Even in the relatively short time I have been writing about the watches, there seems to have a significant shift in the industry. Initially when began commenting about horology, brands like Urwerk, MB & F, De Bethune were considered highly radical. Certainly, my admiration for these progressive ateliers hasn’t diminished in any way. However, there are several other labels that have followed suit and made their own indelible footprint in the watch industry. Probably one of the best examples in recent years is Swiss-based business SEVENFRIDAY AG.
Over the last few years, the watch industry has become a very transient environment. Literally, for each company that goes into receivership, another one takes its place. However, SEVENFRIDAY’s foundations seem pretty rooted and this is mainly because of the driving force behind the company. The personality in question is none other than industry veteran Dan Niederer (playfully known as the ‘SEVENFRIDAY Guy’). Prior to establishing his own brand Dan worked as a marketing specialist for large corporations and regularly sold watches in excess of $1,000,000 to exclusive global clients.
Recently I watched a CNN Money Switzerland interview featuring Dan Niederer and explaining how SEVENFRIDAY AG originated. The conversation was very insightful and articulates how the brand was launched in 2012 for only 50,000 Swiss Francs (approximately $51,309). Essentially this is because Dan is co-owned a design company and had a great understanding of the industry. He also took the bold approach to manufacturer all their timepieces in Asia using Japanese automatic movements (Miyota 8219). This kept the prices at a reasonable level and allowed more flexibility to experiment with the overall layout of the dial.
Since 2012 I have had several conversations with Dan Niederer and am in awe of what he’s accomplished. Many brands I have featured have created extraordinary timepieces but not achieved longevity. Dan has effortlessly has achieved both and now boasts a cohesive collection of watches. My personal favorite is the Q2/01 which has a slightly different case shape to the other models. Dimensionally the 44.3mm x 49.7mm proportions should appeal to devotees of the brand. I also feel the industrial multi-layered metallic gold dial is an absolute triumph. The level of meticulous detailing really sets this incredible timepiece apart from many other generic offerings out there.
Like all of their exquisite timepieces, the Q2/01 looks brilliant in the metal and is comfortable on the wrist. At S1,190 this watch is also very competitively priced and on a visual level punches well above its weight. Many brands have tried to copy SEVENFRIDAY but haven’t got the visionary skills of Dan Niederer. It takes an enormous amount of talent and effort to constantly create exciting new designs (especially in a turbulent market). Certainly, aspiring watch designers should use SEVENFRIDAY as a perfect test case.
For more information about SEVENFRIDAY follow this link