A gentleman’s choice of timepiece says as much about him as his Saville Row Suit. At ELFEN the aim is not just to create a watch, but to provide a unique experience to the wearers. ELFEN is India’s first brand for premium wooden watches. All the watches have been made using 7 different types of natural wood namely Mahogany, Ebony, Pine, Oak, Zebra, Walnut wood, and Sandal wood. The brand was founded with a belief that beautiful watches can be made from wood – a renewable resource with significant advantage over other commonly used materials.
Elfen aims to show the world how age old craftsmanship can be used in modern day products to form ethical and sustainable designs for conscious yet stylish individual.
Let’s head to the beginning
Back in 2018, Mr Sarthak who is now the founder of Elfen watches was working in a corporate job, and his co-founder had his own Fashion-Accessories store in Pune. Their discussions often veered towards starting something of their own, something niche and unique, something which can provide a lot of value to Indian consumers. During one such discussion,, they realised that the watch industry is saturated with very limited designs and patterns, especially in India. Sarthak says, “All the usual brands were offering similar-looking stainless steel designs in watches, which are not only quite heavy on your wrist, but also not that versatile for every occasion.” It was then they came up with the idea of wooden watches. “We thought why not try creating a watch from a renewable resource such as wood.” Not only did the watches came out to be super lightweight, they were also quite strong in built quality and durability. The next step was to take it big and take it to the entire Indian and global market and that’s when the idea of ELFEN was born. Elfen started operations on 5th August 2019, and by taking continuous feedback from their customers they worked on those to improve their processes and end-product. The result is what we now see in front of us- a product which is both supreme in quality and high on style quotient.
Facing the challenges head on
The main challenge the founders faced was to create that end product. With none of them having a background in production and manufacturing, they had to go through a lot of failed attempts and iterations to finally develop Elfen’s first successful prototype. It was a watch made of Zebra wood. The other major challenge was to take this completely new watch segment to the Indian market. “We were very skeptical , how it will be viewed by the consumers and would they be actually receptive towards the idea of a wooden watch?” One thing that kept Sarthak and his team going was belief in the fact that everyone that they had shown the watch to, absolutely loved it.
The key was to position the company in a right and aspirational way to the Indian consumers. One thing the company was clear about right from the first day was regarding their target customers. They decided not to target every consumer in this country but to concentrate on value driven customers- one who makes a purchase because he/she believes in that product, rather than buying something just because they are at a heavily discounted price. All the ad campaigns and social media strategies were devised to target that value driven customer, and they achieved great results.
Till date Elfen watches follow the same notion of providing as much value to their consumers as possible for their purchases. Elfen’s packaging is one of the best in the industry with the lowest product return rate. It goes on to show that despite all the hurdles the company faced in the initial days, the team tried to learn from them and improve continuously. Elfen watches is a proud fully homegrown brand.
Tree Plantation Initiative
Elfen’s mission has always been to provide as much value to their consumers as possible. The majority of the products are handmade, with an emphasis on quality at affordable prices. As a responsible and sustainable brand, Elfen Watches have always believed in giving more to Mother Nature than taking away from it. Keeping up with their core principles, for every purchase you make, they plant a tree in your name.
ELFEN has partnered with Tree Nation whose focus is on the reforestation and the reduction of the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth. Every time you buy an ELFEN Wood Watch, a tree will be planted in your name! As soon as you place the order on the website and make the payment, you will receive an email from Tree-Nation, with the details of the tree planted in your name. You will be able to see all the details of the tree like its LIVE Google location, the farmer taking care of it, the crop that it will be a part of the harvest, etc. Along with this you will also receive a tree – plantation certificate over e-mail. The link in the certificate will take you to your tree with its details.
Working the Way up!
Elfen Watches have been very well received by the customers and the Indian market at large. The company is seeing steady growth in sales with customers coming back to buy again. Elfen Watches also provides custom gift wrapping and messaging service for people who wish to gift the watches to someone during an occasion. The pace of growth is good but the team at Elfin is sure that their customer centric approach is something they would never ever compromise for growth.
The Road Ahead…
Future seems very exciting. Elfen are coming up with 6 new designs as part of their new collection along with custom engraving services. Customers will be able to get their message or a picture engraved at the back of the watch. They are working on packaging and are trying to create one of the best packaged brands in India. Elfen plans to go global soon, diversifying their market to include Europe and Canada. In fact, they have already started shipping to the USA and UK.
With an initiative as creative as Elfen Watches, there’s no stopping the watch industry from turning to sustainability. In a few years, Elfen will sit at the Zenith of sustainable yet classy watch designs from all over the world.