Victor Louzon of Wize & Ope
Wize & Ope is a new kid on the block – A fashion wristwatch brand that bases its entire concept on customization. You can take a W&O watch and change the design by sliding out design slides and straps and remix it anyway you like.
I recently got a chance to take to the creative and one of the partners behind the brand, Victor Louzon:
Wrist: How did you guys stumble into this?
Victor: It all started when we created the character Wize who is a kid traveling around the world and discovering trends, cultures, and environments. Wize is very open to discovering new thing. This is where we took the word “ope”, from “open”. As wize travels and discovers the world, he transforms and adapt, and becomes Ope.
He finds out, that the world is great also because of its all the differences and cultures that exist. This is why the world is great, and that he wants to embrace it.
Once I created that character and his philosophy, I found the watch concept, that was following the same track, which was to be able to transform, and change depending on fashion, trends, environments.
How the W&O watch works
Wrist: How did you guys get into watches? Do you a background in the industry?
Victor: When I was a kid, my father was a watchmaker, and I grew up playing in cases full of watches, it was my playground. I repaired, destroyed, transformed, and wore them. I believed it stayed in me, and made me want to create a brand one day.
Our background in the industry is mainly around Odm, which we were the first to launch in Europe, and set a strategy in the fashion business. We have been distributors in the fashion industry of many other brands, such as the mythic brand from San Francisco – Emily The Strange.
Wrist: Your father was a watchmaker?
Victor: Yes, my father who passed away about 20 years ago, was a watchmaker. He started to distribute watches made in France and Switzerland. He created a brand in 1973 called Yonger & Bresson that he sold in late 1989 to a Swiss group.
Yonger & Bresson (link)
The brand was very famous back in the day and still exists. It’s currently owned by Ambre Group in France.
I heard about watches my all youth. But actually, I was more a big fan of Casio, Calculator watches and Robot transformer watches released in the eighties.
Wrist: You have said that you came up with the characters first before the watch. Are you suggesting that you never really planned on the watches first?
Victor: Yes, I was travelling in Japan with my wife in December 2006, and I was overwhelmed by the cultural difference I saw there. One night on the top roof bar of the Park Hyatt Hotel where I was staying, I drew Wize under the cup paper. And it all came from that.
Victor’s partner in Wize & Ope – Benjamin
The watches came about after a month as I was looking for a way to transform my old gshock watch. We created the concept, and it all made perfect sense, like it was all mattered to happen. And we took it from there.
Wrist: What are you the future plans for the brand?
Victor: The brand is not only a watch brand, but a lifestyle brand. This is where we want to go. In the future, we will add accessories such as sunglasses, trading cards, comic books, and many other accessories. One of our dream is to come out with a cartoon on Wize & Ope.