Interview with AstroMYO
Please tell me a little about yourselves. Where do you come from, where do you live, what are you doing a single day, your hobbies?
So my name is Corentin DIEHL, I live in Dijon from France. I am still a student in computing science so my days are all quite the same: studying.
My name is Antoine CAPELLE, I live in Montmançon, a small French village. I’m 19 years old, so I’m still a student for the moment, I’m studying metal shaping with the aim of getting a diploma of welder. I am passionate about watches and I currently have a dozen of them.
I started with quartz watches, because they were much more accessible, then I turned little by little to automatic watches which are much more noble in my opinion. The precision of all these small parts that move together leaves me amazed.
When did the idea for your own watch brand come up? What was the
Actually, the idea did not come from me. But my collaborator Antoine talked to me about his project and I joined him. At first he did not wanted to launch it by himself because there were too much work and it was a little bit too expensive for a first project. So I decided to join him to help him. Now we are where we are.
One of my other passions is business, I’ve read a lot of biographies, the ones that made the most impression on me are those of Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, you learn a lot about them and you see them in a different way than the idealized version that the media gives them.
To found my brand, I started from a simple observation: all the kits were really expensive, more than 250€, so I couldn’t afford to buy one when I wasn’t sure I’d like it, and buying each part on different websites is very complicated, between the delays and the complexity to find compatible parts, it’s impossible.
No brand offers affordable kits, with everything you need inside and very customizable to build your automatic watch. So I decided to be that brand with one of my friend, Corentin.
Why did you choose you will make a watch kit and not a fully assembled watch?
We could have proposed an assembled watch, which would have cost me less but watches in the diver style in this price range, it is very easily found and other brands do it much better than me. We really wanted to offer something atypical, something that a young watch enthusiast could afford without breaking the bank. By also offering a very large choice of customization, each person can have a unique watch, to his image.
How many different variations are available?
We offer more than 3.000 choices, and we’re proud of it! We offer more than 50 choices of straps, 7 for the bezels and 8 for the second hand. We had as initial goal more than 10.000 choices but the reality quickly caught up with us, the minimum quantities for each color are astronomical and we don’t have the budget for that. We hope to be able to offer as many choices in the future
Tell me some specifications about the watch!
Our watch is 40mm in diameter and 13mm in height, it remains in the average of divers and will be easily worn every day.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the specifications of our components:
316L steel case, resistant and solid
NATO strap, easily interchangeable
Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
NH35 movement, by Seiko
Luminescent dial and hands
All necessary tools
Entirely designed in France
How was the name and the logo created and what exactly does it mean?
The MYO of AstroMYO is an acronym for Make Your Own, and Astro stands for space, dreams and the desire to innovate. For the logo, we wanted something simple, almost minimalist. So we made a stylized planet with a satellite, always with the idea that everything is possible.
How did you come up with this design?
We wanted to make a diving machine with recognizable signals: the mercedes hands, the cyclops or the rotating bezel. So we ended up with the following components.
Why do you think the watch kit will be successful? Are there any competitors with a similar kit on the market?
We believe that the kit will be a success because we are the only ones to offer a kit with so much customization at such a low price (40% cheaper than our main competitor), this is mainly due to the elimination of everything that is not essential and very low margins.
How do you help the customers in the building of the watch?
Not everyone was born as a watchmaker, is it an easy task for everybody to assemble the kit?
We have planned to help customers with a very detailed video. Moreover, in case of doubt, they will be able to contact us and we will answer within 24 hours. We believe that anyone can assemble their watch in less than an hour.
The steps are simple and require a minimum of attention and concentration, especially for the installation of the hands but it is far from being inaccessible. For example, we showed the kit and the video to a friend who had never touched a watch, and he did it perfectly.
Are you making the watch parts or you hired a professional watchmaker?
We imagined the kit in France (except the movement) but we entrusted everything to suppliers who have the necessary material. We tried several suppliers and we selected the most reliable ones. We trust them completely for the quality of our components.
Are you planning to make other types of watches as well or only dive
We plan to make other types of watch kits, including a minimalist watch with a quartz movement with the goal of offering it at no more than half the price of the MK1 kit.
How much does a kit cost and what do you get for your money?
We propose the MK1 kit for 150€ (~180$), for this price, you have everything you need to assemble your own automatic watch: tools, case, movement, dial, 2 sets of hands, bezel and strap. We also include free international shipping.
What do I or my readers have to do to get a watch from you as soon as possible?
We are currently in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign! You can find us here: AstroMYO Kickstarter Campaign
Stay up to date with our news on our website: astromyo.com
Or on Instagram: @astromyo
And what do you want for the future?
We would like to continue to offer watch kits but we would also like to diversify with other kits. We’ll let you know when this is the case 😉
Thanks to Watchmaniaq for his time and advice!
Thank you for your interview! I hope your campaign will be successful!