Introducing Vieren: A Modernist Brand With A Regard For The Past
Founded by Jessica Chow and Sunny Fong, up-and-coming watch brand Vieren celebrates the power of time in the past, present, and future.
After having the pleasure of meeting the co-founders of Vieren this past fall at their Lower East Side, New York City pop-up shop, I was eager to learn more about what makes the young designers tick.
Made in the watchmaking Mecca, Jessica Chow set out to make only the best and is determined to cut no corners in the design of the brand’s bespoke automatic watches. As a result, Chow and Vieren Co-Founder Sunny Fong are intent on developing a brand that puts an equal emphasis on horological tradition and inclusivity.
One could say Jessica Chow was born into watchmaking, as both her parents have been in the industry since they were teenagers. Indeed, her interest in watches sparked at a young age: “Visiting watch factories was my favorite.” As she told Watchonista during an exclusive sit-down, “I loved seeing all the people working, the sounds of the drills going, the smell of the hot oil coming off the machines.”
Chow continued, “Because of these early experiences, I’ve always been interested in understanding how things are made and how they have improved over time. It’s why I love watches – the craftsmanship, the precision, the innovation, and all the people throughout history in the pursuit of timekeeping over generations.”
With watchmaking in her blood, the inception of Vieren was almost destiny. But it was a destiny that needed just one more person. Enter: Sunny Fong.
Founder of VAWK and winner of Project Runway Canada, Fong is a design powerhouse who developed a passion for watches when he started wearing his father’s automatic timepiece. After discussing the profound emphasis both Chow and Fong place on family, the two set out to create a unisex piece that empowers millennials to celebrate life.
As Chow explained to Watchonista, “Family and heritage are core to everything we do. Timepieces are more than just for timekeeping to us. It’s an extension of who we are.”
More Than Just a Swiss Influence
One of the most striking aspects of Vieren is the importance of heritage. Thoughtfully encapsulated in every Vieren timepiece are multiple symbols and motifs related to Chow and Fong’s culture. “Bringing in good energy and luck are a big part of my Chinese heritage,” said Fong. “So I infused several lucky elements into the watch to bring you future success because success is always a matter of some luck and timing.” At first glance, one might not notice the various elements, but this hidden meaning only adds that much more to the sentimentality of the piece.
Fong then went on to say, “Our logo resembles a bat because it’s supposed to bring good fortune to your family. Our octagonal crown is like the Bagua in feng shui that helps achieve balance in life; and of course, regarding our 18K signature gold ring that frames every watch, gold brings prosperity and is said to have healing properties. These subtle design details make the watch more than a timekeeping device, but a talisman, a lucky charm that you can wear to feel powerful in your everyday.”
A passion seen not only in Vieren's limited edition watches but also in Chow and Fong’s genuine enthusiasm, it is readily apparent that, like the Dutch translation of the brand’s name, every element of Vieren is worthy of celebration.
The Future is Worth Celebrating
In discovering Vieren, one thing is clear: the brand does things differently. Each piece is one of 100 and crafted to perfection with an ETA 2671 movement. Moreover, the “OG Automatic” collection was inspired by the geometric lines of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe architecture, and the monochromatic timepieces were made for any and all wrists.
When asked what their top inspirations were, Chow and Fong agreed, “We’re inspired by the intersection of art and science, creating better lives for people through innovation and design. Watches are wearable art that also needs to be functional, so we looked for inspiration that is timeless and works with everybody.” And with the brand being so new, it is refreshing to meet two young entrepreneurs so sure of themselves and their vision.
The interwoven elements of the team’s past both in terms of Swiss watchmaking tradition and Chinese heritage and the significance of empowering everyone through the celebration of time, make Vieren so much more than a brand and so much more than just a watch.