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Sabbatical Sabbatical Sabbatical
Sabbatical Sabbatical Sabbatical

Sabbatical is a DTC watch brand created by 50-year-old market-leading American watch manufacturer E. Gluck.

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(01) Project

Launching a new DTC brand for a traditional B2B watch company.

Since 1956, E. Gluck Corp has been a leader in the global fashion watch industry. Their licensed brands and private labels bear monikers such as Anne Klein, Nine West, ED Ellen DeGeneres, Badgley Mischka, Juicy Couture, and Vince Camuto. They also own two proprietary mid-market brands, Armitron and Torgoen.

As part of their growth strategy and continued investment in DTC, E. Gluck partnered with Motto to create a new analog watch brand for wellness-obsessed Millennial customers.

  • Type New Brand
  • Category Consumer Goods
  • Services Strategy, Naming, Identity, Activation
  • Model DTC
(02) Challenge

Create a DTC watch brand that appeals to Millennial consumers.

Amid intense competition from digital-native players, luxury watch brands, and the fast-growing smartwatch category, the traditional midmarket watch category is under rising pressure. Working hard to capitalize on these shifts, we needed to create a brand to help E Gluck compete in an increasingly competitive environment.

(03) Motto Method®

Sabbatical is more than a watch—it's a symbol of time well spent.

Amid a growing focus on wellbeing, people are confronting the impact of the always-on modern life. The zeitgeist is more attuned than ever to the unbearable tension of our on-demand culture. Our time is being hijacked at an alarming rate by constant distractions, and not everyone wants a smartwatch to shout at them every second.

Client Testimonial

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“Motto® helped us build and expand our vision for a watch brand with relevant cultural meaning. We are so proud of everything we created together. ”

(04) Motto Method®
/ Immersion

Looking into the past to see the future.

We worked closely with E. Gluck’s CEO and leadership team to get to the heart of the holistic business challenge and understand the opportunity. Our teams had open conversations about the struggle to DTC-ify their traditional B2B company. We learned about the inspiring roots of the E. Gluck family business and the successes and failures that shaped its path. This combined with insights from deep market research helped us co-create a vision for the new brand that was authentically aligned and commercially sound.

  • Trend Research
  • Consumer Research
  • 1:1 Stakeholder Interviews
  • Strategic Workshops
  • Competitive Audit
(05) Motto Method®
/ Brand Strategy

A physical manifestation of time well spent.

Sabbatical not only tells time, but helps people become more purposeful in what they do with it. Instead of disrupting with constant interruptions, vibrations, and alerts that violate time and hijack attention, Sabbatical watches help make time matter. As curious and experienced watchmakers, Sabbatical inspires you to make the most of the time you have.

  • Purpose and Vision Language
  • Brand Positioning
  • Idea Worth Rallying Around™
  • Audience Personas
  • Key Business Statements (Who, What, Why, How)
(06) Motto Method®
/ Brand Naming

A name that symbolizes the meaning of the brand.

A sabbatical is a period in which people take time off to pursue their passions and purpose. Yet, sabbaticals are rare; reserved for a select few. Tenured university professors. Tech geniuses. Others with the resources to fund their own reset. But a sabbatical doesn’t have to be something to long for. It can be a daily mindset for anyone looking to spend more time on what matters.

  • Naming Brief
  • Conceptual Themes
  • Naming Lists
  • Etymology and Rationales
  • Advisory and Trademark Consultation
(07) Motto Method®
/ Verbal Identity

A thoughtful voice that cuts through distractions and gets you to pause.

Perhaps a good way to describe our brand voice is for you to experience the brand story:

We pretend we’re fine feeling slammed all the time. But we’re not. We pretend we don’t mind getting yanked in a dozen directions by technologies that never sleep. But we do. We pretend relentless pings and vibrations that rattle our focus are normal and acceptable. But they’re not.

At Sabbatical, we approach our relationship with time differently. We don’t believe life is meant to be lived at the speed of light, stealing our energy and robbing our joy. We believe in making time matter. Clearing clutter and reducing distractions. Not wearing busy as a badge of honor. Unplugging. Recharging. Exploring creativity. Experiencing more beauty, art, and nature. Testing comfort zones and learning new things. Showing people you love that you love them. A lot of self-care. Most importantly, not just fantasizing about much-needed pauses, but building sabbatical-inspired moments into your everyday.

With those beliefs in mind, we make simple, beautiful watches that remind you to move through your day with purpose and intention. So you can feel more in the moment, less stifled, and well, just damn happier.

None of us can make more time. But we can all make the time we’ve got matter. What will you do with your time?

  • Voice Pillars
  • Voice Persona
  • Messaging
  • Tagline & Signature Phrases
  • Verbal Guidelines
  • Brand Story
(08) Motto Method®
/ Visual Identity

A brand look & feel that stops time and puts you at ease.

Simplicity is powerful. The brand aesthetics are clean, clear, and uncluttered. The abstract ‘S’ has hidden meaning. Starting with a circle; the face of a clock. We split the face to suggest a break, referencing our brand ideologies. The break is turned 45% to form the ‘S’ and show clockwise movement. Metaphorically, the mark represents a break in time.

  • Vision Boards
  • Logo & Design System
  • Color and Type System
  • Graphic Elements
  • Art Direction
  • Brand Guidelines

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