Like so many of us, Jonny spent the first chapters of his professional life in a field vastly different from his core passion. Property management was a far cry from watchmaking, but Jonny, tapping into his instinctive commitment to live “The other side of boring,” made the most of his opportunities, enjoyed success and advanced his talents for business.
Most of our success stories in 2009 were based off of the car industry and aftermarket world. In 2010, we are driven to bringing you heavy hitters that are making a difference in their respective industries. For February, we bring you Jonny Sonbol of Sonbol Watches as our Secret to Success Story. Jonny Sonbol is a man on a mission to prove why you either “go big or you go home”, and he was nice enough to talk to us about his hot new watches, his business vision and his love of vintage Porsches.
We are very excited to have you with us, taking time out of your busy day to share your story with us. As your watches are new, the trend is growing quickly but the brand hasn’t been full defined in the watch world yet, what can you tell us about what Sonbol watches really are about?
Sonbol Watches are in essence instruments that capture both time and art in a modern and hip, yet sophisticated way. I guess that the out bringing of my designs have emanated from what I always want to find in a watch, what I consider a perfect and flawless time piece, with vibrant color combination that meets the demands for watch enthusiasts that are looking for something different with character and distinction, a watch that truly has what it takes to stand out in a crowd and like a star shine so bright, that of course . . a SONBOL, time told like no other watch.
Why are they so large?
Our watches are large , as they need the proper attention, in a class of their own, to stand out , both in design and outrageous size. It is a new realm in today’s watch world. “BIGGER IS BETTER”. There are many modern watch brands that are well crafted with nice looking designs, yet in some instances , they apply boring and dry color combination. My designs are unique in their own way , I use symmetrical fonts , with different shapes and markings with different chapters that are both hip and bold, and capture to the keen eye. Easy to tell time at a glance, and present an art piece as well, in a huge 54 mm case that is nothing less than macho!
What made you decide to start your own watch line?
My decision to start my own watch line was made when I came to the conclusion that producing my dream would make me absolutely beyond happy , as it was my childhood dream, and always wondered for if someday be conceived as real, I always thought of this notion as a step that I must pursue and satisfy my own purpose and feeling of great achievement.
What was the first watch you owned? Which watchmaker inspired you when creating Sonbol?
The first watch that I owned was a TIMEX. It was given to me by my father when I was six. I am fascinated with vintage watches. There are many different watchmakers that inspired me – OMEGA , HEUER, PANERAI, and ROLEX . All have different styling, and have concrete and solid designs, but more importantly they have branded themselves and are recognized for their quality. My fascination with vintage HEUER and OMEGA watches also has given me good insights towards my designs, the late 60s and early 70s are good examples of some beautiful designs produced by these two brands. Their usage of beyond standard colors, and interesting dial designs were way ahead of their time then, and now I have my own line that I feel is ahead of its time. In a few years Sonbol Watches will also be recognized for their outstanding design and large faces and therefore will be branded, the vision is what drives the outcome, envision where you want to be and allow no excuses.
What do you define as success?
Success to me is producing that which you have in mind to achieve, and gaining amazing results as the reward. It can be anything and everything for oneself. It is an extension of perfection for the beholder. As a watch collector I always loved big and bold watches, among my favorites are PANERAI. Without a doubt a PANERAI has that unique design , outstanding in its own way , plain, yet classy, and elegant, encased in what was considered big and now standard. That idea made me understand that pioneering a design and its creation can become quite an intriguing and challenging creation. I too, sought after that which would drive me to design excellence, creating my own designs and applying what I truly believe! “I would say that success is taking an idea and moving it from an idea to reality, regardless of outcome…it takes guts and belief in yourself”
Tell us about your goals for Sonbol? Where would you like to see Sonbol watches in 5 years?
We are motivated and eager to become a well known watch company globally. I am anxious and to see Sonbol become an established household name. The future has a lot to offer and we are aiming to it one step at a time. Sonbol watches are here to stay! Diversity in our collections and future releases, along with aggressive pricing and quality will drive us to compete with more established lines like Panerai and Bell&Ross.
What can you say to those that want to try something as extravagant as starting their own watch line?
If anyone out there wants to start their watch line then absolutely go towards pursuing this reality. Put in lots of love and compassion. Blend that with your talented imagination and everything will align itself to the greatest and most beautiful road that has your creation awaiting. The challenge is the desire and its manifestation. Creating any sort of good can have its challenges but which business doesn’t.
Which one of your Sonbol watches are you most proud of and why?
I love all my watches. To be honest, I switch them around daily and every now and then I wear one on each wrist :) When you create a product from scratch and see all the various variations of it, they all hold the same value as they all came from the same origin, and therefore makes it quite hard to be proud of one more than another. I put heart and soul in each new design, my passion for perfection drive my designs.
What are your hobbies outside of making watches?
I love the outdoors. I enjoy exercise that challenges both mental and physical strength. Power yoga, spinning, swimming, running, and occasionally weight lifting. Being healthy and living good helps the state of mind you need to have in order to be successful. I have a passion and love for classic cars, especially PORSCHE. I have always had the dream to restore Vintage Porsche cars and I am proud to say that my first dream of making quality timepieces is now funding this old dream of mine.
Sonbol Watches is the fruition of Jonny’s lifelong love affair with timepieces and an expression of his adventurous, bold design sensibilities. That aforementioned commitment to living on this side of boring? Just look to Sonbol’s inventive collections for proof that Jonny’s always thinking big; there’s nothing expected or typical about Sonbol watches; 54mm faces, daring colors, meticulous detailing. Likewise, he’s searched out superior inner workings to ensure perfection of timekeeping. Every model is a imaginative surprise and a trustworthy performer much like Jonny himself.
“Time itself is an invention, and we try to contain it in watches we wear on our wrists,” Jonny muses. “It’s my passion to bring unique colors, shapes, sizes and ideas to these magnificent machines. It’s how I love to spend my time!”
We would like to wish jonny and his staff a very successful 2010, we are confident in their ability to drive Sonbol watches to be globally recognized. Make sure to check out the entire lineup of Sonbol Watches. Make sure to mention “Secret Entourage” to get the best possible deal on your next Sonbol piece.