Today we will talk with Dustin Fontaine who is the founder of the Sternglas watches. As we all know, Sternglas is one of my favourite companies when it comes to Bauhaus inspired watches/dress watches. The design is just perfect in my opinion. Yes, finally an automatic watch from Sternglas, I think this is the right way to go, as the only thing I mentioned in the quartz version review, was that I want automatic or hand wound movement inside it, and they delivered. They sent me the prototype to look at, so look out next week for a new article. But now let’s dive into the interview!
Introduce yourself? What started your watch passion?
My name is Dustin Fontaine, I’m 28 years old. My watch passion started when I worked for MeisterSinger watch company when I was high school student. I did some student work there, did some paperwork, putting on straps on the watches and some other small jobs. I really like dealing with these small jobs. So my watch passion started with working for MeisterSinger. I’m still a big fan of their company and have on of their watches in my collection too. I also really like old Russian vintage watches and really fell in love when I saw them in the mid-2000s on the internet.
What makes a good wristwatch to you?
A good wristwatch for me is minimal design watch. Less is more! I like when the dial is very simple and when there is not more to it. There, of course, can be more onto it, but it must be clear structure, clear dial and symmetric. I don’t like asymmetric dials, colours, strange patterns or big watches with a very aggressive design. I think a good watch needs to be a bit smaller. Design and the look for me are much more important than the quality, I don’t need the high-end quality or the best movements, I think it’s more important to have a good design because I think a good watch needs to be affordable.
How much watches do you have in your personal collection?
I have about 30 pieces. I used to go to these old flea markets in Germany where people sell old vintage watches. I usually buy the watches that no one buys or isn’t interested, but I’m interested because I like the design and I have a lot of them. I probably cant list them all but I have some Pobeda’s which is an old Russian brand. I have some German, Checzh, Russian, Ukranian, Eastern Europe watches. I also have some that don’t work, but I like to look at them, they are mostly from the 1930s and 1940s. From the newer watches, I have the MeisterSinger of course and the Void watch, which comes from Swedish brand.
Who is your ideal customer?
I think there is no ideal customer, as everybody is different. I don’t want to standardize our customers or my customers, I think everyone who is interested in good watches can buy and wear our watches.
What do you like to do outside watches? Where do you find your inspiration?
I really like being outside, to travel, that’s where I find inspiration. I also like to read about some vintage watch brands on the internet. I also like to go to cafe’s in my free time, I really love a good quality cup of coffee. I also find inspiration on long train rides. In Germany, we ride the train a lot, we go everywhere by train. I always find inspiration there, because I can’t read there or work, so I have a lot of time to generate new ideas, new designs and models in my head.
How do you see the Sternglas watch brand in the future?
I really like to have one day a wider collection of interesting pieces. We are still growing and don’t have a lot of capacity. We are still building up our company. The goal is to have a lot of interesting pieces, I really want to go into designing new watches, new dials, cases. Which are more individual. We also want to go worldwide. We also want the customers to able to buy our watches in the US, is is already possible, but we want to establish our brand more in US, Europe, Japan and other places where people will like our minimalistic style watches. We also want to open our own store, maybe first in Hamburg and then more in Germany and Europe.
Are there new watches coming anytime soon?
Yes, we launched the Sternglas Automatik with automatic movement in Hamburg couple of months ago. We tried to find a movement that is good quality, that is durable and easy to repair and won’t cost a fortune to maintain. So we chose the Miyota automatic movement. I also have a lot of other designs, but can’t bring them to life right now because we still have to build up the brand more. But there will be more new things coming this year!
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