backers signed on so far.
The Domeni Co. Signature Series watch has the look and feel of a luxury watch for a much more reasonable retail price of $215. For that, you can get a 40mm 316L stainless steel case with gold-plated Swiss-made Ronda 1069 six-jewel movement and strap of either Milanese mesh or premium leather.
If you want to be one of the first lucky customers to own a Domeni and have some cash to invest, you can pledge $135 or more and get one Dominico Signature Series watch in your choice of gold, silver or black. Pledge $250 or more and get two Dominico Signature Series watches of your choice, three for $375, four for $480 or seven for $840. Estimated delivery is in January of 2015 and shipping outside the U.S. is $15 extra.
Things don’t look that promising for the fledgling watch mogul, since the Kickstarter page has been up since September 8 with less than $2,000 pledged so far and just 20 days left to reach the goal.
Comments on the page are restricted to paying backers only, but Dominick Cullari is trying very hard to answer all questions. He’s added more info on the weight of the watch, the strap choices and that he’s offering a one-year warranty.
We’ll be watching the Domeni Co. Kickstarter campaign and wish Cullari good luck, but have to wonder if this is really the best way to launch a new watch. Customers who are willing to spend even $100-200 on a watch want to hold it in their hands, to feel the weight and assess the quality. Maybe seeking corporate funding from an existing watch company would be a quicker and easier way to get a project like this off the ground.
Or possibly Cullari was inspired by the Kickstarter success story of the Pebble, a customizable smartwatch that is compatible with both iOS and Android. Two years ago, Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky sought $100,000 to produce and market the Pebble. At last count, he had attracted 68,929 backers for a total of $10,266, 845. The first 200 backers scored a black Pebble watch for just $99, a nice bargain since the devices are now going for $150-249 at GetPebble.com.
Hopefully, Cullari will have similar success, so if you’d like to help him out, go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1185067616/domenico-a-watch-for-him-and-her. If you want to be the first kid on your block to sport the Dominico Signature Series watch on your wrist, you still have almost three weeks to pledge $135 or more.