Rec, Timepieces with a Forgotten History
REC Watches: Timepieces with a Forgotten History
Born out of love for cars, Danish REC Watches founders Jonathan Kamstrup and Christian Mygh decided to set up a brand with turned desirable, classic automobiles into wearable pieces. Sifting through car wrecks to salvage materials for their products, the two have now developed a unique brand which is becoming increasingly popular with car enthusiasts.
REC Watches featured a five page feature spread in Jewellery Focus Magazine. The article talks about the birth of the watch brand and how it was thought up following a drunken discussion between Kamstrup and Mygh’s in which they expressed their disappointment that there is nothing new in terms of watch brands being inspired by car logos around in the current market. The well written article comments on the fact that rather than point all of the brands focus at the REC brand they actually wanted all of the direction and focus to be towards the cars that the watches are created from, centering firmly around passion for the classics.
The duo didn’t have any experience with watch manufacturing or marketing “We had a shopping level of passion for watches and of course what we very quickly discovered is that we knew absolutely nothing at all”. They wanted to see if there was anyone out there seriously looking at the same sort of market so they jumped on a plane and headed to Baseworld. It goes on to explain that while the duo were there they saw a few similar ideas but no one that was doing the exact same as their concept. Once back home they set about searching for manufacturers who would take on the task of turning old salvaged cars into watches, explaining that “Most of them will run away screaming” which unfortunately meant that it took a lot longer than first thought to get the manufacturing process down.
The next stage in the process is finding the cars, the pair were now full of energy and excited to get the brand started however they needed the “perfect wreckage” which wasn’t easy. The car couldnt be rusted, too badly damaged, bend or miss figured otherwise the recycling process wouldn’t be possible. Once they find a car they like they dive into the cars history to find out any stories, owners or journeys the car might have taken during its lifetime. They do this by searching the VIN in true “sherlock Holmes style”. From these details they create a video about the car and its origins, taking the viewer on a journey through the cars life giving the car character and meaning. This then transfers to the watch as the car becomes part of the timepiece being completely remodelled from something old and rusting to something new and useful.
As the cars vary in quality many of the timepieces are limited edition by default, this is because the amount of watches that can be manufactured from the materials left on the car that are in good usable quality varies from car to car depending on how it has been kept and / or taken care of. Not a lot of metal from the cars actually goes into the watch as EU regulations unsure that certain materials do not cause any irritation to the customers skin. Kamstrup and Mygh try to retain as much of the original metal as possible as rusty as it may be so that you get a real sense of wearing a recycled classic. The only other way to do it is by melting the car down but then you wouldn’t get the same feel as you do from the watches now with the plate on the dial which just looks so original you wouldn’t want to settle for anything less.
REC plans to make more out of the cars they recover and reinvent stating that they are already developing part of the cars seatbelts into the watch straps with hopes for more incorporation in the future. The remainder of the car then gets donated to local car clubs or any marketable parts get returned to the seller as some of these parts can fetch an extremely high value from those looking to restore old models.
“Don’t get me wrong, but we are not making these watches to save planet earth or to save the baby seals or anything like this”
This being said Kamstrup stated that they are pleased that their bid to recycle disused is welcomed “by product” of their passion for cars and watches. IT would seem that it is the recycling nature of the brand is what is proving very popular with the brands customers and has managed to attract a customer base that the founders did not expect. In their interview they said that “when we started out we expected 90% of our sales to be from car enthusiasts” then going on to reveal that it is ” more like 30% to 40$ of the sales”.