In the beginning: the start of MAALS Watches
Guest post by @AndyLSealey
My brother and I have always collected watches. None of them too expensive – some old, some new – but all a bit out of the norm in design. After years of talking but not doing, we bit the bullet and finally decided to start our own watch company and design watches that we’d be happy to have in our own collections.
This series of blogs will be about our journey from cool idea to reality. We’ve never written a blog or started a company before, so this is a whole new exciting – but a little scary – world for us. Welcome to MAALS Watches.
MAALS Watches: the history
I, (Andy), started collecting watches when I moved to my own place at 18. New job, new city, new flat, so (of course) new clothes and a new watch or two had to be done. I started off with a Storm Camera which I stumbled across in a trendy charity shop in Worcester where I was living. That first one sparked an interest in Storm watches and their designs. After that I picked up a Storm Navigator and a lovely Storm Bubble, then a couple of Tokyo flash pieces.
The Storm Bubble was swapped for drinks on a special works night out by a friend of mine, whom I’d lent it to – we had some serious words about that one. The rest of my collection was unfortunately stolen – along with the TV, Stereo, photographs, (honestly, why?), and my housemates’ car – when the house I was living in was burgled. I stopped collecting after that for a long while. Partly because there wasn’t anything I really wanted, but mostly because I simply didn’t feel like collecting anymore.
I started collecting again thanks to my other half who bought me an Armani as a birthday present. My small collection now consists of:
- Two Skagens
- Nooka Zub Blue
- Nooka Zaz with its see-through dial
- Storm Ovnik Blue
- A gorgeous brushed rose gold Lasser jump hour, which is about as old as me I think.
My brother Bruno’s love of watches started much longer ago than mine. Old Mr Manny, who lived upstairs from us in the block of flats we lived in when we were both young, used to repair watches and taught him about movements and some basic repair bits for mechanical watches.
MAALS Watches: the watch collectors
Time moved on and so did we. Bruno went to Uni in Liverpool in the 1990s where he brought his first watch: an Adidas sports watch, with money from being a lifeguard and working for the university. He had been given several by then but this one was with his own money. That was followed quickly by one of the first Puma watches, which he unfortunately lost. Several digital watches came and went while living and working in Japan, which would have been exceptionally cool if he still had them.
His collection today is very eclectic and goes like this:
- Adidas sports watch
- Next Prism
- 1973 Damas 17 jewels automatic jump hour
- Swatch London
- Swatch California
- Zirro Mercury
- A Skagen
- A Mondaine
- Citizen Eco Drive Stealth
- Lip Mach 2000 Chronograph
- Xeric Xeriscope Square
- A Garmin fitness tracker/sports watch
- 3 Disney watches
I did say it was eclectic…
MAALS Watches: The brand
Coming up with the idea for our watch has been far easier than creating the brand for it, to be honest. At first, we just wanted a cool name, which sounds easy but, frankly, every idea sounded rubbish. Eventually moving away from trying to be cool, we settled on simply making the brand personal. The idea being that the more it means to us, then the more we’ll put into it. It all sounds so obvious now that I’m sitting here writing it…!
MAALS stands for Mark Anthony Andrew Lee Sealey – the initials from my brother and my name tailed with our family name. Simple and personal.
After that it was just a question of researching the watch market, creating a unique watch design, finding a reputable manufacturing partner, creating business and finance plans and lots more besides…
Still: at least the name is simple.
For more information on MAALS watches, visit http://maals.co.uk
Follow MAALS watches co-founder, Andy Sealey, on Twitter