It all happened by chance. Meghani was 22 years old and working at his father’s watch shop in a wholesale district of Dallas. At that time, they were a family of traders, buying and selling fashion and designer watch brands for three generations. In his first year of working in the family business, Meghani told his father they would not sell other people’s brands forever.
With no background in branding, manufacturing or design, Meghani’s father was completely against the idea of creating a family owned brand. « It became an afterthought, » Meghani says.
« One day a local rapper and his manager came into our shop looking for a watch to wear in his new music video. We didn’t have what he was looking for, something large, gold and blingy. However, the hustler mentality in me asked him what he wanted, to show me photos of what he was looking for. I was able to find a watch from our supplier in New York that fit his need and I ordered two of them. A few days later they came in, he picked his up and I sent the other one out to a manufacturer in LA we worked with in the past – I said make me 300 of these. One hundred days later my watches came in, and that was the start of JBW ».
No prototype, no product design, no logo design, nothing – « I had no idea what I was doing, » Meghani says candidly.
It was the early 2000’s and Meghani says diamonds, gold and flash were « the rave of rappers and culture » – each created custom-made expensive jewelry and watches from their private jewelers. He says that at first, he believed he could be the iconic watch man of all the Dallas-based diamond watch enthusiasts. « It was quite ambitious for 22 years old without a brand, zero experience in diamonds or manufacturing watches, » he admits.
This mentality is what defined JBW, to be different, bold and unafraid. Meghani says he began attending every rap concert in the city, finding his way backstage and gifting artists with JBW watches and snapping photos. He made friends with the radio personalities of Dallas, and anyone that could connect him to a famous musician or athlete. He says at that point, JBW’s marketing budget was only his time and cost of manufacturing the watches; « that was it ».
Armed with a degree in Economics from New York University (Class of 2006), Meghani says his first work experience was in the family business, and JBW is his professional education.
« This was the start of my education into building a brand. Eventually we launched a website, pre-squarespace and shopify, and before social media was important to brands. Back then it wasn’t easy sharing your brand online, you needed to write code, have a developer, make catalogs, go to tradeshows, visit your customers one by one, » Megani says.
Fast forward nine years and Meghani now has an experienced design team in house, a full product line, distribution channels and a true understanding of his brand and customer. He says while it is always evolving, the team is constantly on the pulse of their desires and needs when it comes to accessorizing their personal style with a watch.
« Ultimately, we are building on the past and growing a brand that combines our roots with our passions. Watch trading evolved to a renewed focus on brand building and product design. As we look to the future, our goal is to create a world class brand and a culture within JBW that will blossom and live on for generations to come, » Meghani comments.
« My plans are to expand our product range into more collections. There is a thirst from our customers for more designs – we are working on our first ever automatic timepiece, also we are working on more diamond settings with higher carat weights. One of our brand’s greatest strengths is our innovative designs not seen in the market, they are eye catching and leave a statement on the wrist, » he explains.
E-commerce is the foundation of JBW’s success in the region, with the company « growing up » with the increase of online sales in the GCC. Meghani says the brand has successfully forged strong partnerships with key ecommerce retailers in the region, and as he looks ahead, there is a plan to develop exclusive collections that are found only in the GCC – serving the appetite of the region’s consumer who love our most statement-making timepieces.
Speaking on why he is drawn to the art of the timepiece, Meghani says he is attracted to the complexity of design; « there are so many parts that go into the making of one watch. It allows for endless creativity in the design process. You could call me fashion-obsessed, and accessories are very important – watches are the perfect accessory to compliment an individual’s style and taste, » he says.
Meghani grew up in Dallas, Texas, and moved to New York for university, which he said opened his eyes to the role major urban epicenters play in the evolution of culture and fashion.
« I have been fortunate to travel the globe as I’ve grown JBW: traveling to London, Paris, Tokyo, Dubai, Hong Kong, and many more cities. Dubai has been a place I’ve been very lucky to establish a strong base for JBW. There is no place like Dubai in the world, I am energized and inspired everytime I visit. It’s exciting to do business here, it’s constantly evolving and growing! It’s been sweet to come back to Dubai after my grandfather established his first watch business in 1968. Somehow things have lined up to bring me back to Dubai.”
« There is positive activity in the ecommerce retail sector, it’s really exciting to be apart of it. I’ve seen it evolve so much in the past 5 years – the future looks very bright with lots of growth ahead,” he says.
JBW is operated by a team of 18 in Dallas: they design all products, content, brand assets, customer service and after sales service in house. It is JBW’s goal to provide the best in class watches and service to all its customers – « we pride ourselves on this mission », Meghani says.
Next year will be 10 years since JBW launched and continues to operate as a proud family business. Meghani runs the company with his elder sister who is COO; « we are perfectly aligned on our vision for JBW, » he says.