Friday, February 17, 2017

Danish Watch Brand Obaku Celebrates Its 10th Anniversary

At this year’s BaselWorld Danish watch brand, Obaku, celebrates its ten year anniversary with a brand new look and some exciting new watch launches. The past ten years have not been a smooth ride, but the development of the brand is an amazing story.

In the spring of 2007 a small team of Danes had ventured from their hometown of Aarhus to the world’s largest watch show: BaselWorld in Switzerland. For the first time, they were showing their newly developed watch brand, Obaku. Ten years later they will be there again this March. This time they will have ten years of history confidently accrued, if not with blood, then definitely with both sweat and tears, and luckily also lots of smiles and opened champagne bottles. Their progress is reflected in the grand booth design Obaku will show at BaselWorld, featuring an exclusive coffee lounge and imitating a full Danish living room, nestled among some of the biggest watch brands in the world. This is in stark contrast to where they started ten years ago; basically hidden between some display suppliers in the basement of a less prestigious hall.
The mother company of Obaku is ‘Comtech Watches’ which has produced watches for many different brands for more than 25 years. With the launch of Obaku, the people behind Comtech were venturing into a new arena. The year was 2007 and the full extent of the impending crisis was to hit just shortly after the launch of Obaku.

The young brand actually had a formidable start, opening up straight away in more than 30 countries with the contacts from the mother company. However, the young team soon realized that not only was the pricing not quite right, the displays they had developed didn’t present the watches properly in the stores. It also turned out that their initial collection was not commercial enough. The sell through came slowly and the Obaku team realized they needed to make some changes.

Over the next few years the production and prices were adjusted to match the market. At the same time the Obaku designers managed to keep a great focus on perfecting the details. Key to the Obaku collection since day one, has been the two designers, Lau Liengaard Ruge and Christian Mikkelsen, who design all of the Obaku watches. With the help of their unmistakable perfectionism and creative ideas, the collection developed and eventually became what it is today.

Today seventy percent of Obaku’s watch sales comes from ladies watches. The feminine collection in a wide variety of colours obviously speaks to women all over the world. The brand is also expanding its Gents collection and expects to increase their market share in the Gents section. Obaku is now represented in more than sixty countries worldwide.

Obaku brand director, Henriette Arvin, is excited about exhibiting at the upcoming Basel show. “We will showcase many new exciting designs. We are introducing an ultra-feminine solar watch for the first time. I can’t wait to show it”.  Besides new watches, the brand also showcases a brand new look. Over the ten years their look has changed from a focus on the Zen elements of their brand to a greater focus on the Danish design heritage. This is reflected in the booth design and the marketing material the brand uses.

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