Behind The Altitude: An Interview With The Founders
Our newest collection was a year in the making. We knew it had to be impeccable, so no detail was overlooked.
Two of our founders, Tim Nybo and Aaron Hallerman, sat down with us to break down how the Altitude came to be, what makes it unique, and why it’s our most adventurous watch to date.
Vincero: Why did you guys decide to make a pilot watch and what inspired the collection?
TN: Up until now, all of our collections have really catered to urban and city living. But a big part of our story and the ‘live your legacy’ mindset that we hold so near and dear is getting out and taking risks and having adventures. We wanted to add a pilot so that our product line really embodied our message. The Altitude does that. It helps us tell our story through our products.
AH: Yeah, we hadn’t really catered to the adventurers in our audience, so the Altitude felt like the natural evolution. It was exciting to get out of our comfort zone and put something different out there and explore how we could put our aesthetic into a really historical watch category, especially since the legacy watch brands don’t tend to design in the edgy and bold way that we do.
TN: I think the pilot watch is in one of the most historically rich categories of watches. Plus the historical figures of aviation just exemplify live your legacy. We wanted to build a collection around that spirit but update it.
AH: Exactly. It’s our modern take on a pilot.
TN: Basically we wanted to have something that worked outside of an urban landscape and was an ode to the watch history we love.
Vincero: The Altitude has a lot of traditional pilot watch features. Walk us through a couple and how someone might find them useful every day.
TN: The Altitude is our most adventurous timepiece yet and I think in 2019 everyone is exploring in some sense and everyone will find the functions on the watch useful. I wore it when I was in Europe and having the dual time function was great. There was no need to remember the time difference, I just always knew the time back home.
AH: Oh, if you travel, the dual-time is great. We really tried to include all of the staples of a classic pilot watch. So there’s luminous hands, large numbers, it’s super durable with the Cordura strap and water resistance. I think anyone can appreciate being able to quickly and easily tell the time. And if you are exploring and getting after it, then the durability is also going to be clutch for you.
TN: Yeah when I was traveling I never had to take it off. I was in oceans, pools, sightseeing. The watch holds up and is really comfortable. It was one of the longest trips I’ve taken and I only brought two Altitudes with me, so that should tell you something.
Vincero: What was the manufacturing process like since there are so many small details that you had to get just right?
AH: From creation to launch, we put more time into the Altitude than we have any of our other collections. There were just so many small details we had to get right.
TN: You know, it was our first time making a watch like this, so we really just took our time with it. We tested 6 different levels of lume before we settled on one. We tried nylon straps, canvas straps, but those didn’t hold up like we wanted. It took us a long time to get the sunken case right. It was a lot of trial by fire.
AH: A lot of time with watchmaking there are so many options, you have to test them all to see what works best. We had so many samples and the whole team really pitched in what would become the final design.
Vincero: Some of the colorways in the collection have leather bands while others have a Cordura strap. Some have lume in the hands and others in the numbers. Why have so much variety?
TN: Since this was our first time doing something like this, we didn’t want to go all-in on one thing. That’s why we only launched with 5. We wanted to have a small variety and gauge the initial reaction. If we find that our community likes the Cordura strap best, we will make more options with that strap. If they like lume in only the hands we will move in that direction. We take our audience’s opinion to heart and we’ll build from there.
AH: Yeah, we always want to grow our collections around what resonates with our fans. So if you like something you have to let us know so we know to keep it!
TN: What’s cool is that it took us so long to make the Altitude, and we have seen so many samples, we could quickly and easily turn out another 15 colorways if we wanted to. We’re just waiting to see what our community wants.
AH: We have a lot in our back pocket.
TN: Don’t worry, we really want to flex on this range. There’s definitely limited editions coming.
Vincero: We now have two more casual and ‘sport’ options, the Rogue and the Altitude. For people deciding between the two, what makes them different?
TN: They’re so different, but I’d say there’s a use case for both.
AH: The Rogue is so unique and in your face. It’s definitely when you want to stand out. The Altitude is a little more subtle.
TN: It always comes down to preference. But the Altitude is the only watch we have with all the functions we mentioned and it’s definitely more subtle than the Rogue.
Vincero: Alright, help our guys out with styling, what’s your favorite watch in the collection, and how do you wear it?
TN: I’ve been wearing it since we got samples! My favorite is the Matte Black/Red, it’s one of the two styles I took on my trip. Definitely wear it in casual situations.
AH: My favorite it the Matte Black/Pine, but we don’t have any in the office so I haven’t gotten a chance to wear it! Once I get one, I’m sure I’ll be wearing it all the time.
Vincero: Anything else you want our readers to know about the Altitude?
AH: Now that I’m thinking about it, this is the watch I wish I had when we were living in China. We’re really proud of this watch and just how far we’ve come and what we can offer.
TN: You’re going to really like it, and get excited about the follow-up.