Independent Watch COmpany Based in Brooklyn
Brooklyn is many things. It’s a part of New York City, it’s one of the five boroughs after all, but also distinct from Manhattan in terms of culture and vibe. It’s urban and suburban and rural - and all the points between.
And yes, the pizza and bagels are better here.
Diefendorff, Inc. is a modern watch company inspired by events of the American Revolution. Our company’s namesake, Henry Diefendorff, is the son of Swiss immigrants and died in an ambush in Upstate New York as he served as a Captain in the Revolutionary Army.
In trying to bring his spirit to life, I thought of a few attributes that just seemed to make sense:
I knew that we had to be an American company and have a connection to our founder’s Swiss roots. That’s why all of our watches have a Swiss-made movement (that’s like the engine of a watch, it’s the most important part) and we will do everything else we can to support American watchmaking and especially the State of New York.
Despite this brand inspiration, we didn’t want to be stuck in history. While Henry Diefendorff lived and died in Upstate New York, to be modern I also had to reflect the reality of today. The biggest reality is that I live in Brooklyn and it just seemed… a bit much to relocate. But also, New York is the center of American fashion and, the cultural center of American watchmaking and designing.
Fortunately, there’s no better place in NYC, I think, that speaks to modern New York than Brooklyn. So, I try to bring a few elements of Brooklyn culture to how we design, communicate and do business. But what does that mean? Here’s how we try to help our watches adopt that Brooklyn feeling:
Our mission statement is to Rebel Against the Usual® and we apply that ethos to everything we do. When people relocate to or even just visit New York City, the “usual” thing to do is to move to or spend time in Manhattan. Manhattan has its upsides, but Brooklyn has a vibrancy that is infectious.
Brooklyn is different, yet at the same time it still very much feels like New York City. Despite all the many distinctions of Brooklyn, you still know you’re in New York when you’re here.
In fact, to be distinct but familiar enough that you would actually want to wear it is one of our design principles. It’s what we try to do with our watches.
Brooklyn has culture. It has a feel to it and an energy to it that other parts of the City seem to be losing. The people on the streets here are all shapes and shades of skin tones and you can still hear many languages spoken. It’s the beauty of diversity of thought and experiences that has helped make New York so interesting and such an important cultural institution to American culture writ large.
The future of New York culture is going to receive even more contributions from the other boroughs than Manhattan. Naturally, we think Brooklyn will play a big part of that momentum.
We believe this forward-looking approach applies to how we do business. We are a watch company for modern America and, as such, we want to make sure our company does business in a way that reflects the way our country is now as well as fight for a better future.
Brooklyn is just “real.” It’s hard to be fake in New York, but especially in Brooklyn. New Yorkers are known for speaking their mind and Brooklynites are especially adepts at sniffing out fakeness.