January 27, 2014
by Ariel Adams
In 2013 watch brand Ritmo Mundo quasi re-launched itself with a new collection of timepieces called the Quantum. The history of Ritmo Mundo is an interesting one. It was started by Ali Soltani, whose family owns and operates the Los Angeles watch retailer David Orgell. From selling timepieces to producing them, an overview of the various timepieces produced by Ritmo Mundo over the years is almost the story of what was popular in the watch industry during the last decade.
One of the most traditionally iconic Ritmo Mundo watches around was the highly avant garde Persepolis with its massive case that flipped around to reveal two dials. There is an aBlogtoWatch video review of a Ritmo Mundo Persepolis watch with two automatic movements here on our YouTube channel. Ritmo Mundo has produced both mechanical and quartz watches, as well as both original designs as well as fashion-style timepieces that follow current watch industry trends. The brand has attempted to appeal to a range of very different watch consumers, but over the last few years has been flying more under the radar. Really starting in 2014 they are trying to make a name for themselves once again, and it begins with the Quantum watches.
As I mentioned in the video review, it is very clear that these are polarizing watches – which they are intended to be. An effective tactic in the $1,000 and under watch market is to produce a wild design that some love, and some hate. High-end watches tend to be much more successful when presenting conservative designs, but in the lower-end bracket watches that grab attention tend to do well in addition to more “traditional” fare. The Quantum pieces are anything but conservative.
Those who prefer more traditional looking mechanical watches are probably going to find little of interest in the Quantum watches. They know that and Ritmo Mundo knows that. The “watch guy” market is one that they are familiar with, but they aren’t the target consumer base for the Quantums. For now they want to be a bit more “fashion” in their focus. While it isn’t necessary to love all the Quantum designs, you have to admit that there is something incredibly liberating about being a watch designer and giving yourself free reign to experiment. So many watch designs are incredibly derivative or formulaic to a degree they end up being snooze-fests. Snooze-fests that sometimes sell, but they are hardly pushing new ground.
When I was first shown the Quantum watches the first thing I thought was “well that is different.” And they certainly are… I continue to pay attention to the watch industry not only to discover watches that I can love and lust after, but also those that present something new and thought provoking. Given my status as a mostly mechanical watch lover I might not find a place for a Quantum watch in my collection, but can’t help but find them a bit fun – even if some are admittedly strange in their design.
Ritmo Mundo hints at the Quantum’s target demographic with the logo. In fact, the Quantum collection was used by Ritmo Mundo to debut their brand new logo design. It uses a more youthful and casual cursive style typeface compared to the more institutional look of the older logo. Ritmo Mundo has launched the Quantum internationally, and seems to be aimed at active 20-40 year old (mostly men) people who feel that wearing a uniquely bold timepiece is an important part of their lifestyle. I immediately think of warmer temperature zones such as the Middle East and South America, as well as beach cities in the United States and Europe.
Will those be the most successful regions for the Quantum? That has yet to be determined, but it is one of our goals to try and understand where such timepieces tend to find the most popularity. When I say Quantum “collection,” I am not kidding. There are actually three versions of the Quantum and two case sizes available, in addition to a very healthy selection of colors. The collection is further distributed between the Quantum I, Quantum II, and Quantum III lines.
At launch Ritmo Mundo has launched 21 versions of the Quantum watch. While perhaps destined to be the most commercially successful, I do find the Quantum watches that play with asymmetry to be very interesting. As a rule timepieces should be symmetrical to be considered both legible, as well as attractive. When a designer produced a timepiece that experiments with asymmetry they are essentially flirting with disaster. When successful, an asymmetrical design looks great, but when not successful they leave much to be desired. With that said, Ritmo Mundo has some very nicely symmetrical Quantum watches, and two styles that play with asymmetry in very different ways.