If you don’t live on Franklin Street, you may not have noticed the great series of pop-up stores that have begun to occupy Duke’s Annex, the small space next to Duke’s Liquor Box. Throne Watches is the current pop-up store, and we were curious about their beautiful leatherwork, so we asked Travis Alexander, one of Throne’s founders, about their watches and what you can expect to find at their pop-up store. And now they’ve extended their Duke’s stay, so now you can catch them through the end of December.
Greenpointers: How did you get connected to Duke’s?
We walk this neighborhood a lot, and we were always interested in this space. We just waited for our time to come and thankfully the people at Duke’s were super responsive in regard to hosting us.
Greenpointers: What are you displaying at the popup and how did you choose those particular watches?
First and foremost, we’re displaying our watches and leather collection. In addition, we also have a plethora of other great products by small businesses on the rise. Most importantly, our friends at White Star Antiques in Providence, Rhode Island were kind enough to outfit our entire store, from our seating area to the display pieces our watches are currently sitting on. With that being said, everything in here is for sale, including the antique display fixtures.
Greenpointers: Tell us a little bit about how you guys connected with each other and the company’s story?
I had actually known Zack since we were young growing up in Maine. We used to play shows together in respective bands. I met Greg about eight years ago from Boston. The three of us wound up moving to New York City around the same time so we spent a lot of time together. We would frequent the bar Greg worked at and serendipitously, it was a bar at which Joe was managing. Zack had been working with leather for the past few years prior to moving to New York. It didn’t really take too long for us to partner our handmade leather watch straps with vintage watches. The idea hit the ground running.
We caught a little bit of press on some bigger websites from the get-go and began sourcing vintage watches in bulk. In the back of our minds, we really wanted to eventually make an American watch. Our first watch, the 1.0 was released in the fall of 2014. Our second watch, the 1.5 was released this past fall.
Greenpointers: What’s your vision is for the company — do you seek specifically to design for a certain customer or lifestyle, to design a very specifically styled product?
We’ve never designed to anyone’s aesthetic except our own. Our goal was to take certain elements of the vintage watches we were initially working with and implement them into our first design. The end result is contemporary and traditional.
Greenpointers: What’s the story behind how you chose the space for your shop? Do you do your work and production there as well?
Our workshop is located in Williamsburg, less than a mile from our current store. We were looking for anything that could house us and we happened to find a phenomenal open workshop space that has not only allowed for us to manufacture and ship our products, but also host a slew of events that reflect who we are as a brand. For example: DIY shows, movie screenings, secret shows, DJ sets and lots of other stuff. As far as the storefront pop up goes, we were just really into the location.
Greenpointers: What other leather goods do you make? Where do you source your leather?
We’re just branching out from watch straps as far as leather working goes. We currently offer wallets, iPad cases, belts, coasters, and we have a lot more ideas coming in 2016. The majority of our leather comes from Horween in Chicago, which is one of the oldest tanneries in the country.
Greenpointers: What’s in the future for you guys?
In the next year, we’ll be releasing more watches in new sizes and colors, and of course more leather goods. We have a few projects on the back burner that are slowly coming to fruition. 2016 looks to be a big year!
Greenpointers: Favorite spots in Greenpoint?
Keg and Lantern is our favorite wing-and-game spot by far, especially for football season. I’m thankful for Homecoming for my morning burst of caffeine. You can probably most often find us at Ramona’s right across the street from our current pop-up, or at Shayz a few blocks away. It’s hard to pick just one 🙂