Watches, like fashions, are going through a branding shake up at the moment. The big names are known and loved, but men are looking to support the little guy and want to sport something their friends ask about. This is a one-uppance that is not necessarily connected to the price you pay but the knowledge you have of the market.
Bradley Price is the man behind one such buzzy watch brand, Autodromo. He started the company two years ago. The idea was to combine his passion for cars with his design skills he had honed for over ten years as a product developer. Price wanted to leave consulting and create something he was passionate about: blending automotive and design.
“I felt like there was a real gap in the market place for timepieces that are relatively affordable and that relate to the car world. They are either very expensive or designed by people who have no real passion for cars; it’s more of a branding exercise. No real emotional content there, just very rote,” Bradley told us. He really wanted to express the passion and not just have the watch be a status symbol. “The customers who get it really love it and are proud to wear the product, and it is nice to have something everyone doesn’t know about,” he continued.
Autodromo started with a collection of five watches and continues to launch one watch per year. Something that distinguishes the brand is that every watch is an entirely new design from strap, theme, face. etc. The new chronograph will be a departure from just a gauge on the wrist. The new one is an homage to racing chronographs from the 70s. Fans might actually think it is a vintage piece but when you take a look at it, it is very modern.
Bradley isn’t just focusing on watches. Lifestyle products are already rolling out. Recently he launched driving gloves. “They are easy to get in Europe but hard to find in the US. For people who are fond of vintage cars, the market place is skewed towards muscle cars, so we are trying to change that and the gloves have done quite well. Of course you don’t have to be a car fanatic to really appreciate our brand. You can simply appreciate the design,” he explained. Autodromo will be launching sunglasses in October, so keep a look out for those as well (we have a feeling they will pop up on this site).
We spoke to Bradley about his personal style and here is what he had to say.
Jeans: I really only like to wear Levis jeans as they have the best balance of comfort, quality and fit and the price is right.
Shirts: I wear a lot of Everlane shirts. I think they have a very classic fit and the materials are very nice. Ok, ok, my girlfriend buys them for me! I also like Brooklyn Tailors shirts. They do great stuff.
Sweaters: I’m a big fan of the ones from Uniqlo.
Blazers: I have a couple of J. Crew blazers I like. I don’t wear a ton of formal wear.
Glasses: Warby Parker. I hope to emulate their success a little bit. It’s nice to be a little speed boat running around these big cruise ships.
Watches: I of course wear my own watches.
Shoes: I have a pair of shoes from a company called Haerfest. I know the guys who design them and I really like what they are doing – really great, original work.
I like to drive in Keds, they are very reasonably priced and really easy to use on the pedals. They are better than a lot of branded driving shoes.
Outerwear: I have some great jackets from Alfa Romeo. I also have one by a company called Mackintosh Philosophy that I bought in Japan. It is their Japan-only line I think. It’s a quilted shooting jacket but compared to a Barbour jacket it fits in a much more tailored way since Barbours are loose for shooting purposes. It fits beautifully; it’s what I’m wearing in the photo!