“I think the four of us created an amazing
dive watch, that will compete with the
highest quality standards in the market.”
“I can safely say that I participate
in one of the most exciting projects in
my professional career”
An interview with Loek Oprinsen, about his role and how the story of this new micro watch-brand got started, and where the four friends draw their inspirations from.
Loek, you worked for famous brands and you are an entrepreneur in the luxury watch industry. How come that you are involved in Ligure Watches?
After Sales, Marketing, and Management positions in the luxury watch industry for over 25 years, I felt as though the time was right to share my passion and gathered know-how with 3 close friends who wanted to create their own watch brand. They asked my advice on my vision of the watch industry. The friendship and collaboration between us date back over 30 years and we each walked down different paths, only to be reunited by our watch passion.
That sounds like a reunion between friends, connected ‘by the time’
Yes, it definitely is. Destiny has brought the four of us together again. Although we find ourselves in a year with various unknown challenges, our dreams, drive, enthusiasm, and commitment have enabled us to accomplish building this watch. In fact, while the world currently is marked by an economic environment in which most companies and ideas temporarily freeze, we have managed to put those external circumstances aside and managed to deliver upon our wish to complete this project.
Where do you guys get your inspirations from?
When I was joining my service in the Dutch Army, I was a professional diver. Not a lot of people know this but I still sometimes like to dive. During one of the dive-trips at the Italian Ligure the three friends and I met again in the harbor of Portofino. We talked about watches and diving. Rob, one of the friends is a well-known watch technician, he knows exactly what you need to do to make a high quality and technically outstanding watch. Combining the best materials and parts to make a watch with the best wearing comfort and with a good readability in both light and dark. Pieter the other friend is a marketing entrepreneur and worked in the financial industry for years. So, on that beautiful day in the early spring, we decided to make ‘our watch’.
And who designed this watch collection?
Jannieke did. Over the years she has become a well-known graphic designer and artist who lives on top of a hill in Italy. She was able to combine all our wishes and created the first collection. For me, the whole idea of building a watch from scratch excited me tremendously, as I had not done this in my entire professional career. Participating in each and every step down the development process is a truly unique experience and I believe together we made a great creative playground, and we have managed to perfect the watch-making formula.
How challenging is it to create a watch from scratch?
Well, although at times this project has felt like swimming against the current, the result of the project has been much like a healthy colorful coral reef. The healthiest and most colorful side of the coral-reef is always the side that faces the current. The opposite side which faces no current seems to weather. Our main goal has always been focusing on the current. Our mission was to challenge the benchmark. I am quite sure we succeeded!
Ligure Scuba Diver Watches, that sounds almost like ‘La dolce vita’
Hahaha, you know that I love living the good life. But the brand name is a reference to the place on the Italian flower Riviera, where dozens of shipwrecks lie off the coast and the underwater world is often described as the most beautiful in Europe. A true Valhalla for the diver. The name of Ligure Watches gives honor to years of friendship and passion for diving and watchmaking.
The four friends of Ligure Watches: Pieter, Jannieke and Loek, Rob took the picture.