But who says having no personality is bad?
Minimalism is the new buzzword, and many people would appreciate a product that they don’t have to think about matching.
Running an entire business all by himself, founder of Lacqna (pronounced, lah-Q-nah), Eugene Wong didn’t have a great start.
“The push factor was when I finally felt burned-out by my day job and I decided, enough is enough. It is now or never.”
Eugene pitched his idea of doing private label for watches to one of his best friends, and soon they found another friend to join their team.
Unfortunately, Eugene had to leave that partnership after production costs skyrocketed, pushing their selling price up.
He decided to press on with his idea for a frills-free watch label, that will eventually retail for USD149.
Eugene finally formed the label he planned to in September last year called Lacqna—inspired from the Latin word for gap.
He envisioned that Lacqna would bridge that gap between lifestyle and a good product.
Ever since he started, Eugene has only gotten an average of 4–5 hours of sleep a night, sometimes less, thanks to the rigors of having to hold down a job while trying to start another brand from scratch.
Eugene believes that a minimalistic approach should not remove the heart of the product.
“For me, the idea of minimalism in design is not to remove and leave it as blank as possible. Often this results in a quite cold and distant design.”
In Eugene’s principles, minimalism is more of an idea instead of a design.
“The art of prioritisation is to know what can be left out and and yet maintain the important ones. Minimalism is not the lack of, but the prioritisation of.”
Eugene finished this thought off with a life lesson. He hopes that Lacqna will remind people to do things that matter, or be with people that matter, rather than trying to fit into a general norm or impress people.
One of his out-of-norms incorporated into the watch design? He opted to make it with studded minutes indexes, instead of just printing them onto the watch face.
So the watches are already simple, clean, and almost boring to look at. But they’re also quite durable to wear, tear and destruction.
We know because we asked him to send us one. Then we tried to destroy it.
It passed simple drop tests from around waist height, both onto carpeted and wooden flooring.
Next, we tried flinging it and even whacked it on a table, simulating the normal “accidents” that watches may face in their lifetime.
Not even a scratch.
It was only after we tried to bounce it down the stairs that a crack finally appeared, and one the strap handles broke off.
For our final test, we brought in one of our cars.
It took a few rolls to actually demolish the domed crystal of the watch face—the type of crystal that the website says “reflects light more warmly and gently”.
But it also distributes impact forces more evenly than flat crystals.
The actual base of the watch itself still looks in shape even after the ordeal we put it through.
This, Eugene states, is because of the material.
They’re produced using a medical grade stainless steel which has a high resistance to corrosion, and apparently to oncoming tyres.
The three watch heads available are all designed the same apart from colour, and also use a type of watch movement that conserves battery (Seiko-Epson Quartz movement VX50e).
To fund his solo passion-project, this watch label is going on Kickstarter.
Eugene has always liked crowdfunding, and another dream of his was to run his own campaign.
“To be honest, I am stressed out with the inevitable question: would my campaign ever be successfully funded? Especially in such a crowded market that we have right now on Kickstarter.”
“But rather than just wondering, I would prefer to just do it and if it fails, it fails. At least I tried. No harm, no foul.”
If the reactions in our office are anything to go by, in general the guys were very taken with the watches whereas most of the girls remained unimpressed.
One of the boys even asked, “Are we really going to have to destroy them?” as he sadly caressed the Lumos Rogue.
What for me is a lack of personality is to them, versatility.
And I bet these are the type of people who will be heading to the Kickstarter page once it launches to make their own pledges to the product.
Feature Image Credit: Lacqna