As the climate and culture of today’s world races to innovate with technology, the luxury watch industry has remained relatively unchanged. Hannu Siren, CEO of Aventi Watch, looks to challenge the world of haute horology.
Future Sharks: You seem very comfortable with the business of watchmaking, tell us your personal history with horology.
Hannu Siren: I’ve always been a watch enthusiast. A quality timepiece is one of those luxury items that say a lot about the person wearing it: if they’re practical, flashy, contemporary, conservative, you’ll see that reflected in the watch they wear.
That’s what I like about horology. There’s something for everyone.
Future Sharks: How long have you been in the business side of horology?
Hannu Siren: I started selling watches in 2011, but I sold other people’s watches. I found myself increasingly frustrated because I felt like the watches I sold, for the price point I was selling them, could be so much more. Rather than sit back and continue to sell products I felt could be better, I decided to change that and launch S-Force LTD, formerly SWOLE O’Clock in 2016.
Future Sharks: S-Force seemed to really resonate with one audience in particular, the fitness industry, why is that?
Hannu Siren: SWOLE was an acronym for “Strength Overcomes Limitations Every time,” when we rebranded as S-Force back in 2019, we changed it to simply “Strength Overcomes.” It speaks to my personal belief that we all have in ourselves, the power to overcome any challenge. I’ve seen people accomplish incredible things, things that everyone else told them were “impossible”.
This message resonated well with the fitness world, because these are people pushing themselves every day, never accepting things as they are. Each watch we sell is inscribed with “Strength Overcomes”, a daily reminder to continue to strive for excellence.
Future Sharks: You’ve talked about your unique business model. Can you tell us a little about how you keep your team trim yet flexible?
Hannu Siren: The era of the physical office is over. Through technology, we can connect people from all over the world in an instant. I took advantage of this. A physical building presents a massive hindrance, limiting you to a geographical location, with an equally limited pool of professionals from which to hire. I didn’t want that for my team. I’m not one to do anything based on what’s always been done, and it’s important to me to find team members that share my vision of what could be, rather than what is.
The core of Aventi Watch is a team that is hand-picked by me. They aren’t afraid to challenge what we know of watchmaking today. It spans across 10 timezones. If we encounter a problem that we aren’t able to resolve internally, we bring on expert consultants and engineers to solve them, then shrink back to our core team once we’ve got the matter in hand.
The flexibility of this kind of business model helps Aventi keep our cost of production way down. Everyone working for Aventi is mission-critical. That makes us very powerful.
Future Sharks: What are some of the challenges you faced when designing Aventi’s premier collection, the A-10 Tourbillon?
Hannu Siren: We had several, the biggest challenge, however, was our flagship model, the Aventi Sapphire Crystal Tourbillon. The complex design of the case, combined with the rigidity of sapphire crystal, the very thing that makes sapphire so enviable, created a problem where our early tests revealed points of vulnerability in the design. My expectations are extremely high, and these vulnerabilities were not acceptable. So we brought on a team of engineers to figure out how we can make this work. I’m happy to report that we succeeded.
Future Sharks: We noticed that your cases are not the usual watch design, circular or square. You’ve referred to Aventi timepieces as “superwatches”. Can you expand upon that? Where did you come up with the design and what makes Aventi a “superwatch”?
Hannu Siren: The design of Aventi combines another of my passions: luxury high-performance cars. I’m drawn to the curves and angles, the aerodynamic quality of these supercars. I wanted to design a watch that emulated the power and feel of a supercar. We even refer to the various components and complications of our watches in car terms: engine, chassis, windshield, dashboard. The same feeling you get as you watch a Lamborghini roar down the street or popping the hood to witness the raw power of its engine, I wanted our watches to give you that same thrill. It’s a V12 for your wrist.
Future Sharks: The name “Aventi” was chosen for a specific reason. What is the meaning behind your brand name?
Hannu Siren: “Aventi” in Italian, means “Having”. Supercars, they are the playthings of the ultra-rich. Something that most of us will always want but never have. Today’s luxury watches are also exclusively for the social elite, with “entry level” watches of this caliber starting at tens of thousands of dollars and increase with complexity into millions of dollars. Our most important goal with Aventi is to bring this level of luxury to the masses. So, while they may never be able to own a supercar, they can own a superwatch. We could have gone with original quotes through the traditional watchmaking channels, but that would have pushed our price point right up to the millions that you see with other brands. That’s not what we wanted for our brand, we wanted to offer something that everyone can reasonably have.
Future Sharks: You chose to launch Aventi via a crowd-funding platform. Why did you choose this direction for Aventi?
Hannu Siren: Because Aventi is a brand for the majority, we wanted to launch on a platform that empowers our customers. Many watches of this caliber, you can wait seven years or more to even buy one. Through crowdfunding, that wait is eliminated. That is another aspect of “having” that we wanted to offer, accessibility. There’s also a sense of ownership, when you invest in a campaign like ours. Our customers are included in the journey, their input is encouraged, because we want them to buy a watch they feel good about, that they identify with as part of their collection.
Future Sharks: What is something you asked for customer input?
Hannu Siren: Our bands. We really wanted to carry the supercar theme into all aspects of its design. Our original thought was to offer a watch with authentic carbon fiber stitched into the band. No matter how many different types of carbon fiber we tested, it simply wouldn’t hold up to the demands of everyday wear. Because we focus so heavily on quality, we refused to continue with a design that didn’t fill that expectation. We came up with a couple of alternatives and rather than trying to guess what our customers would want, we simply asked them.
Future Sharks: That really takes customer service to a personal level.
Hannu Siren: Yes, it does. Many luxury brands, they tell you what you’re going to get. They lack a personal involvement with their customers that I feel is a disservice. The Aventi superwatch isn’t going to be for everyone, our inspiration and design is a lot of watch. However, within the parameters of our design, there are choices and influences that our customers can and should have.
Future Sharks: With a two-barrel tourbillon movement, premium materials, this is sounding like a very expensive watch, but you talk about making a watch that is affordable. How much is an Aventi watch going to set someone back?
Hannu Siren: We’ve spent a good bit of time researching modern watchmaking. We’ve streamlined production with our lean remote team and sourced materials and parts from non traditional sources without sacrificing quality. Like I said before, traditional channels quoted us into the millions, our customers aren’t going to even pay a tenth of that. Our early-investor offer via our crowdfunding campaign is under a $1000, currently unheard of for a true tourbillon watch.
Everything about Aventi challenges what we know of luxury watches today: accessible, affordable, quality and personal attention. I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, something that many in the watch world said was impossible. We’ve engineered a superwatch, with the look, power and luxury of a supercar, at a price that’s incredible.
Be a part of this industry-changing upstart by supporting Aventi’s crowdfunding campaign, set to launch April 2020. For more information, visit www.aventiwatch.com and know what it’s like to have a superwatch for your wrist.
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