Monumental Watches: Barbadian-branded Timepieces

There’s a new accessories company in Barbados and if all goes according to plan, it will make waves across the Caribbean.

Monumental Watches, billed as the country’s first watch company, was founded by Barbadian Darnel Greenidge earlier this year.

 It all started when he was looking for a timepieceto celebrate passing one of his CPA exams. After searching both locally andonline for options, he could not find one that matched his vision: a uniquewatch from a company that wasn’t solely focused on profit.  Darnel and his partner began researching what theywould have to do to enter the watch business and out of that, MonumentalWatches was born.

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That’s not to say the journey was smooth.

Given that he was entering uncharted territory in Barbados, Darnel told his friends and family about the venture first.

“They gave me some positive feedback because it has never been done before, but with a bit of reluctance because it was risky,” he says, adding that he received great support during the planning process and launch.

Monumental Watches’ team of five went through lots of trial and error. However, Darnel stayed focused, convinced he was getting a step closer to success every time something didn’t work out.

“Sometimes it felt like if we were two steps forward and then one step back but, on the aggregate, we were heading towards a finished product. It took longer than expected but we were certain that we could be successful,” he recalls.

Monumental Watches currently offers three watches in the debut Icon collection. They have Japanese Miyota precision quartz movements, hardened mineral crystal glass and steel mesh or 100% cowhide leather straps.

All of the watches feature the broken trident which resonates with Barbadians.

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“For tourists, it is a symbol that they have taken a piece of Barbados back home with them and generally speaking, the broken trident reminds us of the daily hardships endured in life and our perseverance to triumph,” Darnel says.

One of biggest challenges for Monumental Watches so far has been exposure. Although the team believes in the quality of the timepieces, some people don’t seem to be convinced. Darnel says he reached out to popular people on the island but they shot down the idea.

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Still, many consumersare loving the pieces offered by Monumental Watches.

“We are delighted to see that so many persons have taken an interest towards our collection. We were unsure of the response that a timepiece would get in 2018 because of smart devices but we plan to make watches the premier accessory again; this time focusing on style and tailored designs.” Darnel says.

Monumental Watches intends to compete against established global brands.

“There are very few brands that contain more than one logo on their dial so we believe that this is our competitive advantage. Also, we think that while some companies have mark-ups of over a whopping 75%, our mark-up is much smaller and this will create a most cost-effective option for the customer. We are passionate about creating value for others so we do not focus on more or the bottom linelike other businesses,” Darnel says.

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The young businessman is not worried about the prospect of local competition as word about Monumental Watches spreads.

“There are many admirers of what we have done so far. It does not really bother me. On one hand I would be happy to see another entrepreneur be successful and on the other hand, information and trust is very important in this industry,” Darnel says.

Darnel wants other entrepreneurs to explore their passions and offer new options to local customers since some markets are very saturated.

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Ultimately, he wants Monumental Watches to become the most influential accessory and apparel company in theCaribbean. The company is therefore not limited to watches. Already, matching beadedbracelets have been launched and other items will be introduced over time.

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Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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