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The journey of passion, grit and a lot of whisky.
Against all odds, a skint Product Design graduate that had an idea to start a watch brand with a Scottish twist.
Jason Hunter (Afterglow Weddings)
(Kilchurn Castle) 2018
Fiodh, a Gaelic word that means 'wood/timber' was established in 2017 by Michael Youmans. Graduating with a Master in Product Design at the University of Strathclyde, he asked himself if he could design, craft and start a watch brand.
With no prior knowledge of watch making, he took one apart, got his sketch book and started designing.
Michael used the equipment and machinery at the fabrication department (FabLab) within the University of Strathclyde to build his first prototypes.
At this moment he decided that he wanted to create a watch that was authentically Scottish by reusing reclaimed whisky casks.
Realising that he needed his own workshop and equipment, Michael borrowed £5000 from his mum and moved into his first studio based at The Whisky bond in Glasgow.
Working there everyday he thought it would be a great idea to sleep in a hammock, which at the time seemed like a brilliant idea.
Time was ticking and money was quickly evaporating.
In early December, the first watches were made and sold to friends and family. The initial watches came in a handmade wooden box as he couldn't afford to buy them.
First photoshoot and website created.
This image will be one of Fiodh's most iconic pictures, taken by the talented Jason Hunter from Afterglow Weddings.
It was a cold and moody day next to Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe.
Michael moved into the second studio after finishing a short 6 month lease.
It was a wee bit small but did the job. There was a separate cupboard that was used as the workshop.
First article featured on The Scottish Herald with the title - A dram fine idea... designer fashions watch faces from old whisky barrels.
This brought a lot of attention to brand.
Michael ran a successful Kickstarter campaign, raising £16,000, selling 100 watches all around the world.
He spent the next few months sleeping in the studio covered in sawdust ,hand-crafting and distributing the watches in time for Christmas.
2019 was a tough year, fulfilling all the orders from the Kickstarter campaign and the reality of hand-crafting 100 watches. Michael wanted to source a manufacture in Scotland, however the company let him down and it was halted.
Energy levels low, Michael had a massive boost by winning the Young Edge/ Creative Edge Award by Scottish Edge, gaining recognition and a £10k award to boost the business.
Winning the Scottish Edge Award, Michael decided to move into a larger workshop and purchased machinery to improve the quality and efficiency of making 'The Whisky Watch'.
He decided to keep the product hand-crafted and keep the production it in-house.
As majority of the world was under lockdown, due to the pandemic, Michael continued to work within his workshop and secured his first collaboration with Glen Scotia.
The next few months he would produce 101 branded wall clocks, distributed to 12 countries around Europe.
Fiodh had it's second collaboration with a distillery after a visit to the Isle of Islay and Jura, working with Jura Distillery to produce branded watches.
The watches are stocked exclusively within the Jura gift-shop.
Approached by The Scotch Whisky Experience, The Whisky Watch is stocked within their shop located next to Edinburgh Castle on the Royal Mile.
Meet the Maker article was published on their website.
The Whisky Watch stocked within the Old Pulteney Distillery.
Located at Wick, Caithness in the Highland area of Scotland.
Michael added another award by winning the Gold 'Best Product Award' within the Launch Gallery section at Scotland's Trade Fair.
Fiodh's biggest collaboration to date was with Glenfiddich and Balvenie Distillery.
Glenfiddich approached and requested branded watches and wall clocks to be exclusively sold within their gift-shop.
Michael had a fantastic opportunity to work with the talented team at Fosho Studios on filming promotional and 'Meet the Makers' content for Fiodh.
The Meet the Maker clip can be seen at the bottom of the page.
Fiodh was announced as Finalist for 'Gift Of The Year' 2023, organised by The Giftware Association.
Winner will be announced May 11th.
First collaboration with a Rum Distillery.
Fiodh was approached by J.Gow Rum Distillery based in Orkney to produce branded watches from their first Rum cask.