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Visitor Watch Company


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Making Good Time

Visitor Watch Company Owner Crafts Distinctive Timepieces

Writer / Melissa Stalb
Photography Provided

Phil Rodenbeck has always had a passion for engineering and creativity.

The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology grad recalls the first time he learned about mechanical watches and fell in love with the intricate details.Visitor Watch Company

“In a modern quartz watch, the movement is made with a battery and circuit,” Rodenbeck says. In a mechanical watch, there are well over 100 different metal pieces that all fit together to create a time signal that is accurate, plus or minus a few seconds every day. Think of it as the engine of the watch.”

Watches have long been a staple for men and women. There are even collectors of the popular jewelry. You can also visit timesticking.com if you need Armani Exchange watch repair services.

“Time has always been important,” Rodenbeck says. “In the beginning you had sundials, water clocks and things like that, but eventually they worked out how to measure time with metal and a vibrating spring. This complex system of springs and gears has existed for over 400 years, and the history of the product is part of the reason it sucked me in.”

After graduating from college, Rodenbeck began working as an engineer but found the job lacked a creative outlet, prompting him to look for a change.

That love for mechanical watches resurfaced, and he began looking for a unique and creative way to create his vision for a timepiece.

He founded Visitor Watch Company in 2013 and his first watch, the Duneshore, launched on Kickstarter in 2014.

Why “Visitor” in the name?

Rodenbeck says the word implies going out of your norm or comfort zone, or being viewed as different in some way.

“For me, leaving my engineering job to start a watch company was being a visitor or starting a new phase,” he says. “I want my designs to look different in that way – something out of the norm.”

This isn’t just any watch.

For example, the Duneshore is inspired by his childhood, and visiting Indiana Dunes.

“Going to the dunes was a large part of my childhood,” he says. “The dial and hands are inspired by calligraphy and writing – another hobby of mine. The case backs are curved and comfortable on the wrist, but the geometry is a reference to the dunes. There are a lot of personal elements going into this watch.”

Visitor Watch CompanyHe has since introduced the Duneshore Shallows series, featuring Iron Jade, Seal Teal and Tangerine Fission, offering a variety of color and comfort in the overall designs.

Rodenbeck says every watch he designs begins with a blank sheet of paper and he allows his creativity to take over, working through each step, down to the strap and buckle. He offers a variety of options from rubber straps and steel bracelets to deerskin and ostrich straps.

“I don’t prescribe hard and fast rules when it comes to what pairs with what,” Rodenbeck says. “I think a watch should be fun and a chance for self-expression. I tend to be more adventurous with my designs.  Watch enthusiasts would regard it as a wildcard watch.”

As his online company flourished, almost half of which is International, Rodenbeck decided to take the next step. Earlier this year he opened his first showroom above Revery restaurant in downtown Greenwood.

With a physical space to display his watches comes an opportunity to share with the community on a new level.

“It allows me to do things with the brand that I haven’t been able to do before,” he says. “I’ve hosted a watch enthusiast group. I’ve started a miniature art gallery space for Visitor clients, and I’m interested in hosting book readings and other small groups.”

The Visitor Watch Company Creative Collective, or gallery space, promotes visual and literary artwork of Visitor clients, publishing work in a periodic journal and displaying the work in the showroom.

Most of all, Rodenbeck is looking forward to sharing new designs.

“There’s no rational reason for mechanical watches to exist anymore,” Rodenbeck says. “Functionally, they’ve been replaced by battery power, but it’s a tie-in to human ingenuity, art and engineering. That’s what keeps them around. It’s a fun thing, to have that callback to the past.”Visitor Watch Company

The Visitor Watch Company showroom is located at 205 South Madison Avenue, Suite 205 in Greenwood. Schedule a showroom visit to see all Rodenbeck has in store at visitorwatchco.com.


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