I have been in the watch business in one way or another since 2003. And in the back of my mind, I always thought about making a watch for some of my friends. Ironically, COVID19 brought many of us back into contact after 20 or more years through video based reunions.
Oberlin is a small town in Northern Ohio. While not a tourist destination by any stretch of the imagination, it is well known by many as a liberal community. Home of a well known college and conservatory, a hotbed of the abolitionist movement, one of the last stops before final freedom on the Underground Railroad.
Beyond all of that, Oberlin is for many of us, our hometown. And during one of our video meetings this past October, the idea finally got pushed forward.
My friends and I wanted something that was not too expensive, easy to read (we're not as young as we once were), say something to us as kids who went to school there (hence the red, white and blue of Oberlin High School) -
But I also wanted a reminder no matter where we all were in the world today, we'd always be able to find our way home -
And so as the rates of COVID19 were steadily climbing, and we all held our collective breath, the OBIE1 debuted in a Facebook discussion group for people from Oberlin.