Randy Williams, co-founder and president of Talley and Twine, has always been a collector of watches. He worked in sales, marketing and education before going on to create the largest Black-owned luxury watch company.
According to Talley and Twine’s website, the company was created after realizing that “most watch companies just emulated the most popular brands.” The brand aims to bridge the gap between high-end and affordable watches.
Prices for Talley and Twine watches begin at around $200.
“The biggest thing that really made me decide to start telling us while was based on the fact that there was no representation in the watch industry, for people who look like me,” Williams said. “So, I was watching these shows, I was looking at magazines, and I was in these groups, but there wasn’t any representation of people who were from my culture in the watch industry.”
After starting the business, Williams continued to work his corporate job, which meant balancing the two professions. He would work on Talley and Twine before and after work, sometimes even while he was at work.
He was eventually laid off from the corporate job, which allowed him to work on his watch company full-time. In 2016, Talley and Twine went from just the founders as the only employees to now having fifteen people employed.
The name Talley and Twine was inspired by an intersection in Virginia. Williams wanted to ensure that the name for the company had meaning.
“Talley and Twine is at the intersection of what used to be a really, really bad neighborhood that was known for crime and for drugs,” Williams said. “But now, there’s a program that allows first time homebuyers and former residents of that neighborhood to be homeowners and get their piece of the American dream and I thought that represented something that the company could stand on.”
What makes Talley and Twine unique is its design. Williams believes that successful brands have a characteristic that it is known for to make it easily recognizable. On the face of the watch, the only number is the number seven.
Williams wanted the number seven to be the only number on the face to make Talley and Twine watches distinguishable from any other watch, but also because of what the number represents to him.
“Seven represents completion,” Williams said. “And there are seven days a week. And so as an entrepreneur, and as anybody in life, I think it’s always important to finish what you start. So, I kind of use that as a reminder for myself, and for people who might be wearing the watch to, you know, make sure you stick it through until the end.”
To Williams, one of Talley and Twine’s largest challenges is being an independent brand because they don’t have the same funding of bigger companies. He also notes that it can be difficult as a new brand competing against other luxury brands that have been selling watches for decades.
The Black-owned watch company has some new developments in store for 2022.
Later in the year, customers can expect new collaborations and licensing partnerships that have yet to be announced. Talley and Twine also plan to release a more traditional luxury watch in the near future.
The watches will be automatic and Swiss made. The founders even visited Switzerland to meet their watch-maker to finalize the designs.
In the future, Williams sees Talley and Twine as a company that continues to grow and grow.
“I see Talley and Twine as a legacy brand,” Williams said. “And that’s always been our focus since we started. And by legacy brand, I mean, a company that’s trusted to not only live in one industry or one sector, but to maneuver through all different areas of our lives. So that means Talley and Twine watches, Talley and Twine houseware, Talley and Twine clothing- it could be anything that accentuates your lifestyle.”