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10 Questions to Héron Watches

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Watchers! Today we are talking with Nathan, one of the founders of Héron Watches. He opens up about all aspects of product development and sheds some light over their creative process.


I have mentioned this Canadian brand before on the blog, but now we are going deep. Strap on your Casio Duro and let's see what they have to say.


The Gladiateur
The Gladiateur

1. Can you tell me a little bit about your personal connection to watches?


We are three co-founders, and we all have different backstories of how we became enthusiasts. Simon's father sold and repaired watches for a living. He was exposed to this hobby at a young age and has a particular appreciation for movements. Likewise, Adam's father collects watches, and it didn't take long for Adam to take an interest in the hobby. I am a designer for a living and I appreciate good design in its many forms (from art to cars to furniture), so it didn't take long for my friends to convince me that watches were just as fascinating.


2. What inspired you to start designing and creating watches?


We started during the pandemic like many other microbrands. Let's say it was a mix of free time, beer, and a desire to see our hometown (Montreal) have its own watch brand.


3. What sets your watch brand apart from others in the industry?


Frankly, we are not trying to revolutionize anything. Good-looking, reliable watches at a fair price is the name of the game for us. Although, I would say it is our design that sets us apart. We don't want to fall under the homage category, nor are we interested in funky spaceship-looking watches. I think it will become more apparent as we release more models, but we are good at making watches that look classic and familiar without borrowing heavily from other brands.


4. Can you describe the design process that goes into creating a watch?


It all starts with the story. The story will determine the style of the watch and its inspirations. For example, Gladiateur is an ode to our hometown Montreal. Montreal famously blends old European architecture with ultra-modern one. This translates into the molded Roman numeral bezels pairing with the stark minimalist dial. Montreal is cold in the winter but gets surprisingly hot in the summer. It's also a city where two languages are spoken fluently by most. There's always this sense of duality in this city. It only made sense to add a dual-time functionality. The next step is determining the movement as it pretty much dictates the layout of the dial, case, etc… Once it's all on paper. We proceed to digital mockups and finally to prototypes.


5. How do you select the materials you typically use in your watches?


We'll pick whatever it takes for the piece to be durable/reliable and competitive at its price point. At the $500 USD level, a sapphire crystal, a high-beat Japanese movement, and a quality strap or bracelet are expected.



6. What are the current quality standards of the watches you produce?


We'll pick whatever it takes for the piece to be durable/reliable and competitive at its price point. At the $500 USD level, a sapphire crystal, a high-beat Japanese movement, and a quality strap or bracelet are expected.


7. Who is your primary target market, and how do you tailor your watches to their needs and preferences?


We mainly struck a chord with watch collectors although we have a few customers who pu


rchased a Héron as their first watch! We plan on continuing to tailor to collectors by keeping a value over vanity approach, great build, well-finished watches, and fresh designs.


8. How do you determine the price point for each model?


In this industry, movement mostly dictates the price (unless you get into using expensive case materials). So the movement + other manufacturing costs + a profit margin to keep the lights on :)


9. Which of the latest trends and styles in the watch industry do you find exciting?


Can't speak for my partners, but I love that '80s designs are making a comeback. More and more brands are using two-tone and angular cases. I don't think we're heading there next, but I appreciate it nonetheless.


10. What are your future plans for the brand, and what new watch designs can we expect to see in the coming months or years?


We are working on a new collection that should see the light in the next few months! Can't say more for now, but I'll keep you in the loop.

 

For more watch content visit us at our Instagram profile @the_poor_horologist

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