WP: Please introduce yourself and describe your brand?
My name is Barry Cohen. Our brand is called Szanto, and was conceived to offer tasteful vintage inspired designed timepieces made to sell at affordable prices so they are accessible to the regular guy.
WP: Whats in your personal collection and how did your passion for watches start?
My love of watches dates back to childhood when my parents bought me my first watch, a basic Timex, and a few years later at the age of about 13 bought me a Swiss chronograph. I loved that watch but lost it one day. I really love lots of watches, from many brands, but since I also founded and own the Luminox brand, I can’t really buy and wear other brands as it would be difficult to explain why I am wearing another timepiece if I were to meet someone that asked what I do. As an example I bought an Omega Seamaster about 7 years ago and really like it … but have worn it only about 5 times. This taught me to not buy more since I can’t wear them. But I do have about 15 Luminox watches I enjoy wearing and rotate them so they all get wear. Now I wear Szanto too.
WP: How did you get the idea to start your own watch brand?
The first idea was for Luminox 25 years ago and this was done in an effort to add self-powered illumination to the consumer watch arena, thereby filling a void. With Szanto we also feel we are filling a void. In this case, a friend showed me a very cool 1930s military watch that was beautiful and had tons of character, but was too small for today’s watch market. This gave us the idea to go back and find vintage designs and contemporize them with today’s sizes, and of course quartz reliability and affordability. The reason we believe we are filling a void here is while vintage seems to have swept society in many categories of merchandise, in the watch category it seemed to only hit the luxury sector, and we thought these type designs needed to also be made available to the common man, not wanting to spend a fortune to own a vintage design timepiece.
WP: What is the inspiration behind your design?
The inspiration depends on which models are being discussed. It varies by series.
WP: What movement are you using?
Most use Japanese quartz movements made by Miyota, but we will release Miyota automatic models this fall too.
WP: Where is the watch designed and assembled?
All watches are assembled in Asia. The watches are designed in California – it is collaboration between me and a variety of designers.
WP: Where can we buy your watch and what is the price range?
Our price range today is $195 to $350 suggested retail but with the automatics, this will go up to the high $300s up to the mid $400s. Szanto is pursuing a traditional wholesale business model so the watches can be found in numerous retail stores and websites. We are also starting distribution in Japan, China, Korea, Spain, Germany and several other countries. Check the website for retailers! www.szantotime.com