Freedom To Exist is a self-funded start-up, founded by Kirsty Whyte and Paul Tanner, and launched in November 2016 from their West London Studio.
The design duo met while designing and developing products for Habitat in the UK in 2007. The two of them joined made.com in 2010 as two of their earliest employees, both moving to Shanghai to help perpetuate the rapid growth of the company. In 2012 they moved back to the UK for roles at Heals and Marks & Spencer.
On a shopping trip for a gift for Kirsty, they were unable to find a watch that Kirsty liked that would also fit her – they tended to be overtly branded, covered in diamantes, or they span on her wrist or slid up her arm – and the new brand was born out of this gap in the market.
Sales of the debut 30 Edition watch were so strong that they quickly launched a Kickstarter campaign, which allowed them to add a larger Unisex 40 Edition.
The “Freedom To Exist“ company name represents the desire to move away from the noise of branding and technology. Their timepieces are non-branded and they’re an antidote to the Applewatch/Fitbit’s of this world. It’s an exquisite and affordable product that tells the time, nothing more and nothing less.
According to Kirsty, the three platforms they base their brand and designs on are:
Honest: We don’t dress things up or hide behind pretty words and design jargon. We let our design speak for itself. As watches can become pretty technical things. The information is there for the watch fanatic, but we don’t want to bore someone who just wants a beautifully designed watch.
Considered: A piece is only finished when it’s been tried, tested, tweaked, changed and we’ve fallen in love with it. If it doesn’t have design details we’re proud of, then we’re not done. We’ve developed these designs for quite some time, even before putting pen to paper. We wouldn’t sell a product we wouldn’t be proud to wear or use ourselves.
Affordable: Our prices are fair, for design lovers of every walk of life. We wanted to design a watch that wouldn’t break the bank, we chose the best materials and components available to hit its retail price with no hidden extras.
Freedom To Exist watches are stocked around the world with Sunspel, Barbican Shop, Dezeen Watchstore, SCP, Skandium and Twentytwentyone being key partners.Sydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.