5′ with Øyvind Von Doren – founder of Von Doren watches


Getting to know a new watch is something we love, but what if you could discover a bit more about the history of that watch’s brand? Today we’ve spent 5 minutes with Øyvind Von Doren, founder of Von Doren Watches.

What triggered the creation of your own brand?

For my 12th birthday my great-grandfather gifted me his Swiss Made wristwatch. He in turn was given this timepiece on his 70th birthday of his sister who was married to the watchmaker in Aalesund, West Norway, my home town.  This watch and the memories connected to it sparked my passion for mechanical timepieces. Since then, I have had a profound fascination and passion for fine wristwatches, and an admiration for the precision and their sheer beauty and complexityThis interest would stay with me through my career as a film director, and I slowly built a collection. After my last film I decided to follow my dream, sacrifice my collection and establish Von Doren Fine Timepieces.

What are the most significant difficulties you encountered?

It was hard to start a watch brand from scratch. It took all my time, energy and savings. I used a lot of time sourcing for reliable production partners that could deliver the quality I wanted. There are a vast number of watch brands out there so it is quite a challenge to create timepieces that stand out. Marketingwise we compete with billion-dollar companies… Thorough research and development was vital and I used a lot of time in the design process. The fact that I went “All In” investment wise also kept me awake at night.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I can get inspired anywhere, really. Until now I have been inspired by the architecture of my hometown Ålesund, a fantastic game of chess played in 1910 and a 200 year old treasure discovered on the bottom of the sea. Being inspired is one thing, conveying the inspiration to a timepiece is where the true challenge lies.

How do you see the future of the brand? Is there any confidential(ish) information you could disclose to us?

We have an outspoken goal of becoming the most renowned watch brand in Scandinavia. The way we will reach this goal is by creating watches of high quality with zero compromise. Today you can find Von Doren watches in our own Brand Store in Oslo and numerous retailers on three continents. 
Our upcoming model “URÆD” was funded within 30 seconds on Kickstarter, and reached a total funding of $600,000. This model will be available in August, but can be pre-ordered already. I will make sure to send one to AWDO for a review as soon as we receive it.

What advice would you like to give to someone willing to follow your path?

The most important advice is to not give up. Being an entrepreneur is challenging, but it can also be very rewarding. If you are looking for a “Get rich fast”-scheme I would advise to pursue it in a different industry – succeeding in this business requires true passion for the craft.

Thank you for your time Øyvind! The review of the Runde will soon be published, stay tuned 🙂

Von Doren Watches

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