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Behind the Brand

The Inventor

The story of Kun-Chi Wu’s obsession with watches began in his childhood in Taiwan. A salesman who understood the value of self-presentation, KC’s father taught him the importance of doing business in a tailored suit, sensible shoes,and … a great watch. The elder’s prized Rolex was a coveted and forbidden object in the home, until KC reached adulthood and received it as a gift. His grandmother, too, played a role in fostering this passion, when she gave a young KC a broken watch to tinker with. Being Taiwanese, he couldn’t read the Japanese manual at first, but he was fascinated and driven. It wouldn’t be long before he learned enough of the language to gather the information he needed and meticulously fix the timepiece.

Fast-forward to his college career, and one finds KC at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts. As a first-generation immigrant, he was guided by a determination to “make it”; a vision of achieving the American Dream. And that he did. After graduating, he quickly got a job as a medical device engineer. Through his new mission to blend machines with the human body, KC became immersed in the careful craft of harmonizing function, ergonomics, and aesthetics.

Meanwhile, his watch collection grew and grew, and not only because he enjoyed acquiring new pieces.KC was searching for a watch that would put an end to the issue he saw in them all: stale design that gave little thought to wearing comfort. One evening, he was lamenting (and not for the first time) to his wife about the discomfort of every watch he wore. Her response? “Create your own.” She knew that her husband—a talented man who spent his days analyzing how an insulin pump or chemotherapy injector could be made more suitable for daily wear—had all of the human-centric design experience he needed for the endeavor. She was right, but KC soon discovered that the way to make the most beautiful and well-fitting watch would not be easy.Some time later, he was working on the computer when he removed his glasses to rest his eyes. He sat and stared at the lenses, marveling at how effectively their concave shape heightened visibility, avoided scratches, and reduced glare … Sablier was just around the corner.

The Believer

After the idea of Sablier began to percolate, it found its way to Sam Konigsberg. A young financial adviser, he spent ample time gathered around conference tables. He took note of monogrammed cuffs and clean-shaven faces that all looked the same. It was a uniform he too wore, with one exception. One day, he glanced down at his phone’s screen to check the time, and realized that no one else in the room was without a wristwatch.

Sam took a trip to a jeweler in Princeton, New Jersey, and upon perusing the selection, he found himself captivated by something wholly unique. The jeweler explained the story behind the watch and its local creator; Sam sense a kindred soul and asked for an introduction.

And so, Sablier found a piece it had been missing. Sam’s business acumen, affinity for sales, and objective judgment complemented KC’s artistry, engineer’s focus, and passion. They set out together on a new chapter of Sablier’s history, one in which they would, they vowed, bring clarity and utility to the luxury world.

Kunchi Wu & Sam Konigsberg