When it comes to watches, the thought of finely crafted world-renowned precision Swiss timepieces comes to mind.
However, this may change in the near future as an enterprising Cambodian has now set his sights on putting the Kingdom’s quality branded timepieces on the local and international map.
Having acquired a passionate interest in precision timepieces at an early age which was further bolstered by a decade long career in horology, Chun Seyha was inspired to set up VarmanKH Co Ltd in 2018 to fulfil a vision of developing Cambodia’s own luxury line of watches over the next five years.
“Being fascinated and drawn to watches for almost my entire life, it felt natural to progressively combine my interest in horology with work and finally venturing out on my own with a unique business producing quality timepieces that Cambodians can be proud to wear.
“Apart from seeing great potential for a quality affordable watch brand in our domestic market, it was the attractive prospect of contributing towards the development of our country and creating jobs for people that ultimately convinced me to establish the company and follow my dreams,” VarmanKH founder and CEO Chun Seyha told The Post.
Since introducing its Varman brand BAME2 and BAME3 watch models almost two years ago, the company has steadily cultivated rising demand from young to middle-aged local and foreign executives.
And it is no surprise that the brand is becoming increasing popular especially among Cambodians, when translated the word Varman means “armour”, fittingly describing the brand’s value proposition – embodying bold expression through precision, strength and durability to protect time.
Seyha said that the company’s brand name was chosen carefully after much thought and consideration, “through observation, we have learned why Swiss timepieces have become such renowned, admired and valuable commodities in the market – it is the attention that has been paid to timekeeping precision and quality from craftsmanship that comes from meticulous dedication to details. This was what we aspired for our brand to deliver and it is reflected in the way our watches are made.”
Varman timepieces combine the quality and sophistication of Japanese manufacturing with the reliability of precision Swiss engineering that is matched by the mysticism of Cambodian design artistry.
Though Varman timepiec-es are presently assembled using quality components specially imported from Switzerland, plans have already been made to produce future designer collections in Cambodia such as The Milky Way, The Prestige and The Elites after official launching by year end.
Stringent quality control sustained by using the highest quality materials and components have enabled Varman to also offer affordable products ranging from $150 to the most prestigious bespoke models such as a limited-edition diamond encrusted timepiece made of grade seven solid platinum priced at $12,300.
With the exception of bespoke and luxury merchandise, all watches are 100 per cent made from rust resistant stainless steel, scratch resistant sapphire crystal glass and water resistant from 50 to 100 metres.
Furthermore, all of its products are backed by a full one-year manufacturer’s warranty and battery replacement for three years from the date of purchase.
In support of its main showroom and retail outlet on Kampuchea Krom Boulevard, the company will be expanding its operations to include a second retail outlet on Mao Tse Tung Boulevard to be opened soon.
Plans to continue growing the brand nationwide in order to achieve its target of reaching annual sales of 20,000 units, have included the company exploring alternative expansion methods such as the franchising of new retail branches nationwide to interested parties.
“The unexpected successes we have experienced over a short period of time has truly shown that perceptions and mindsets are beginning to change as younger consumers become open to exploring new brands.
“There is hope yet for a start-up Cambodian brand like Varman to stand tall amongst internationally renowned watchmakers in time to come, especially with groundbreaking orders received in recent months from from Korea, Vietnam, the US and France,” said Seyha as he ponders on a future full of exciting possibilities that include listing Varman timepieces on Amazon and Ebay.