Written by: Linda Branch
Darnel Greenidge is just 25 years old, but this young entrepreneur from Barbados is already making a bold statement with his luxury watch company Monumental Watches.
“Our watches are unique to the regional market because we are the first owners of a watch brand in the region,” noted Greenidge, when queried about the uniqueness of his product for the Barbadian and Caribbean market. He also pointed out that there were not “many watch companies that use two logos in the dials of their watches”.
He cited the special bond with his late grandmother, Esther Greenidge, as inspiration to create the first Barbadian luxury watch company. “I had a very close relationship with my grandmother. We lived together from 2015 until July 2016 when (she) passed from cancer,” noted Greenidge, who was also studying for his CPA Taxation exam during that time.
“Because of her passing and the fact that she was a lover of watches, I decided to create a watch company in her honor,” he explained. The company’s name represents the “monumental” relationship he had with his late grandmother and her beliefs backed the brand. “We have placed the trident in our dial to remind us that we can overcome the hardships in life and to have the perseverance to triumph in every situation we encounter.”
The face of Greenidge’s watches feature an “M” within the silhouette of a building, and a trident, which is a symbol synonymous with Barbados’ independence. The watch designer grew up between his immediate family’s East Point home and that of his grandmother’s in Foul Bay, both located in the parish of St. Philip. He noted that his family members were supportive of his business venture, which he formally launched in August 2018.
The design of the brand incorporated high quality 316L stainless steel, genuine top grain leather and a hardened mineral crystal. The watches currently use Miyota movement, but will be using Seiko movement in the upcoming collection.
“Our watches go for a minimalist look but sizeable footprint so that it can stand out and be noticed on your wrist. They are water resistant up to 30m in water and some watches carry the date function. We have updated the ICON collection with glow in the dark hands. More features will be added to the upcoming collection,” he explained. “My grandmother and I preferred a minimalist look to a watch dial and our lugs are inspired by the lugs on IWC watches. We think that a thin case with a slim bezel is also very attractive so we hoped that others would like them too.”
The young designer observed that, “in an age where people use smartphones to tell the time, a watch is now seen as a statement piece and a collector’s item”. His company has already added an attractive line of bracelets made with various gemstones and stainless steel pendants to complement the watches. Orders for the, affordably priced, watches can be made through the company’s website, and Facebook and Instagram social media, with free shipping across the Caribbean.
His words of advice for other young entrepreneurs in Barbados and the Caribbean include encouraging them to create a business plan or if they already have one to continually assess and update it to keep on track. “If you are planning to become an entrepreneur, I would urge you to get a job first and save to be able to get yourself off the ground. Do market research and believe in yourself and your product, service.”
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