An interview with Loek Oprinsen, about his role and how the story of this new watch brand got started, and where the 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 founding friends
“I can safely say that I participate in one of the most exciting projects in my professional career” Loek Oprinsen
"We had time on our side while creating Ligure Watches. Made with passion and love for watchmaking and united by a long-lasting friendship" Pieter van Geet
“This project is all about friendship, creating something beautiful and functional, pushing boundaries, and realizing dreams”. Jannieke van Geet
“I safely can say that I am participating in one of the most exciting projects in my professional career. It is such a fantastic experience to engage with 2 close friends in a professional adventure. This has been such a close collaboration in which passion for watches, friendship, and our professional ambitions meet”.
Jannieke van Geet
“I am an international designer for thirty years and have faced many creative challenges. It was a huge challenge as a woman to be able to design a sporty men’s watch. For me, this project is all about friendship, creating something beautiful and functional, pushing boundaries, and realizing dreams”.
Pieter van Geet
“After having worked in the watch industry for a long time, I started my own business in financial advisory services in 2000. My passion for luxury watches has always remained. When I sold my business and moved to Italy, I had the time to pay more attention to past friendships and watchmaking. The wish to make my own watch one day has been fulfilled with the introduction of Ligure Watches”.
Many people from the international luxury watch industry in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands have been involved in the creation of Ligure Watches. They have all contributed in their own way, with the main objective of creating a sporty, stylish and high-quality luxury watch with its own recognizable face. A dynamic process in which the connection and the common goal are never lost sight of. Made for the enthusiast who doesn't just want to wear a watch, but also wants to tell a story.