It’s about time for you to consider taking good care of your watch (pun intended)! Read on about BezelHold, a new watch care brand in Hong Kong, and its founder, Maahir Savlani.
With Father’s Day just around the corner, what are you gifting your dad this year? For all the fathers who appreciate the finer things in life, it’s likely that their cabinets are already full of wine, watches, and ties. So, how about a little something that can help keep and protect their precious items? Enter BezelHold, a watch care and storage brand based in Hong Kong. Read on to find out more about this concept and the mastermind behind it – Maahir Savlani.
Maahir Savlani, Founder of BezelHold, shares with us his journey to success
Hello, Maahir. Thank you for speaking with us today. For our amateur watch lovers: what are some things that may affect a timepiece when travelling?
Well, fine scratches on a timepiece may seem miniscule, but when you use an item that’s so expensive, even a tiny scratch isn’t really worth it. In addition, shocks and turbulence can ruin the inner movement of a watch, too. Damaging the mainspring, for instance, could put off time and you’d have to send it to servicing, which could then cost over, say, $12,000. This is why we should much rather take care of our watches and invest in watch care from the beginning. It’s like travelling with a camera: you wouldn’t leave a high-end camera lying around without its Pelican case.
What makes BezelHold different from other watch care brands in Hong Kong?
There haven’t been any particularly innovative brands over the past decade or so, so we’re definitely trying to bridge this gap in the market. Moreover, I believe the prices of our products are reasonable and are certainly more attainable than some of the other brands out there. What makes BezelHold really stand out, however, lies in the finer details. One example would be that most other watch care brands use one-size-fits-all cushions, whereas we make compressible cushions across our line. Another example is that we differentiate the wrist sizes between men and women, thus we’ve made one of our boxes available to be shared as a “his” and “hers” collection.
What got you interested in watches and watch care in the first place?
I’ve been collecting watches since a young age. My dad gave me my first precious timepiece – a Rolex Daytona – when I was 16. Though I understood what it meant to own an automatic watch (as opposed to a quartz one), it hadn’t really struck me as something really valuable and needed to be especially taken care of. At that time, I would just keep my watches in my drawer or in small jewellery pouches.
It was when I started to travel more after graduating from college that I realised I couldn’t find any elegant solution to watch care around me. I needed to find a way to secure my watches during my travels instead of just chucking them in a ziplock bag. Hence, I made my first ever visit to MisterChrono. And it was during this visit when I learned that what’s available in the market had barely changed for over a decade; it was as if the whole watch industry had moved forward, but the watch storage scene was still stuck in the early 2000s. Also, I felt that the prices of watch accessories weren’t exactly justified.
Furthermore, influenced by my university degree in product design, I tend to hone in on design aesthetics, functionality, quality of the materials, and many different factors every time I make a purchase. Since I personally like to scrutinise something before dedicating space to it in my house (and paying for it), I seek value in all my items and, eventually, the products under BezelHold. So, anyway, after graduating from university, I took on a leading role in my family business (which was in trade and supply chain solutions), servicing our global clientele. Several years later, I believed it was time for me to present my own brand.
What are some challenges you’ve faced setting up your own business? How do you deal with them?
Coming from an entrepreneurial background, it was in my deepest interest to sustain the legacy. But, of course, there have been challenges during my career as well. For one, BezelHold was founded during probably one of the most challenging times the world had gone through over the past many years. Before Covid, I used to travel between different countries to get more customers onboard my family’s trading business. But with travel being restricted months on end, there wasn’t much growth and the situation around the world was also unstable.
So, there was a lot on everyone’s mind and a lot of fear, too. But I just knew I couldn’t waste time, especially not in my mid-twenties; I couldn’t sit around, wait for a year to pass, and just hope that things would get better. Therefore, I constantly thought about what I could do locally. I thought to myself: if I can trade products in other parts of the world, why can’t I introduce a relevant brand in my own market? Keeping in mind that Hong Kong is a luxury zone, my love for watches came on the scene and that’s when the idea of BezelHold began to sprout.
Only around nine months has passed since BezelHold’s launch, but we’re happy to say that we’re already selling our products in several markets worldwide, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, UK, and Ireland; we’re looking to expand towards the Middle East as well. I think this relatively quick growth is because we’ve managed to identify the gap in the market, and we’ve then founded the brand based on serious design principles and a strong roadmap.
To you, what are the most satisfying aspects of being an entrepreneur?
It’s nice to have people become part of your vision. Adding to that are our stockists around the world who’d be discussing our brand daily; each of our products enter different homes, and are used by watch collectors who probably open and close them everyday. So, this means that just by having a vision, we suddenly manage to enter the minds and lives of countless people – we’re leaving a mark on the world as entrepreneurs.
What is success to you?
To me, success is complete independence, because independence is, essentially, the ultimate luxury, right? This means that my time is free, my mind is free, and I can take whatever steps I wish to take; I can act as I like, then design and work on whatever project I like. This was what made me create BezelHold.
What’s next for you and BezelHold?
I’m planning to travel (finally!) later this year, tapping into the market in the Middle East. I can’t announce the details just yet, but there are new products coming soon. We’re working on exotic leathers, bigger sizes, and different colourways for some of our winders, as well as a few exclusive designs.