Klokers is back! Interview with Nicolas Boutherin

Klokers is back! Yes, one of my favourite brands is back and recently I reviewed an updated Klokers KLOK-01 Minimal watch which you can read here. I also had an opportunity to ask a couple of questions to Nicolas Boutherin who was the CEO of the brand in the past and now works as head of development at Klokers under new owner of the brand. So let’s begin!

  1. Tell us about Klokers, what is the idea behind the brand?

Klokers’ ambition is to propose an alternative time to the performative time traditionally offered in traditional watchmaking through :

  • a creation more oriented on the process of reappropriating one’s own time.
  • an animation of time that explores new creative paradigms of the staging of time, beyond the classic dials with hour, minute and second hands.
  • a relationship with the object “watch” that gives the possibility to take the “time” in his hand by bringing the concept of interchangeability through the patented clip to change his bracelet or accessory according to his desire.
  1. Why did the company went bankrupt?

In retrospect, the company went bankrupt mainly because it was unable to adapt its costs to its revenues. the company had grown rapidly and was anticipating significant development. Technologically, the company had made a considerable development in innovation that lacked maturity. Finally, Klokers‘ economic gamble had been made on a volume market at an accessible price, whereas the market is on a niche market with higher added value.

3.  Were you happy that the new management wanted you back in the Klokers team?

My responsibility is to ensure an Artistic Direction of the brand through the creation of its products, its strategic marketing and its communication.

As the creator of the Klokers concept, my first “experience” from 2014 to 2018 had a taste of unfinished business.

The opportunity offered to me by Patrice Joubert, the new owner of the brand, to revive the brand by continuing my work to develop innovative products while ensuring the continuity of the company is a unique challenge.

4. What are the 3 main changes from the brand before and after the rebirth?

The 3 main changes to build a sustainable future for the klokers brand are quite simple:

1 – Create products that are always innovative and identifiable with the brand in terms of design.

2 – To make products accessible in price (between 500 and 1 500€) of Swiss Made quality, technologically irreproachable.

3 – To ensure an economic model that allows a viable economic growth to continue the worldwide deployment of the brand

4 – Favour a controlled growth in distribution on the digital and physical channel

5. Will the KLOK-02 make a return? 

Klokers has been lucky enough to have created 2 very characteristic watches in terms of design since its creation.

The klok-02 is a complication with a unique design (double retrograde, jumping hours, GMT function and calendar).

Unfortunately, this watch had design weaknesses and had to be withdrawn from the market. Only 450 pieces were sold worldwide, while the market was highly demanding.

As soon as we took over the brand, Patrice Joubert and I wanted to relaunch the production of this project, which is part of the very identity of Klokers. every week, we have demand for this model.

We are currently reworking the entire design and hope to offer it commercially by the end of 2022 or during 2023.

It’s a big industrial project, very ambitious, which requires time.

6. Are there coming out maybe some more complicated watches? Maybe automatic or hand-wound?

Klokers does not give itself any conceptual limit in the framework of its identity positioning.

The creation must make sense to the wearer of the watch.

Our choice to be in a price range between 500 and 1 500€ conditions technological choices and forces us to be clever in the value proposition.

We know that some complications, movements or materials are inaccessible to us.

In addition, the choice we made to provide interchangeability functionality for the bracelet and accessories through a component located at the bottom of the case, forces us to a minimum diameter of 39mm.

Of all these “constraints”, we make it a line of force for our next achievements.

7. In what category of watches would you put Klokers in?

Klokers is in the market of innovative premium watches, halfway between watchmaking, fashion and design.

Klokers invites individuals to reappropriate their time and express their uniqueness in an increasingly codified society

8. Do you think some Klokers watches will have any collectable value in… let’s say 30 years?

Only the future will be able to tell. The value of collection is a very particular notion which goes beyond the only design which must bring a visually pleasant functional practicality, a flawless operation and a cost within the reach of the general public!

Klokers is a brand that takes risks and as such, it has the ambition to mark its time with the goal of reaching through its innovative products a form of perfection in both its appearance and its function.

But for Klokers products to have value in 30 years, they will have to be part of a social, cultural or political influence.

We have to work humbly with strength and we will see.

9. How do you see Klokers brand in the future?

I aspire to make Klokers a respectable brand that doesn’t take itself too seriously but does things with pleasure and humility.

That beyond a demanding design and the use of advanced technologies, questions its personal relationship with time, in the face of a society that runs at 100 km/h, that sometimes walks on its head and forgets the essential.


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