Is there an age limit on buying kid’s watches? Discover the story behind the coveted children’s classic Flik Flak why our Editor-in-Chief is adding one to her basket.
A recent trip to Milan airport over the Christmas holidays reunited me with a forgotten pastime of my childhood. Passing through the fanfare of security and the fear of beeping that happens to me every time without failure, I was through to the bright lights and shiny floors of Duty Free. After dousing myself with every perfume in sight, concocting a motley scent that would undoubtedly give me a headache in 15 minutes, I caught sight of a white plinth, neatly advertising a watch that almost instantaneously reminded me of being 8-years-old again on vacation with my parents. It was, of course, Flik Flak.
By rights, if I’m asked what the first ever watch I bought was, I’ll reply with Flik Flak. While I’m optimistic, and perhaps naive to reply with a Cartier Crash one day – hopefully in this lifetime – my first model was a purple dial, diamonté-embellished FlikFlak adorned with illustrated clouds. Prior to my first delve into the world of horology, I would wear and often borrow without asking my sister’s numerous models that she’d take off and leave around the house, one of which I distinctly remember being aquatically themed with starfish on the strap. But this purple watch was my own to treasure, and it never left my sight.
That is until decades later, in a haze of waiting at the airport for 7 hours and acquainting myself with every corner of the shopping mall that I felt the absence of this childhood memory. It became almost a right of passage that a holiday abroad meant a visit to the Flik Flak stand at the airport, gawping over the models, trying each one on and pestering my parents for the latest model. While my infantile methods of persuasion were often to no avail, I was fortunate enough one year, and with the humble contribution of my £5 pocket money to receive my first ever watch. And so, picking up one of the models and expecting it to barely stretch over my wrist, I was amazed to find that this quintessential part of my upbringing actually fit.
Notionally, FlikFlak prides itself on being the Swiss watch for kids that has been helping them to tell the time since 1987. Growing up in the halcyon days without iPhones, my watch was my accomplice to guide me from A to B and coordinate exactly when I could eat my lunch at 12:01.
While telling the time is a lot easier and more accessible for children these days, Flik Flak committed itself to being much more than a watch. When I think of learning to tell the time, I don’t remember the cardboard analogue clocks with plastic hands in the classroom, I remember the brother and sister duo, Flik and Flak that would navigate my day. The tall brother Flik would tell me the minute, while the shorter sister Flak would tell me the hour.
Was it just me who was still hung up on these siblings that narrated my youth? It was not. Flik and Flak were regulars in my friends’ upbringings before migrating, much like from primary school to secondary school, to a Swatch watch. And we’re not alone. “We are regularly noticing this nostalgia about the brand and adults for whom the first watch was a Flik Flak – they often confess that they still wear them!” shares Elisabeth Siegmann, Head of Flik Flak International.
“This brings an emotional facet that we cherish, as emotion is an important aspect of our brand. Moreover, these adults are now at the age where they could have their own children and they love to perpetuate this tradition by buying a Flik Flak for their kids. Even if we are clearly positioned as a brand for kids, we’re convinced that there’s a kid’s at the heart of every adult and if Flik Flak watches can bring them the positivity and imagination of their childhood, we’re more than happy to fulfil this.”
Still feeling that sense of fulfillment, I have officially added a glittery Flik Flak to my basket for 2022. As you mature into the watch world, not only does affordability rear its head, but the color palette often feels more muted than the infinite rainbow of childhood. So if Tyler the Creator can sport a Casio and a Cartier, so too can Flik Flak continue its legacy into adulthood and bring back the spirit of our youth.