The world of watches is a very diverse and unique world. Watches today come in all shapes and sizes and there is something out there for every style, taste and preference.
From minimal to high end, the watches spectrum is a very large one. You can even find designer watches that feature a very sophisticated and elegant, yet modern streetwear aesthetic. One brand that set out to offer just that is Meister (MSTR), a Californian brand founded by Kingson Tse and Ryan Pietersz.
We sat down to have a chat with the two founders of Meister to learn more about their take on watches, their lives and their brand.
Read the interview below:
Have you always been passionate about watches? Where does your interest come from and what did you set out to do with your brand?
We’ve both always been passionate about designing watches. When we first started our company, there weren’t any watches on the market that we could relate to, and the ones that we liked weren’t affordable. As such, we set out to create a watch line that’s not only made from quality pieces, but also aesthetically sleek, and innovative in design. We wanted something that’s stylish that we could pair with sneakers and an outfit. Overall, our goal is to create impeccable yet affordable timepieces that speak to the modern male while standing the test of time.
What were the main challenges you faced when you developed the Meister watches?
There were minor growing pains, and learning curves that every company experiences when they first start out. Since we funded our business ourselves, we sometimes faced cash flow issues. We also made the mistake of adjusting our product line via sales agents advice to try to cater to a different market, which didn’t fit our brand identity and hurt our sales. I’d also say that one of the biggest challenges we faced was finding the right people to work with, as it’s hard to find someone that will be able to give the same energy and motivation to work on our projects. Despite these obstacles, we’ve been able to learn from these experiences and grow the brand.
How long does it take to create a MSTR watch?
We first come up with a concept that will allow us to determine the size and style of the watch, and from there we digitally design each component of the watch. Once we finalize a design, we then source out each part of the watch, such as hands, dial face, case, buckle, movement, and bands so that we can make a sample. If the sample comes out to our liking, then we move onto the final stage of production. The whole process can take up to 4-6 months; it really depends on how the design comes out after the first set of samples.
What is the inspiration for the Meister watches?
Our own interests, and the things we like inspire us. We take elements from sneakers, exotic cars, fashion, pop culture, sports, and more, and marry those concepts when designing various aspects of a watch. The famous icon, Bruce Lee, also inspires us because we feel that he’s the true definition of a Meister, which when translated from German means “Master.” He’s an inspiration to us because he overcame so much adversity to show the world his mastery of kung fu and action movies. In that same light, we strive to show the world our mastery in the art of watch design. We’ve also been fortunate enough to work with Bruce Lee Enterprises on a collaboration, which is something that we’re thrilled about!
What was your favorite place to travel?
Kingson – My favorite place to travel to is Tokyo Japan, I love their food and their attention to fine details on products. I always find something interesting when I go there.
Ryan – It’s hard for me to pick one place but my favorite spot in the states is Hawaii and outside is France. Those are the two places I visit the most. Their food is amazing and their fashion is on point for both spots.
Which place from all the places you’ve seen has the most vibrant aesthetic, from both a cultural and a natural point of view?
Kingson – I think Hong Kong has one of most vibrant aesthetics due to the fact that it is a melting pot of the east and the west. You can especially see it from the night view of their high-rise buildings at Victoria harbor.
Ryan – I really enjoyed Australia for its natural point of view, the Great Barrier Reef was amazing to swim in and the country’s natural landscape and unique animals were really exciting for me. However I like Hawaii for its cultural aspects and its amazing beaches.
What are some styles rules men should consider when it comes to watches?
Wear what you like, and what you feel comfortable with. When you’re comfortable with what you wear, you exude a natural confidence on the outside. Styles and trends come and go, but confidence is a lifetime.
What watches do you wear?
Kingson – The Ambassador Mk3 watch is currently my favorite, I wear it almost everyday. I also wear a prototype of the automatic model that we’re releasing later this year.
Ryan – I switch off on a daily basis and usually mix and match with whatever I’m wearing that day. Typically I tend to wear our Ambassador models the most.
Thank you very much!
—Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. What do you think of the Meister watches? What watch do you wear? Share your feedback and thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us on Facebook or Twitter!