Founded in Newport Beach, California and operating out of Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Luxana Watches aims to be the newest, and best, player in the increasingly competitive world of men’s watches that are well-designed but don’t cost a small fortune. Aimed at younger buyers, including those of college age looking to to acquire their first real timepiece, Luxana is positioned “at the intersection of high quality and reasonable pricing,” according to founder Michael Altieri.
Altieri, who is set to graduate from Boston College with a degree in Communication and Media Studies next year, has a bit of an edge; he’s the son of Paul Altieri, founder of online luxury watch boutique Bob’s Watches who is also one of the world’s top Rolex collectors. And Michael already has an impressive resumé of his own including stints at Interscope Records, public relations powerhouse DKC and top bank UBS. Luxana’s first watch collection, called the Dadi and finished in stainless steel, is the first in a line of “reasonably priced timepieces that offer tremendous versatility.”
Sized at 40mm and available with a black or white dial done in a timeless, elegantly minimal chronograph design, each Luxana timepiece comes with three different straps made of top-quality leather, setting it apart from other affordable watch brands. They are water resistant to 100 meters (328 ft.). And perhaps best of all, Luxana watches come with a full-year warranty protection package and a money-back guarantee. Altieri says the business “aligns with the values and quality expectations of my own inner circle. Luxana watches were designed with family and friends in mind.” He spoke to JustLuxe about launching the promising new venture and more:
How would you define Luxana as a brand?
Our mission at Luxana is simply to provide the most affordable everyday timepieces that make a statement no matter the occasion. And to prove that style and elegance shouldn’t have to be expensive.
What makes Luxana different from other brands in this category?
Each watch is fitted with three different-colored, easily interchangeable leather straps which can transform the entire look of the piece within seconds. Additionally, the steel case is highly polished to directly reflect your surrounding environment. Luxana places an emphasis on this versatility, allowing the watch to truly be dynamic for everyday wear.
Why did you decide to start a watch company?
In high school, I had my own investment club with five or six very close friends. We made a killing within only a few weeks of the 2016 election. I pulled my money out immediately, simply because I knew I had just gotten very lucky, and simply lost my appetite for investments. Instead, I wanted to do something I believed in. Something I was passionate about, but more importantly, something I knew. In my college dorm room, I was looking for a quality, affordable watch for the upcoming Freshmen Dance. I got frustrated, finding $100–$200 watches that I simply didn’t like. Additionally, in the past I’d worn plenty of MVMT and Nixon watches, but after a few months I wouldn’t wear them anymore.
I wanted something to wear every day. Something that wouldn’t get old. I found that the key was versatility. I used the money from my investments and summer jobs to make a watch that adapted to any particular occasion, venue, or environment. I did this by including three straps with each purchase and ensuring the metals all reflected the surrounding colors properly. This allows for the watch to be dynamic, completing the look regardless of outfit, event, or time of day.
Are you a watch collector? What are your favorite watch brands?
No, I can’t consider myself a watch collector. However, I have been surrounded by beautiful watches for many years thanks to my father. I’ve had plenty of experience handling high quality timepieces from Rolex, Patek Philippe, and other luxury watch brands. The “Paul Newman” Rolex Daytona specifically has always been my favorite watch. I believe my watch designs for the Dadi and future models are greatly inspired by classic Daytonas. The chronograph’s subdials are simple yet intensely eye-catching.
Who do you see as your ideal customer?
I founded Luxana because I couldn’t find a watch that was perfect for me. So I would say I am my own ideal customer. I know that I’m not the only 20-year-old college student looking for an everyday watch. I have found that millennials aged 25-32 have really taken an interest in my timepieces. However, my watches are designed for consumers like me—college students looking for an affordable fashion accessory.
What models do you plan to introduce next?
In the future, Luxana will roll out an automatic series of watches, moving away from quartz movements. These movements will mostly be Japanese, with limited edition Swiss pieces as the next phase.