Last month marked Nako Timepieces, the 100% local brand’s first anniversary since its establishment earlier last year.
The brand’s genuine leather watches under, made for both men and women, have gained popularity both locally and internationally.
One of the co-founders, Gabriel Mothibedi, told Arts & Culture that their brand recognition has gone from regional (Southern Africa), to the rest of the African continent including countries such as Australia, North America and Europe. He added that they get a lot of purchases from Batswana and Africans in the diaspora.
He said an actor known as Common, who has bagged an Oscar, Grammy and an Academy Award-for his prowess as a rapper, actor, writer, philanthropist, activist is one of also smitten with the time pieces.
Common is said to have shared the same passion for Botswana when he had a conversation with Nako Times people in his most critically acclaimed song ‘The People’ where he simply stated “From Englewood to a single hood in Botswana,” a true #Nakomoment that highlights the global appreciation of Botswana.
“The current President Mokgweetsi Masisi, former president Festus Mogae, Kgosi Puso Gaborone, President Kenneth Kaunda, President Paul Kagame (Rwanda), DJ Fresh (Botswana/SA), Marty Neumeier, who is the world’s most prolific and contemporary international brand thinker, design innovation facilitator and director of Transformation at Liquid Agency, a Silicon Valley based design innovation firm, and author of seven books on branding, have worn and spoken highly of our brand”.
“Our own design innovation methodological frameworks at Nako took a direct page out of Marty’s philosophies similar to clients such as the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, Skype, Twitter and Patagoni.
We have got positive feedback from various elite people including our customers regarding our products and that has made us proud,” he said.
Speaking of their other achievements, Mothibedi said they had seen both domestic and regional market growth, seen brand leverage, scooped a couple of offshore markets, partnered and collaborated with a number of local organisations such as Debswana, University of Botswana, Diamond Hub where they have an ongoing discussion with players in the diamond industry to mention a few.
He added that they now have Botswana diamond in their pieces.
He also said they were taking advantage of the leather park adding that they were to bring assembly to Botswana and were taking steps towards bringing all production home.
He also pointed out that they had offices in Johannesburg, London and New York.
However, like any other company, Nako Timepieces are facing some challenges.
These includes shortage of local buying power, underdeveloped leather industry forcing them to source offshore, lack of qualified local personnel in watchmaking hindering them to bring production home, fragmented and underdeveloped knowledge networks and others.
“Women love them, especially the marula-retro: a signature timepiece inspired by the Marula tree, which is indigenous to Southern Africa, parts of West Africa and Madagascar. The product specifications of our Ladies Collection take a similar but feminine touch.
When designing the Nako Ladies’ Marula-Retro, we stayed true to similar elements such as those of the ‘His’ bold, soft, contemporary with the Nako signature that mirrors the Marula Tree fruit,” he said.
Mothibedi further explained that Nako is an innovative luxury watchmaker brand with historical significance.
Born in Botswana and manufactured in Switzerland, Nako Timepieces are merging innovation and luxury watchmaking that’s proudly African.
He said Nako is a brand that bears Botswana’s heritage on a wrist and is founded on the belief that state-of-the-art watchmaking innovation can be synonymous with the cultural and historical significance of Botswana, where time bridges the old and new.
The heart and brains of Nako’s timekeeping devices utilises the Miyota/Citizen LTD quartz watch movements: Japanese made quartz movements made to fit Citizen, Bulova, Bernhardt Watches, Wittnauer Jacques Lemans, Kyboe, Invicta, and our very own Nako Timepieces.
Built to last with high quality watch parts, the Miyota wristwatch movement utilises a winding rotor so that the main spring can be powered and is well equipped with innovative and powerful features.