We recently chatted with Grant Menzies from Adina Watches
Tell us about Adina Watches
Our business was started by my father Bob Menzies in 1971. Beginning with 3 models this has grown exponentially to producing more than 30,000 watches annually in our Brisbane workshop. We design then outsource globally the components for each of our watches before assembling year watch by hand here in our Brisbane workshop. We have never changed the process from the outset to ensure we can deliver high-quality reliable watches, that not only look great but if the need were to arise, we can fix them.
What motivated you to become a watchmaker?
I am not a watchmaker by trade so, outside of doing holiday work whilst at school. My first job in our family business was as a sales rep travelling around Queensland and NSW selling our watches, founding and developing relationships with our retailers. My background to this point had been in hospitality both here in Australia and overseas so being able to combine looking after people and travelling, for me was a match made in heaven.
These days though I am very heavily involved in the production of each model from its inception. It is a very technical and time-consuming process sometimes taking over a year before we get our new model into the store.
What has changed in the industry since Bob founded the company?
Quite a lot! You have to remember when Bob started it he was on his own putting the watches together nightly before heading out each day to sell, so the most obvious thing would be the size of our team. We now have six watchmakers and 2 apprentices aside from our support and sales teams. That is just here in our workshop but from an overall the watches went from being mechanical to battery operated with revolutions in watch design like the digital watch and Swatch and now the smartwatch.
How do you feel about smartwatches?
There has always been a tech offering in the watch market. I remember when I started school the boy sitting next to me had a watch with a calculator while I still had to wind my watch up! I guess what I am saying is there are different parts of the market and we are happy producing watches which stand the test of time and in many cases become very sentimental. I still own that first watch.
I don’t know how many people will get sentimental about their smartwatch as with most technology they already know and are resigned to the fact that it will be outdated and need to move on to the next updated version.
Do you have any predictions for the watch industry?
The industry will continue to experience disruption by phones and smart watches but I feel the big one will be the rise of start-up micro brands and crowd-funded ventures especially in the online space. The online channel will also continue to grow creating challenges for the traditional bricks and mortar retailers that fail to embrace the online space.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Without sounding like a cliché, I have the ability to work every day in our family business alongside my Dad and our team creating our own watches under our own brand which is pretty darn good, but if I had to name one thing it would be opening our first “In-store flagship boutique” with one of our premium retail partners. It really made me so proud of everything we have achieved over the years.
What do you love most about what you do?
Creating watches for the Australian market is immensely rewarding as our watches are often chosen to mark significant life milestones, in our own lives or in our loved ones. There is an intrinsic power attached to watches that is very difficult to explain. So, having the ability to make a watch for someone to love in that way is what I love most about what we do.
Who would you like to create a watch for?
We have been lucky enough to design and produce watches for a number of Australian private schools and corporations, but it would be fabulous to produce watches for one of the Iconic Australian companies like Qantas or Akubra.
If you could only wear one watch for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
I have always loved my Adina Amphibian Automatic. I have already owned it for 15 years and find myself despite owning a number of watches gravitating to it pretty regularly. It has it all, as far as I am concerned classic good looks and rugged reliability. I am known to have said if James Bond was Australian this is the watch he would be wearing!
What’s next for you?
As a father of four (two of each) my goal is to ensure Adina Watches as a brand and as a company stays relevant to an ever-changing marketplace so if any of our children would like join the business there is a vibrant one there to do so!
About Adina Watches
Head to the Adina Watches website for further information and to purchase a new watch or clock.