We often see watches that are “inspired by history”, but there is something nice about Hemel watches. I am not sure whether it is the colours being used, the fonts on the dial, the casing style, or the retro hands, available in three different styles.
I caught up with the Owner, Marvin Menke to ask him about his watches, and started of with my usual question i ask everyone, “Talk to me about yourself and your watches”
I was always into watches since I was a teenager. Back in the 80s though, Swatch was really gaining a lot of traction and as I was interested in design in general, the company’s branding and marketing really left an impression on me. It projected a very contemporary and cutting edge feel which was what I was also reacting to in the marketing of music at the time, another passion of mine.
This led me to study at F.I.T. and I actually wound up working part time for Swatch for a period during my studies. When I left F.I.T., I fell into the fashion industry and began to develop an appreciation for product development and fabrication in general. I’ve been working in design for many years now, specializing in branding, photography, packaging. Hemel was originally supposed to be a gift I could give to clients around the holidays but the more I showed the concept to my colleagues, the more they encouraged me to bring it to market.
At this point in history, the internet had given the entrepreneur so many gifts in the ability to source, market and sell online. Between that and all the experience I had as a creative, my startup costs were quite low so I thought I’d give it a shot.
I grew up in a Dutch / English bilingual household and Hemel is the Dutch word for sky, the first way we were able to note the passage of time. The sky is a constant source of inspiration and calm for me, two states I need to be in when working. This is why I originally chose Hemel for the name of my consultancy which I’m still busy with. The legalities were all in place for the name usage and the sky metaphor carried over in these different ways so again, it just seemed logical to branch out to Hemel watches.
Marvin’s watches have the following specs: