You probably remember your first watch, what was it and how did your passion start?
well, I have two answers for this. At the age of 9 (1995) I was given a Seiko quartz leather dress watch as a gift by my Godfather. I was so taken back by its elegance that I put it away for years and would only take it out to look at a handful of times as it has such sentimental value to me. It’s the watch that started the passion and ambition to own a collection (of watches). It was only last year that I wore it on my wedding day for the first time. My second watch but the first that I chose for myself (and my parents paid for) was a Swatch watch – I remember them being all the rage at the time as a kid.
What sparked your passion for watches?
I would have to say taking notice of and exploring the variety of different watch designs out there from a young age but in later years having such a passion for cars inevitably further strengthened my passion for watches as the two go hand in hand.
How did you get into launching your company and how did you get started?
Grip Auto came about in 2011 as a brand to represent the work I was doing in my spare time more as a hobby for myself and friends – these mainly involved car modifications, drawings of people’s cars, t-shirt designs etc… so basically an automotive lifestyle brand doing the things I love and bringing like-minded people together. Over the years my work was being noticed and becoming more popular so the brand name has stuck and matured. Until about 12 months ago I came to point and said why not combine the three things I love doing most- cars, designing, and watches. After doing extensive research I settled on using Kickstarter as the most suitable platform to pursue launching my own designed line of Automotive inspired watches.
What’s the inspiration behind the design of your Watches?
My love of cars and even more so Automotive design. There are many watches currently on the market and in history that have strong ties to the Automobile or motor racing but most are at a high-end price point. Given this fact I wanted to be able to create a watch design that paid homage to the automobile but without the high-end costs that are normally associated.
Where is your company located and where do you assemble the watches?
Grip Auto is based in Melbourne, Australia where I live. But my family heritage is Italian and I’m proud to say there is purposely Italian passion and influence in my designs. Assembly is carried out in Hong Kong where I carefully selected a manufacturer from a number of tried and tested companies and all the watches use Japanese movements.
Where can we buy your watches and what is the price range?
The full range of designs is exclusively available on Kickstarter at the moment where the campaign will run until March 14. Prices start at $170 (Australian) for early bird offers. But we need you- the readers to fund it and make it happen!