This article is a part of a new series on starting a watch company. Each week we’ll be sharing updates as a small team of us launch a new brand from scratch. Catch up on the whole journey on our building a watch company page.

With a brand name in place (see last week’s post on starting a watch company if you missed it), it was time to work on a logo.

We knew that the brand was focussing on cheaper watches than my existing business. This time we’d be looking to hit the $70-$150 price range, and we’d be looking to release some smaller models that would fit smaller wrists.

I’ve used 99designs many times before for logo design work, so we went ahead with the same platform again. We posted a project with the following requirements:

  • A logo that could be used on its own as a word, alongside a logo mark (such as the Rolex crown), or alone as a logo mark without the brand name
  • A logo that worked in either a vertical layout (logo mark above brand name) or a horizontal one (logo mark beside brand name)
  • Represent the brand or area in some way. Things that we suggested that might inspire them were:
    • Wealth
    • Beauty/style
    • Mountains
    • Beaches/sea
    • The brand name itself
  • Not be too loud and bold
  • Work in various colours
  • Be possible to make from metal. So multiple small parts wouldn’t work, as we couldn’t craft them from metal to stick on to the watch. We needed something that could be made as one or two pieces at most
  • Be modern. We’re a new brand and don’t want to pretend we have centuries of heritage, but at the same time not use styles that are likely to date quickly

Side note: If you’re struggling to scrape together the kind of money needed for a high quality logo, check out my articles on designing a cheap logo which might result in something good enough to get you going. But if you’ve got a little money to spend, the logo and your prototype watches are where I’d put it, rather than into advertising or web design or anything like that.

We got around 200 logo designs submitted. Many of them were terrible, but several were really good. Here is a selection of the ones that made it through to the final round, along with our thoughts.

This was an early favourite of mine. The bird was a play on the rooster (one of the French national emblems) and the whole design conveyed a playful but smart image. I could easily see this becoming the branding for a clothes brand, but I wasn’t sure it worked for watches. Fred didn’t like it at all, so it was out of the running anyway.

This was a very late entry, and one that I initially discounted. For some reason, the more I saw it the more I liked it. It’s a simple play on the letter B, but simple is fine. It’s certainly modern.

This one really reminds me of the logo for my other brand, Hamtun. I was tempted to go for something that, while different, was clearly under the same umbrella. However Baumette is not just my business and this logo didn’t really mean anything if we remove my existing brand from the equation.

We asked for logos that conveyed money and style, and we got a crown. Seems fair enough. I actually really like the way that the B is integrated into to it, but Rolex are so closely linked to the crown that, even though this one was very different, we wanted to stay away from it.

Another that was written off at first, but that grew on us. There were a couple of worries about it:

  1. We were worried it might be a bit too feminine. Perhaps that’s the wrong word, but we were worried about a man wanting to wear something featuring this logo
  2. With the multiple loops, it would be hard to reproduce in metal which would limit the ways we could use it on a watch

The favourite for a long time, at least in some iterations. It’s a fun play on both a “B” and also the mountains of the area that were one of the suggestions we put in the spec (look at it rotated 90 degrees!)

Picking a logo

We narrowed the selection down to 3, then asked as many trusted friends as we could what they thought. While we weren’t going to base our final choice on which logo other people liked (you have to trust your instincts), we wanted to make sure we weren’t missing anything. Finally, with feedback from friends and our own preferences, we picked this as the Baumette logo:

Baumette Watch Company logo

Next week

The next job is getting a website online, at least in basic form, and then getting social media profiles up and running. Once that’s done we can start working towards building a decent sized audience and developing prototype watches. We’ll update again next weekend with progress!

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