When Gabriel Ibarra developed the idea for Skywatch some five years ago, he set out to give the entry-level watch industry the very thing he felt it was missing; a “real deal” Swiss-made watch. He saw a flooded market chock full of over-sized skater watches, or products you’d typically see adorned on the wrists of college kids. What Ibarra wanted to provide was a high-quality, stylish watch line capable of achieving uniqueness and affordability.
“Honestly, the entry-level watch world was just a glut of random stuff,” Ibarra tells The Manual. “So I came up with this idea to create something high-end but fun. Skywatch became a way for me to produce a quality watch which was accessible for price, but exclusive from a marketing standpoint.”
Ibarra’s “high-end but fun” attitude translated into the production of a watch which touts superior construction and premium materials. Every Skywatch model features top-of-the-line Swiss quartz movements and comes standard with either a premium silicone rubber strap, or a band made from quality Italian sailcloth. Whereas most Swiss-made watches like this tend to cost a pretty penny, Ibarra’s stunning line of timepieces tout a price tag ($295-$395) which are sure to please as much as the watch itself.
During the creation of Skywatch, it was paramount to Ibarra his luxury line attracted those partial to an active or outgoing lifestyle. “Skywatch started with the concept of a classic dive-style watch intended for people who are more inclined to wear it at Coachella, or at a dive bar,” he says, “I wanted to produce a watch which didn’t seem ridiculous in 10 to 15 years.”
To do this, Ibarra gleaned inspiration from a number of his own experiences and interests when creating Skywatch’s blueprint. Though it’s no surprise vintage Rolex watches influence part of the Skywatch design, he admits he’s even culled inspiration from businesses like In-N-Out Burger or Apple. “I’m a big fan of clean lines and wanted to accentuate this style in my watches,” he adds, “I became inspired to do this by many of the brands I like myself.”
Though Ibarra attributes inspiration to the brands he loves, Skywatch already serves as an enviable model for those looking to give back to their own communities. Despite the well wishes of his attorney, Ibarra jumped at the chance to give to charity and provide for those less fortunate than himself. Organizations like Minds Matter LA and The Carousel of Hope are just two of the many charitable organizations to have received donated Skywatch timepieces. These organizations typically auction the watches off at an event or gala, and the resulting funds then help them continue to operate and carry out their own good deeds. Ibarra’s high regard for charity gives Skywatch an impressive and refreshing human element not often seen in other companies.
“It fills me with joy to see people prosper from my products and donations,” Ibarra says, “I like to see any help come of it. My needs are met, my family is healthy, I have food on the table, so any opportunity I have to give back, I do it. I have a soft spot for kids in need.”
Ibarra began the company with a vision to create a “real deal” Swiss-made watch worthy of wrists the world over, but his philanthropy proves he’s accomplished so much more. The quality is real, the style is real, and most importantly, Ibarra’s cause is real; join him, you won’t be disappointed.
— Gabriel and Skywatch served up some reader love and are offering 25% off any purchases made through the Skywatch website until March 11th. Simply enter THEMANUAL25 in the Voucher box of the Shopping Cart, click Apply, and just like that you’ll score the discount and some free shipping!
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