Watch CBS News

Socially responsible luxury watch brand working to build library in Nigeria

Socially responsible luxury watch brand working to build library in Nigeria
Socially responsible luxury watch brand working to build library in Nigeria 02:22

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two young entrepreneurs are using their passion for watches to help their communities. Their company makes affordable luxury watches available to a wider set of people, while donating 10% of each sale to charity.

While you might not be able to slow time down, Asorock Watches founders Ben Iroala and Drew Mutale believe they can make it less expensive.

That's what they did with their luxury watch line, making timepieces for the masses, at a quality to rival name brands, hands-down one of the most affordable watches on the market, and these founders say it's about time.

"Browsing online, you know, looking for the next watch to buy; and then we realized, like, yo, we don't have the money for these watches that we got our eyes on," Iroala said.

It was back in 2016 when the best friends and self-identified watch enthusiasts were still students at University of Illinois at Chicago that they began on their quest.

"So we started researching, and then we found out that the retail price for a luxury watch brand could be 10 to 40 times higher than the production cost," Iroala said.

At first, the friends had only really intended to be making watches for themselves.

"But then, you know, realizing that there are other people like us out there who are, you know, looking for a high-end watch brand, but don't want to pay the high retail markup of the popular name brands," Iroala said.

Their name has a deeper meaning. Drawing from the prominent aso rock in Nigeria, Iroala and Mutale aim to use Asorock Watches to bridge between their African heritage and their lives in Chicago, using community service as that vehicle.

"We donate 10% of those proceeds toward a charity organization in America, in Chicago, and in Africa," Iroala said.

"You cannot have a corporate company there without having some level of social responsibility," Mutale said.

"It goes to building the library that we plan on building in Africa," Iroala said.

They've already purchased the land in Nigeria.

"If you feed someone today, tomorrow they're going to be hungry. But if you educate someone today, they're going to be able to fish for themselves tomorrow," Iroala said.

"Just giving people that level of access; you know, it could be 500 kids, a thousand kids, you never know who will come out of that batch," Mutale said.

"Our mission statement is essentially to leverage the sales of our watches to be able to give back to our community. So we always like to say we are more than a luxury watch brand," Iroala said.

You can keep a watch out for any new releases from Asorock, as well as the all the charities they donate to on their website.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.