Empowering manufacturers. Creating jobs. Transforming our city.

We got a chance to interview Aaron, CEO at Modify Watches, in February 2017.

Modify Watches is a cool watchmaker – their watches are hand-assembled in San Francisco, feature colorful, interchangeable bands, and offer options to customize them with your own photo or design. They also boast a fun, active community of fans who vote on designs on social media and help choose the next styles.

Modify has been a member of SFMade since 2014 and are based in the SOMA neighborhood of San Francisco. Check out their website here and their crowdfunding campaign there!



How did the company get started?
My buddy Gary and I started Modify in 2010 after finishing our MBAs at Berkeley-Haas. Ashil joined about 6 months later as our Creative Director (aka the guy who does the work and built the brand and made the watches look great).

The goal of the business, from day one, has been to enable customers to Show Your Colors… we even trademarked that. Moving production to San Francisco and allowing fans to create 100% custom designs was the realization of that vision!

This is our 7th year in business, and we have about 10 folks on our team.



Who are your customers?
Our customers vary from individuals who make watches with photos of loved ones, to the San Francisco Giants who sell them in the Dugout Stores, to huge companies like Pinterest and Facebook and Nike who have made custom watches for their employees and customers.


Why manufacture locally?
We moved all of our manufacturing locally in 2014. There were two goals, both of which still stand today:

1. Offer better service. That is, higher-quality products, made faster, in customers’ hands faster.
2. Create local jobs!

As soon as we found out about SFMade, we joined. Extremely proud to be part of this community.



Can you think of a watch-related Fun Fact?
In an average month we produce 4,000 watches in our office at 5th/Bluxome Streets.

Also, a few of our employees and former teammates started their own cool hand-made products and companies: Dmac Accessories, KarmaLit Candles, and Burg&Ech. We’re proud of them!


Anything new at Modify?
The biggest development is that we’ve just launched an Indiegogo campaign (here’s the link!)  in hopes of raising funds to launch two new styles of watches: 30mm Rose Gold finish and a 40mm Gunmetal finish.

These will be our smallest and biggest watches yet, and the first time we’ve done round watches! There are great deals still for early supporters of the campaign.



What can we expect from you in the future?
As far as what the future holds, we’re focused on partnering with as many brands and platforms as possible. While we’re very proud of modifywatches.com, we want to integrate with every Print-on-Demand platform, and work with every lifestyle brand. Making these in San Francisco enables us to offer partners low MOQs and extremely fast turnaround. That is, if there’s anyone with a brand who wants to offer watches, we’ll be your partner!

-an interview by Claire & Pierre @ SFMade