Gina Baksa takes time out to talk to Matthew Cule the man behind CuleM Watches.
LM: What was your inspiration for creating the CuleM watch brand? Are you a collector?
MC: My biggest inspirations are the beauty of our amazing world and a passion for travel. I have been to 64 countries currently and visited every continent. Travelling has changed and broadened my life in many ways.
My other passion is watches, and I have collected them since childhood. After a lot of research, I found a gap in the Swiss-made watch market. I discovered that many luxury brands make travel watches like GMTs or world timers, but there was no single travel watch brand. Therefore, I decided to create it!
LM: CuleM began with a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2019, raising £75,000. Is there a thirst for a new style of watch?
MC: I believe there is always a thirst for something new in general and especially in the watch world. Our Kickstarter launch was a great success, and we were pleased with the results. We took a bit of a risk, mainly because the price and Swiss-made quality of a CuleM GMT watch is a lot higher than your normal crowdfunded watch project. We were grateful for the results.
LM: What makes CuleM different from any other new challenger watchmaker?
MC: When I created CuleM, I wanted to create unique, Swiss-made travel watches that were different from anything I’d seen before. I wanted to make every CuleM watch become part of its owner’s story, like a time capsule recording your travels and memories as you see the world.
CuleM Watches is a Swiss-made travel watch brand for watch collectors and 21st Century world travellers. CuleM’s World GMT collection of dual time, automatic watches showcase stunning and unique world designs.
LM: What does “CuleM” mean?
MC: CuleM, pronounced “Q-Lem”, means the 110 very small or Cule parts that make up the watch and, M is the automatic Swiss-made movement that drives the watch. The Cule + M coexist in every watch and come together to form “CuleM”.
LM: Please tell our readers about the CuleM collection.
MC: All 12 watches in The World GMT Collection are elegant dress watches that also have a casual edge, so they can be worn on any occasion. All of our timepieces have a round 40mm case size and a unique crown inspired by the waves of the sea. They all come with two quick-change straps. Each watch is presented in a travel trunk-style watch box inspired by epic journeys from the past, and a watch passport (watch book) to record all the places you have been with your CuleM watch.
All watches display both your home time and destination time. They are Swiss-made with an automatic movement, which is elegantly displayed on an open case back. Surrounding the movement, there is an engraving of the continents and 24 destinations around the world with the correct time zones in both GMT and BST.
LM: Are you using influencers to market your watches?
MC: We are not using influencers at the moment. However, we will start to work with watch and travel influencers later this year.
LM: Will AI have an impact on the world watch market?
MC: AI can help the luxury watch industry remain relevant. The power of artificial intelligence to drive intelligent marketing has begun to evolve the watch industry as we know it. Emotional Analytics (EMO), a start-up based in Singapore for instance, uses artificial intelligence to group data from billions of social content updates into topics of interest by mapping out the emotional engagement with each subject. This insight can help ensure data-driven growth for industry players and help reduce the risks when launching new timepieces.
LM: How relevant is Baselworld now?
MC: In my opinion, Baselworld is very relevant. It is just in a period of change, particularly with the larger watch brands. To me, the most interesting part of Baselworld is to see the independent watch brands in both the Watch Gallery and Les Atelier’s halls. In fact, CuleM will be exhibiting at Baselworld for the first time this year. We are looking forward to showcasing The World GMT watch collection to a global audience of buyers, collectors, press and retailers.
LM: You are selling your watches via Goldsmiths online. Is this a move away from retail stores to web-based marketing?
MC: As a child peering through the windows at Watches of Switzerland dreaming of owning some beautiful watches one day, I am personally delighted to be working with such a large retailer like Goldsmiths. In fact, Goldsmiths is owned by the Watches of Switzerland Group.
In the UK, we are engaged in online marketing through our own social media and website, as well as on the Goldsmiths website. This is not a move away from retail stores.
LM: Your mission statement is “To be the ultimate luxury Swiss-made travel watch brand”. How close are you to achieving this goal?
MC: We are at the beginning of the CuleM journey with nine planned collections of stunning travel watches representing the world and all continents.
I can imagine holding exhibitions all around the world, and displaying CuleM travel watches from Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Oceania and Antarctica. When this vision has become a reality, then I will know CuleM is the ultimate travel watch brand.”
LM: Are you planning to produce a range of CuleM women’s’ watches?
MC: CuleM watches are for both men and women. The size of the watch case is 40mm, which is perfect for most women, particularly if they like a larger watch. My personal favourites for women are the Grey and Gold Editions. Likewise, The Lights GMT watch in any edition.
CuleM Watches – Where and How?
CuleM will be at Baselworld this year to showcase its World GMT collection from 30th April to 5th May 2020. For more information, visit www.CuleMwatches.com.
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