You could say Rob Balukiewicz has had the entrepreneurial spirit his whole life.
At age 6, he was employing his friends to sell toys his parents gave him. In high school, he bought almost-expired candy, then resold them to his peers. He also had a hand in a sports nutrition ventures in his early 20s that didn’t quite pan out.
In June 2015, his next business found him.
“After following a number of crowdsourcing projects, I pledged to a watch and it fell apart very quickly. I started looking into it and realized I was really just sucked into its marketing hype,” he says.
The next 12 months were filled with research and cold calls as he sought to build a $500 watch at half the price. He ended up with Klok – a brand representative of his desire for “realistic quality” and a life spent embracing the outdoors.
Throughout his childhood in the UK, Balukiewicz’s parents would take him on 5-6 week jaunts through Europe. He’d tackle all sorts of challenges including hiking the Tour de Mont Blanc through the Alps and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with his father.
“Adventure has always been intertwined with our lives,” he says.
He finalized two distinct watch styles combining the needed style for everyday wear, while being built to withstand the rigors of trekking.
They’re simply named “Klok I” and “Klok II.” I is more formal for a night out and II is minimalistic with two dial options.
They each share the same set of components, something Balukiewicz spent a great deal of time sourcing. Swiss Rhonda quartz movements are hidden underneath sapphire crystal dials with mineral glass. It’s all wrapped in a package that has a 5 atm water resistance rating.
The culmination of his work launches back where his original idea began: Kickstarter. The initial round of pledges will offer a watch at half price ($110 for a $220 timepiece). The discount will decrease as time goes on, but he expects to appeal to a variety of buyers.
“I worked to price it so this could be the first quality watch someone buys,” he says. “I didn’t want to exclude anyone”.
With an approachable design and ethos, it could be his first of many.
You can back the project here.
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