I have been participating in MicroLux events (now Minutes + Hours) for some time now, and a few days before the next one in Austin Texas, I wanted to know more about Rich Park – founder of this show.
Could you tell us a bit about you and about your story with watches?
Well, I grew up in a family that owned a jewelry store that carried luxury brands such as AP and Omega as well as the more approachably priced watches. You could say that I was born with the love of watches.
When the idea to create a watch event came to you?
We started a smaller watch event in 2018 and that was enormously popular. In fact, we sold out of that event very quickly. That experience gave me confidence to grow what became Minutes + Hours which is formerly microlux. The name change reflects our growth from the approachable brands, alone, to mainstream brands as well.
Why did you choose to do it first in Los Angeles ?
I live in the Los Angeles area and it made sense as Los Angeles was also an untapped market for watch events.
You have already organized MicroLux in Chicago and Austin. Do you think you could develop the concept in other cities?
Well, Minutes + Hours is established in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Austin. Our events are held twice annually—in the spring and fall. We are pursuing a summer event to add to our summer and fall shows.
Is the show only for microbrands? If yes, why?
No. Minutes + Hours is inclusive of the major brands such as Grand Seiko, Omega, Perrelet, Rado in addition to the beloved indie brands.
How many brands will participate in your next event in Austin?
From your perception, what makes your events so special?
We are one of the only events that includes mainstream watch brands side by side with lesser known indie brands. In the past, the two types of watch genres were mutually exclusive. Now, we have changed that narrative so that both watch genres can co-exist under one roof. We have found that this formula is a dream for watch enthusiasts as they no longer have to choose one type of event over another.
In your opinion, what is the profile of the visitors of the show?
Pure watch enthusiasts who are without bias. Our watch community continues to show love and support to the brands they have known us to feature.
Social networks are really important for microbrands. Can you explain to us what is your strategy to highlight the brands that participate in your events?
One of the newest strategies for us is to expand our platforms. We have outgrown events only and are now also a website as a source of daily content and reviews as well as an on-line retailer with the brands we have partnered with from our watch shows. Minutes + Hours will have daily content in addition to Minutes + Hours Watch Fairs. Our website will help add additional value to our watch fairs for the brands.
Now and more generally, what are your plans for the future?
Do you think of developing the event to make it even bigger? Yes, as we have grown from event to event. In fact, our next Chicago show will utilize two floors for watch brands to exhibit on.
What aspects of your events you think people should know more about?
We feature the established mainstream brands as well as brands that are less familiar. Once watch enthusiasts get a chance to experience the lesser known brands, we have found that they really like them and have been missing out on these lesser known brands and their wonderful products.
To finish, are you also a watch collector? If yes, what kind of watches do you collect?
Of course I am, as I say this with a big chuckle. My personal collections includes everything from Rolex to Grand Seiko to IWC to GP to one of my favorite indie brands Linde Werdelin and every watch brand in between.
As fortunate as I am to own some of the nicest and best known watches, this experience really helped me appreciate the lesser known watch brands–especially with the build quality and designs. It is a beautiful thing to be able to compare these watches side by side and when the lesser known brands do it right with their watches…they can exceed the quality and workmanship of the mass production of the big watch brands.
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