Since it’s debut in 2014, Aussie based company, The 5th Watches, has catered to those who crave exclusive, contemporary watches. With their business model that hinges on creating a heightened sense of fashion urgency, The 5th has produced affordable watches and leather accessories that are casually cool without all the big brand bullshit. Considering both time and style are of the essence, we wanted to make the most of both during our chat with The 5th’s co-founder, Alex McBride.
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What inspired you to start with watches for The 5TH?
I’ve always been really interested in both fashion and design, and wanted to be involved in the industry in some way. It’s pretty tough to break into though, as a lot of designers know. So I wanted to create something that was appealing to a broad audience, something that people could actually use in a functional manner – rather than just wearing an item for show. Watches ticked all the right boxes. They also reminded me of my grandfather; he gave me his own watch for my 18th birthday – a relic to remember to keep hustling while young.
How much of The 5TH is a direct reflection of your personal style?
All of it, hopefully! I’m a pretty minimal guy – as cliche as it sounds, I don’t necessarily follow trends or wear ‘loud’ fashion. One of the most awesome aspects of what we do is that we get to design exactly the kind of products that we ourselves, would wear and use. We just got some brand new samples in the office and the team went nuts over them – it’s a great feeling when everyone genuinely backs the design and style.
Every entrepreneur has that “Eureka!” moment that lights a fire under them to create. What was your moment?
I would actually say it was the opposite of a Eureka moment – I’ve always been a ‘creator’ of sorts so it was more of a “slowly adding fuel to a burning fire” thing for me, if I’m honest. I had started my career with a property focus but I was running a small design blog on the side. It evolved slowly into collaborating with other creatives on ideas and little projects, which is where the The 5TH concept eventually sparked from.
The 5TH has a unique business model and a “limited time only” approach to selling products. Where did the decision to run a business that only sells the product for five days come from?
We’re strangely taken by the number five. It’s the numeral we abide by for everything – like, we’ve even got five office puppies (kidding).
The idea came from that limited approach model itself. We wanted our products to feel exclusive, without being slapped with the label of expensive. That’s not our style. So rather than being exclusive in a flashy cost way, it’s all about time – you’ve gotta make the most of your time while the store is open. It was a big risk to take, for sure. But then again, we’re all about taking risks.
So outside of the five-day window that you’re selling the product, are your customers foaming at the mouth and clawing at your door awaiting their next opportunity to purchase?
Haha. Our 5TH fam members are all about making the most of every moment – instead of products being in and out of stock all the time, our customers know that on the 5th of every month for five days, they can purchase from the online store to their heart’s content (or, you know, until we run out).
Do you think that The 5TH’s exclusivity factor helps to create a loyal client base?
Loyalty is something we hope to gain through our approach to business and life, rather than through products, exclusively. And we don’t want blind loyalty, either. It goes both ways, really, and loyalty to the customer is our primary concern. It’s that ‘you give respect to get respect’ kind of deal and by loving what we do and sharing that love with our fans, we get it back.
In recent years, we’ve seen a rise in minimalist fashion. Why do you think people are flocking to a more stripped down approach to style, and how is The 5TH standing out?
It’s that classic case of style versus trend, don’t you think? Trends change; that’s part of the fashion game. We try to strike a balance between the two. And it’s really cool that people respond to that.
What was your inspiration for your latest collection, The Tokyo collection? I would assume it’s Japanese culture, specifically in Tokyo, but I don’t want to assume.
The range is more of an homage to Tokyo, rather than an attempt to replicate or mimic anything in particular. We love everything about Tokyo and wanted to celebrate and show that love subtly. After a recent trip there, we noticed how Tokyo is this magical blend of avant-garde and tradition – the fit was so natural and we wondered why we hadn’t thought of it earlier.
Are there any plans to expand The 5TH beyond watches and bags? Will we see The 5TH apparel in the future or The 5TH travel accessories?
We’ll probably always stay in the fashion accessories game. We like to be that little piece that can make an outfit, and really pull things together. However as the saying goes, time changes everything… even The 5TH. So you never know.