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We ask Omologato founder Shami Kalra about this new brand
In just 18 months, Omologato has become the watch brand that every petrolhead wants to wear.
I spoke to Omologato’s visionary founder, Shami Kalra, about how his brand has become so well-established so quickly, and what comes next.
Damien Cross: Shami, why watches – and why motorsport?
Shami Kalra: Having produced watches for over 25 years and created great pieces for other brands, I felt jaded with the corporate world and felt there was more I could be doing with my one passion – Motorsport. I love watches and motorsport. Combining these when I had the chance to just made sense.
DC: So it was a risk?
SK: Absolutely. I gave up a comfortable income and life just so I could reignite the designer inside me who was being held back. June 5th 2015 I created the website, at the time I didn’t have agencies promoting Omologato so I worked hard to get the product right and make it appealing. Using my network of friends who are industry influencers, they helped promote Omologato on social media. With 15 hour days and a lot hard work and networking, in just three months of the inception, we had over 1.2 million impressions on Twitter alone. My huge gamble was starting to paying off.
DC: And you’ve mentioned inclusivity – that’s very important to you?
SK: I love the word inclusive. Hate the word exclusive. I want people to be able to own a great motorsport watch which is affordable. Not price passionate people out of the market… Ours start at under £300… I want everyone to be able to own something that portrays their affiliation with a sport we love. Some customers have set up payments plans of £20 a month to pay for their watch, and others who have huge collections of five-figure-valued watches love wearing an Omologato. We’ve had customers overwhelmed at the response their Omologato gets compared to their TAG or Rolex watches. Our watches are priced so that every person can have a chance to own one.
DC: The designs are very well thought out…
SK: They are – unlike other brands, nothing is contrived by a marketing department. Omologato makes watches that tell a story, every watch I design needs an explanation. The Laguna Seca is tilted, why? Because of the Corkscrew. This kind of story is prevalent in every watch I design. I know a couple who met purely because the lady noticed the angle of the face on one of our customers Laguna Seca. It got them talking and now they’ve been together 4 months! There’s a reason for everything; why that face is offset, why there’s a yard of bricks design on the back of the Indianapolis, why the details have been chosen for British Racing Green – and why the face is the size it is. It all means something. If you’re a real motorsport fan, you’ll get it. You’ll know the significance of a red ‘722’. If not, it promotes discussion.
DC: How well have the watches been received in the motorsport world itself?
SK: Very well. A lot of our customers work in the motorsport. Some very well known drivers and team owners love Omologato. The designs make sense to them. As the cost is not excessive, showing your Omologato off is a sharing of passion and affiliation.
DC: Like at the #ChronosAndCars event?
SK: Yes. That was simply amazing. Arranged with Porsche Retail, we were blown away with the response as over 350 people attended that Sunday, We’re going to be doing quite a few #ChronosAndCars events next year. A great way for owners of cars, watches and cameras to discuss their passions.
DC: And what else does the future hold?
SK: I’ve been talking to some interesting strategic partners. Some very iconic brands are keen to get on board. Indeed, we’ve partnered with Porsche Retail Group and will be having pop-up shops at some of their showrooms. I also own iconic names such as Maranello, which is an exciting project. I’ve even had orders for that watch, even though I haven’t finalised the design yet! There are a few other rather inspiring brands we’re going to be working with, but you’ll have to keep an eye out for news on that in the new year.
DC: We’ll look forward to hearing more. Thanks, Shami.
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