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Interview: Dan Niederer, Founder and CEO of SEVENFRIDAY

Established in 2012 as a watch brand, Zurich-based SEVENFRIDAY successfully developed into a global lifestyle brand that creates industrial-inspired watches, eyewear, apparel and accessories.

Time and Watches interviews Dan Niederer, Founder and CEO of SEVENFRIDAY

Its founder and CEO is the Swiss born Dan Niederer. Living in Zurich with his wife and two kids, he loves to travel and connect with people and different cultures.

Alessandro Mazzardo, founder and executive editor at Time and Watches, recently had the opportunity to ask him a few questions. Here are Dan's answers.


Time and WatchesI remember the days when SEVENFRIDAY was launched back in 2012. I liked the bold design of your watches and the original approach to the market. Would you tell us more on how it all started and the meaning of the name you chose?

Dan Niederer: Originally, my background was not at all in watches, I did my master’s in law and had my first job in the IT industry. By chance, I obtained the job to restructure offices of a Swiss trading house representing various watch brands in Asia and Pacific. After 10 years living with my family in Sydney, Singapore, Tokyo and Bangkok we decided it was time to not only to move back home but to also venture into a new chapter professionally. Being heavily involved in a wide range of brands and markets has given me an interesting mix of experiences.

Moving back to Switzerland in 2010, I invested into a Watch Design Studio first. With this base, the intention has always been to build a brand, which happened with SEVENFRIDAY in 2012.

When we developed and defined the parameters and values of the brand, the philosophy of SEVENFRIDAY crystalized fairly quickly. Since a follower cannot be a winner, our ambition to create our own niche according to our values and believes became clear. After all, our plan has always been to build a sustainable brand, not just sell products. In fact, the goal is for the brand to be more than just products.

With SEVENFRIDAY as a brand we want to create and convey a life attitude that represents sincerity, positivity, inclusivity, and respect. We wanted to create an environment where we enjoy what we do and surround ourselves with people we like to do it.

The name is an invitation to live everyday like it is Friday. The brand also uses a ‘Show me don’t Tell Me’ tagline to remark the importance of a life attitude privileging emotional vs rational, actions vs words, creativity vs unquestioned standards.

SEVENFRIDAY Space
Above and below, one of the 20 "SEVENFRIDAY Space" stores where people can find the products of the brand but also interact with friends, take some food, drink and relax. Locations include Jakarta, Shanghai, Taiwai, Kuweit City, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, among the others.

SEVENFRIDAY Space


Time and WatchesBefore starting Time and Watches, I run a software company for almost two decades and I still remember the excitement of the initial years with the creations of our products, the first presentations to the public, trade shows and so on. Would you please share with us some of your favorite memories of those early days? 

Dan Niederer: Many things come to mind. Like sharing the first prototypes during the BaselWorld trade show with contacts and friends. The excitement and dread of hearing the industry's reactions and when we finally had the product in hand to show it off. Or the first office where, at the beginning, I was working alone. The engagement of Instagram was a great help to keep me motivated and sane. The first tough months and how suddenly the brand got so much momentum that it was a challenge to keep up. The challenge of building the team to support the growth in the market.

Two of the early SEVENFRIDAY models, the industrial inspired M1/01 and P1B/01


Time and WatchesAre you also involved in the development of the aesthetics of SEVENFRIDAY watches and products or do you leave this task to your design department? How is your development process? 

Dan Niederer: Whether it is good or not, I am very much still involved in all aspects within the brand. As you may know, our design team is 100% in house under Arnaud Duval’s (co-founder of the brand) guidance and management. They are certainly to be credited with all the great product developments, but I am still involved from strategy to concept, briefing and final evaluation to approval. But the execution of the design itself is fully in the hands of Arnaud’s team. 

The eye-catching P3C/03 Beach


Time and WatchesSEVENFRIDAY can be considered a pioneer in the adoption of a digital system to guarantee the authenticity of your products. How did you come to the decision to integrate it in all your watches? And would you explain us how it works? 

Dan Niederer: We were never about building a smart watch but rather tried to build a smart digital environment for a mechanical watch. This for the internal as well as external purpose of efficiency, transparency and connectivity. Since 2016, each product has a "digital twin" facilitating and documenting its lifecycle. Of course, the customer can choose whether to take advantage of this technology or not.


To date, I believe that we are probably the only watch brand and generally one of a few consumer brands with a 100% secure authentication and registration system. We can achieve that by having each product equipped with a NFC (passive) chip. The products unique serial number in combination with the chip’s UID (Unique Identification Number) are stored and locked on the chip itself as well on our database. The original SEVENFRIDAY APP can be downloaded from the Apple store or Google Play and allow the user to safely authenticate the product and register it digitally. Further benefits are the warranty extension and upcoming projects like integrated and secure second-hand market.

The SEVENFRIDAY APP makes it possible to register watches, thus extending the warranty period for one extra year, as well as to  join the community of the brand


Time and WatchesHave you seen measurable benefits from the adoption of this technology? 

Dan Niederer: Honestly, we started this project without being fully aware of its enormity. But we had a minimum ambition of logistical transparency and efficiency and consumer security external. It did help us to substantially streamline the vertical organisation of the product management internally and on a BtoB (Business-to-Business) level.

What excited us more however was the extremely favourable reception from the consumer side. We were positively surprised to have about 120,000 registrations within the last 2-3 years and the building of a rather strong community. This drives us to expand the functionalities and benefits within our BtoC (Business-to-Consumer) application.



Time and WatchesSEVENFRIDAY is way more than just watches. How is the brand evolving and what is your vision for the future? 

Dan Niederer: As indicated earlier, we want the brand to be bigger than the cumulation of its products. For us, SEVENFRIDAY is first of all a life attitude, it defines how we work, what we create and how we communicate. 

Find more about SEVENFRIDAY at sevenfriday.com




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Time and Watches | The watch blog: Interview: Dan Niederer, Founder and CEO of SEVENFRIDAY
Interview: Dan Niederer, Founder and CEO of SEVENFRIDAY
Time and Watches interviews Dan Niederer, Founder and CEO of SEVENFRIDAY
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