Burgeoning watch company Skywatch was built on simple principles: to craft a timepiece of Swiss-made quality and precision, with a pricetag that the average man could actually afford. Founded by UCLA grad Gabriel Ibarra, Skywatch has quickly grown to gain distribution in the US, Europe and the Middle East by aiming to make watches for discriminating horologists looking for a dependable, yet stylish daily wearer. “I was inspired by the Swatch watch from the 80’s: a simple watch with a clean design and huge cool factor. I wanted to re-create that sensation with a higher quality watch designed with the connoisseur in mind, an exclusive watch attainable from a price standpoint,” explains Ibarra of his motivation to launch Skywatch. “A knock-around watch for the guy or girl with a Panerai, Rolex, Hublot. After all, what are they gonna wear every day, a skater watch?” The watches come in two sizes, 38mm and 44mm, with either 3-hand or chronograph movements resulting in 20 core models. The 100-meter water resistant watches are fastened with Italian sailcloth straps — via the same fabric supplier used by heavyweights IWC and Cartier — and feature Super LumiNova photo-luminescent graphics, a high-end pigment used by luxury Swiss dive watch makers. So now that Skywatch is beginning to make some waves, what so far has been a highlight for Ibarra watching his brand grow? “When I heard [Boston Red Sox owner] Tom Werner’s girlfriend bought him a Skywatch, and that he wears it around town, it was a big deal for me.” That’s solid endorsement. Get yours for between $295 – $395, depending on model and material (including yellow and rose gold).