(TTF WATCHBLOG) - How come you´ve chosen to work with automatic movements on Baltic Shield(Seiko) and on forthcoming Treudd(Selitta)?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - While both Seiko and Selitta make terrific movements, they also come in at different price points and their value can be perceived differently by watch enthusiasts. I wanted my Baltic Shield and Nordic Shield watches to be in the $300 USD price range and the Seiko NH35 was a perfect fit. It is a workhorse movement with excellent reliability and also offers the option for modification, which can be fun and has become popular over the past few years with many watch collectors. My "upscale" model, the Treudd will house the Selitta SW200-1, a wonderful example of Swiss craftsmanship and accuracy. The price point for the Treudd will be $500 USD.
- (TTF) Can you tell us a bit about the design of the Baltic Shield. The blue/yellow second-hand, the dial with index or the finishing on the Crown etc. Where did you get your inspiration?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - My inspiration for the Baltic Shield was really a cross between some of the older military styled divers and one of my favorite "budget" dive watches, the Citizen NY0040-09E. I wanted something that crossed over between functional tool diver and one that could also be worn with a suit and tie. As for the colors, I have always loved black with blue. I think the combination is perfect. The anthracite gray dial was something I really wanted to bring to the market as I thought there weren't enough of them and the dial, if done correctly, looks amazing in different lights. The yellow accents seemed to work well with the gray so I decided on that combination.
I am ecstatic with the results of both designs.
(TTF) - Do you have any KWC anecdotes you like to share?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - Well, not sure is it an anecdote, but my absolute inspiration for my watch brand was my grandparents, specifically my grandmother and her heritage. She was born and grew up in the Karlskrona, Sweden area and instilled a lot of Swedish customs in me from a very young age. Even though I grew up in the United States, my home was heavily influenced by Swedish design and quality of living. My grandmother was an enormous part of my childhood as my parents were divorced and my mother was not a big part of my life. My grandmother assumed that role and was a tremendously loving and caring person that influenced my life more than words can express. I decided on the name "Karlskrona Watch Company" as a tribute to her.
(TTF) - Is it difficult to survive as a microbrand?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - Yes, it is challenging but also exciting and fun. There is a lot of competition today in the Micro arena and so many great brands available at different price points. The watch collector today has so many choices he/she did not have 20 or so years ago. I believe a watch company needs to go above and beyond normal expectations to offer consumers a great customer experience every time they interact with them. I pride myself in always responding personally to every single email I receive within 24 hours and always thank my customers for their support. I think excellent customer support and service is a dying breed and that people recognize and appreciate this and also love a personal touch.
(TTF) - Will KWC make other models(pilot, GMT, Digital, manual mechanical, etc.)?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - While I have a special place in my heart for dive watches, I would love to design and bring to market other styles as well.
(TTF) - What kind of reactions have you got from those who bought your Baltic Shield?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - I have had tremendously positive reviews on the Baltic Shield watches. More than I could have ever hoped for. Being my very first offering, I was obviously nervous on how the watch would be received. I am a bit of a perfectionist as well and can be hard on myself so I set my expectation bar high which added to my anxiety. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing support of my customers, many of which helped my with the design and specifications in my collaborative phase of the project. I would be remiss if I didn't especially thank The Dive Watch Connection forum and all of it's members.
(TTF) - What will KWC look like in 3 year`s?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - Well, I plan on continuing to design and bring to market functional and well appointed watches that offer consumers excellent value for their money backed by industry leading and personal service. The collaborative approach in which I directly share and discuss ideas and designs with customers and friends I have made in the hobby will also continue to be a major part of what I do. I am a firm believer in delivering what people want, not what I want or what I think is a great looking watch.
(TTF) - Anything you like to add to the interview?
(Karlskrona Watch Company, Todd Fredriksen) - The past two years of hard work has taught me lot. It has taught me that with ambition and a positive and open frame of mind, anything is possible. I am blessed to have a wonderful and supportive family and group of customers and friends that have helped me along the way.