Rock and Roll is a varied and historically nuanced genre. Branching into several sub-genres and still evolving into the 21st century, its classic images still evoke a sense of youthful rebellion and excitement for millions around the world. Whatever it means to the individual—Rock N’ Roll often plays itself out in the world of modern marketing. English flags might remind fans of The Who, or a pop punk riff might remind newer adults of classic Blink 182 tracks, all while a narrator describes insurance plans. While this heart-strings-pulling marketing can come across as disingenuous, it can also remind an audience of a shared cultural experience. This is where today’s topic comes into play. Utilizing classic rock imagery in their marketing, including showcases in the shape of old Marshall guitar amps, is watch manufacturer Vestal. Pulling from minimalism and Rock N’ Roll aesthetics alike, the brand has been making consistently cool timepieces for over 20 years. It’s a relatively brief history, far shorter than Rock N’ Roll itself, but worth bending an eye toward.
History (For Those About to Rock)
Vestal began in 1997, and was co-founded by David Bonaventura (rock musician). It began as an independent watch brand in California and carried out a lot of its business on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. It was here that they began marketing to Rock enthusiasts and musicians—establishing the name as a music-oriented product. Through the early 2000s their watermark and other aspects of their brand were sold off. By 2005, the brand was totally sold and had independent headquarters in France. As well, in 2004, they incorporated other brands under their manufacturing umbrella. In becoming Vestal International Inc., Vestal made watches for Vans, Gwen Stefani’s watch brand Harajuku Lovers, and for Paul Frank. During the time that David Bonaventura was at the reins—and afterward—Vestal managed to pick up endorsements from various musicians. In their roster of endorsers (some of which are still tied to the brand) are Peaches, Blacklips, Shiny Toy Guns, former members of Guns and Roses and Velvet Revolver, Juliette Lewis, and a few others. Up into the late 2000s, many of these celebrities made public displays of their Vestal endorsements. Because of this Rock N’ Roll notoriety, Vestal won a Breakthrough Brand of the Year award from the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association. In short, Vestal embodies the essence of a true California watch brand.
As It Stands
The company still remains largely independent. While manufacturing takes place overseas, a lot of the company is owned by its U.S. employees. Majority of the company—however—is currently controlled by Ira Robb. His other notable enterprise is his car rental business, Enterprise Rent-A-Car. This reality may not be as Rock N’ Roll as their watches and merchandising may imply, but the style is truly there. With timepieces reaching broadly across all wrists, Vestal tends to have something for everyone (regardless of sub-genre). Moving beyond timepieces to sunglasses and other merchandising, Vestal will likely continue rocking well into the coming decades.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.