It all started with my grandfather's broken pocket watch
It all started with my grandfather's broken pocket watch
1999 - Hagen in Westphalia: At the age of 25 years Erdal Yildiz is given the pocket watch of his grandfather as a heirloom. It chas a Unitas caliber which needs a service to get it ticking. Looking for a suitable watchmaker he gets a first insight into the craft of watchmaking and is immediately enthusiastic about it. From then on he will develop a special bond to watchmaking and the Unitas movement.
During his studies the world of mechanical watches developed into a hobby. He was obsessed and studied every watch magazine, bought countless books, attended small watch shows and browsing in internet for information. He traveled to various countries to buy and repair old undiscovered pocket watch movements.
2004 - Erdal Yildiz mets his first contacts with German and Swiss supply companies to build watches. His hobby now becomes a profession when he recognizes that the Internet is a suitable platform to provide watches for sale all over the world without huge marketing budget and distributors.
2007 - The Tourby brand is born. The brand and logo are registered at the Patent Office in Munich. The English-language website www.tourbywatches.com goes online for the first time. Later, the German-speaking Webiste www.tourby.de follows.
Through direct sales Tourby can offer attractive prices and also build the watches on request. The customer has the possibility to help in the design of their wristwtach. They can choose from a wide range of parts and components, to define their own timepiece. The customer provides his own watch, so to speak together, and on request, this will only be built. Thus only create unique timepieces.
In the design of his watches Erdal Yildiz will never forget his origin: the pocket watch of his grandfather. The design of his watches will always be inspired by the design of old pocket watches and the Unitas pocket watch movement. A pocket watch for the wrist is his trademark. With the help of a master watchmaker, a engraver and a goldsmith works are refined and transformed into true works of art. The honest Unitas movement is experiencing a renaissance.
It quickly gets around that Tourby Watches Hagen in Westphalia can create truly unique pieces. The well-known watch collector Alan Hammer from Australia ordered a watch from Tourby for a global watch event in the United States and helps give the brand its first stir on the global scene. Tourby now sells watches world wide. However, his biggest customers are the Americans. These loyal customers bring Tourby's old American pocket watch movements back to life after their faithful service to American railroads beginning of the century. He is creating his customers heirloom watches for everyday use.
2009 - A wide range of pilot's watches are born. Tourby offers one of the bets deals for pilots watches in the international market.
2010 - Tourby builds first watches with automatic movements. Meanwhile, the collection has grown to more than 25 different models and two limited editions. Tourby now offers a very wide range within a short few years.
2011 - Begins the construction of the first diving watch with a water resistance of 500m featuring a unique and very expensive caseback engraving. In collaboration with the professional diver Brendan Lawless the diving watch Lawless is produced.
2012 - The Lifestyle Magazine "Luxos", with a worldwide circulation of more than 500,000 copys, selects the Tourby Aviator in the top ten best pilot watches. Immediately the Tourby pilot watch is amoung the best pilot watches in the world and leaves many well-known luxury producers behind. It is striking that Tourby Watches is the only German watch brand on the list amoung other Swiss brands. The other nine watches are Swiss luxury manufacturers.
2013 - Tourby Watches gets an interesting order from the U.S. NAVY. The Americans order a limited series of pilot watches for specially selected combat pilots of the US STRIKE FIGHTERS WEAPONS SCHOOL PACIFIC. Only the very best quality will be considered for this watch in order to meet the special requirements that fighter pilots will need. From now on the best Navy pilots go with a Tourby wristwatch on your wrist in the air. Each timepiece gets a secret individual number engraved by hand. This wristwatch is not available over the counter. This model already belongs to collectors and is now one of the most desirable pilots and the watches are traded for exorbitant sums on the market. But to grab such a piece anywhere is almost impossible. Each fighter pilot retains their special award and keeps as a family as a heirloom. We know the pride of Americans and know that this watch is hard to get for any money.
2015 - In the meantime, the young Tourby brand has also attracted the attention of the national media. The largest regional newspaper WAZ dedicates half a page to Tourby. The
largest German newspaper BILD also reports with a full-page publication on the watch brand from Hagen. The TV station SAT1 shows a three-minute film about Tourby Watches in its news.
2017 - Tourby opens a new second store in Wetter (Ruhr) near to Hagen.
2018 - Tourby Watches wins a long-running and unprecedented lawsuit against IWC (Richemont, one of the largest luxury goods groups in the world). Although Erdal Yildiz is financially hopelessly inferior to the Swiss billion-dollar company, he defends himself against the lawsuit and ultimately wins. Yildiz proves once again that he can even stand up to the big players in the industry.
2020 - The "Old Military" model from Tourby wins the coveted GERMAN DESIGN AWARD 2020. The German Design Award honors innovative products and projects, their manufacturers and designers, which are pioneering in the German and international design landscape. This is guaranteed by the top-class, international jury. The award enjoys a good reputation worldwide and not only distinguishes German, but also international products. The design of the Old Military is by Erdal Yildiz himself and proves his flair for innovative ideas.
In the same year, the Lawless Vintage diver's watch was voted 3rd in the Chronos Magazine readers' choice. This result comes as a surprise even to Erdal Yildiz, since he had not taken any
initiative to push this election. Usually, such elections are only won by brands that encourage their own fan base to support their brand in the election via social channels.
2022 - Tourby Watches tries to expand its business field and starts several partnerships with jewelers and watch dealers in Germany and Austria. This should give customers the opportunity to not only purchase the watches online, but also directly from selected dealers on site. 15 years ago Erdal Yildiz was still considered a pioneer with his idea of online trading, but now he is again one of those who look ahead of his time. While everyone is increasingly shifting their business online, he takes a step back and still sees enough potential in brick-and-mortar retail. Since the big brands are slowly turning their backs on brick-and-mortar retail, he sees an opportunity to fill this gap with his brand, because online retail not only has advantages over brick-and-mortar retail. It is best to be represented in both business areas.