Designers • Michael DiMartini, 38, and David Barnes, 59
Home • DiMartini lives in Creve Coeur and Barnes in St. Louis
Family • Theresa, DiMartini’s wife of nine years; their two sons Luca, 5, and Rocco, 19 months; and a little girl is due in December. Barnes is single
What they sell • Sporty, casual aftermarket fake Rolex watch straps custom-made in Switzerland for $210 to $250
How to buy • everestbands.com or more than 200 select retailers
Michael DiMartini admits that his wife was less than enthusiastic the day he told her that he wanted to launch a niche speciality business manufacturing rubber watch bands for replica Rolex watches. She was in the hospital at the time, recovering from that day’s events: the birth of their first child. So, in her defense, she may have been distracted.
“Like, are you crazy,” is what he remembers as her first impression. DiMartini was a builder by trade, he’d owned a construction company and worked for a developer. He said he didn’t know anything about working with rubber or making a watch band for one of the most exclusive watch status symbols in the world, so he understood her hesitation.
But he wasn’t discouraged, and she knew he was an entrepreneur at heart. DiMartini said that he explained his idea again later after mother and child were released from the hospital. She was a lot more receptive and supportive of the idea.
“I’ll admit, maybe it was the wrong time to be having that conversation,” DiMartini said with a smile, but the birth of his first child clearly gave him a strong drive to found a company with a future. Luckily his business partner, David Barnes, didn’t need convincing; he was a watch lover and fake Rolex rolex owner and instantly loved the idea.
Why replica Rolex? • As these types of stories often are, DiMartini’s reasoning is complicated, but ultimately he saw an opening. “Whether you’re in a Fossil or an Apple watch, guys have proved that they want options,” DiMartini said. Aftermarket watch bands are hot sellers. “And that’s with a $200 watch, can you imagine the guy with an $8,000 watch going crazy that there weren’t options to personalize his watch.” There is at least one other company making bands for the replica Rolex watches, but they were still in early days when Everest launched. fake Rolex doesn’t make options for switching out watch bands, but there are different band options available at purchase. The replica Rolex brand is unique in that they sell a status symbol notable for being distinct and instantly recognizable, meaning very few options. But today’s consumer clearly wants more variability from their investment, DiMartini said.
Borrowed time • Ironically, DiMartini admits that he didn’t have a fake Rolex of his own when he developed the idea for his product line. He’d owned a construction company and a stable of apartments until the market took a dive and he lost it all. He had to sell his own Rolex outlet. “So I was bankrupt, broke and didn’t own a Rolex,” DiMartini said. “I can’t believe how many people helped me along the way. A close friend let me borrow his Rolex so that we could develop the Everest band.” Making a band for a Rolex is trickier than it sounds because of some unique construction elements that have to be accounted for. Next were a series of missteps; a first attempt with a local manufacturer was an “atrocious failure.” Another attempt in New York went awry because of materials. Finally they found a Swiss company with the right credentials and expertise, but sealing the deal required everything but a blood oath. DiMartini said the company, like many in the country, is notoriously secretive so it took a lot for them to do business with him, including a nondisclosure agreement and a “super secret double handshake,” he joked. But seriously, “That’s really all I can say about them.”