When I was growing up in Wales, my father worked as a decorator. When he was 18 years of age, he gave three months of his service to help paint a dilapidated church that desperately needed a fresh coat of paint in his city of Cardiff. As a thank you gift, the Church gifted him a gold watch with the engraving Bene Merenti, which means Well Deserved. My father completed his outfit with the watch, and he treasured it, and that’s how I too began my fascination with watches.
For me, a watch is more than an object, it’s a symbol that becomes part of your story. In some ways, I think it can represent a time capsule of your memories and adventures. As an avid traveller -- I’ve been to 64 countries on all the continents -- I celebrate simple tools that can make our lives more meaningful. That’s why I never quite understood why my prized Swiss made automatic world time watch, a gift from my Dad, displayed the wrong time in multiple time zones on earth.
That’s why I created CuleM, an independent watch brand that produces the ultimate Swiss-made travel watches. For years, I worked with veteran watch experts and designer Damien Ummel to challenge and evolve the design standards of a classical - and inaccurate - world time travel watch.
CuleM’s inaugural World GMT Collection, available now on Kickstarter, solves the historical inaccuracy of travel watches for the first time, and displays the correct time in 24 time zones - an essential feature for the globetrotting watch collectors of our generation. Displaying both your origin time as well as your destination time, you can be sure you call home and show up to your important events at the right time.
Beyond from its radical design, which features contemporary world map dials, every CuleM is handcrafted and assembled in the heart of Biel/Bienne in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland. The expertise of Swiss watchmakers is unparalleled, and the quality is compounded by sapphire glass and a top grade ETA 2893-2 self-winding movement with a calibre of 21 jewels and 42 hour power reserve, visible in the open caseback of every 40 mm CuleM watch. Founded in 1856, ETA represents over 160 years of traditional Swiss watchmaking skill and has built a reputation on reliability, precision and perfection.
Finally, in an effort to ensure that busy globetrotting entrepreneurs and professionals can create optionality while only traveling with a single watch, all of CuleM’s World Timer GMT watches are designed with interchangeable leather straps so you can choose your style on the move. Each watch comes with two Italian leather straps with interchangeable pins which makes it easy and effortless to give your watch a distinguished look, for casual day events, or formal nighttime dinners.
Although I am an avid watch collectors with over 30 watches in my collection, I seek value, or pieces that I know I can pass on through generations. Although Swiss-made automatic watches can exceed 100,000 euros, watch collecting is no longer an investment beyond reach. Advancements in manufacturing and technology have opened up luxury watch collecting to new markets.
Such business model innovations don’t cut costs or quality, but rather find new, innovative ways to sell direct to customers and/or work strategically with traditional retail outlets, whilst delivering exceptional value and savings to intelligent collectors.
For example, at CuleM we looked at how to sell direct from the factory initially and thus launched on Kickstarter, where our inaugural World GMT Watch Collection will be available through Monday, June 10th for a discounted launch price of €1,249 euros and an express delivery in July.
We at CuleM want to ensure that everyone had access to the ultimate Swiss-made luxury GMT travel watch world timer, and so we’re building our brand from the ground up alongside a global community of watch collectors and world travellers inspired by innovation and radical design.
I hope you’ll back us on Kickstarter and join us as we build a brand that challenges the status quo and brings watch design into the 21st century.
Matthew Cule is a seasoned entrepreneur, a passionate collector of watches and the Founder of CuleM Watches, an independent luxury travel watch brand. CuleM’s World GMT collection of Swiss made dual time, automatic watches are designed for people who love to travel. CuleM believes there is nothing more meaningful and amazing than travel - and no object more special than a watch, so each watch is a masterpiece, a work of art and the perfect travel companion.
Instagram: @culemwatches
Twitter: @culemwatches