A group of Canberra lads are bringing dress watches to the world after launching a successful Kickstarter campaign to start their own label.
It's called Erroyl and they've sold about 130 watches with a crowdfunding campaign that netted them $41,000 out of an original target of $15,000.
Erroyl is the brainchild of Wes Knight. "I have always had a fascination with watches, ever since I bought my first serious automatic watch, a Seiko Kinetic, in the mid '90s. I have been an avid collector and fan of watches since," he said.
Mr Knight enlisted close friend Brad Wilton to start a business in 2014. The two originally planned to launch a clothing label but decided to create watches instead.
Mr Wilton then brought in his brother Gerard and two other friends, including graphic designer Michael Phanprachit and photographer and video man James Barling. They designed a small collection of watches, found a manufacturer overseas, and then turned to Kickstarter to fund the collection.
"I remember 15 days into it we thought we're not going to reach it and we were stressing out," Mr Wilton recalled.
But the project appeared to gain word of mouth publicity and the contributions started pouring in steadily. They eventually raised more than $41,000 to produce their watches, mostly from watch lovers around the world.
"That blew us away," Mr Barling said.
A month after the campaign, Mr Wilton said all the Kickstarter watches had been produced and delivered to contributors, including one or two in Canberra.
Mr Phanprachit said the Erroyl watches were classic and elegant – they come in white, rose gold and black with simple brown and black leather straps and sell for $304 to $312.
Mr Knight said they were designed with "less is more" in mind. "We set out with the view to create a minimalist design, somewhat inspired by the Bauhaus movement and the Glashütte watch making region in Germany," he said.
The rose gold watch has proven most popular and sold out on Kickstarter.
Mr Phanprachit works as a graphic designer at a private firm while the other three are public servants. Erroyl's headquarters are in Mr Knight's living room, where meetings are held to work on their next timepiece – a limited edition royal blue watch – and the next collection of watches to be released later this year.
Mr Knight said he hoped the company would carve out a niche creating refined automatic watches that wouldn't break the bank.
"We have already sent our timepieces to over 20 countries and we hope to continue to expand our reach overseas but not at the expense of our local market," he said.
"It's pretty good to get this far to be as successful as we are," Mr Wilton said.