Max Martin, Notre Dame MBA graduate ’22, is launching a university-inspired wrist watch design through his start-up company, Legacy LLC.
The company was founded by Martin in Sept. 2020, after completing his undergraduate studies in 2019 at St. John’s University in Minnesota. The original intention behind the company was to provide an alternative to “traditional class rings,” Martin said.
“I was looking for another more functional piece of memorabilia for graduation,” Martin said. “I wanted to make something that was really going to fulfill my vision of what I thought of when I thought of St. John’s University.”
In order to achieve his spirit-encompassing vision, Martin said he first evaluated what exactly “made” St. John’s the community he loved.
“[There is] a locally famous church called the Abbey Church, which is known for their hexagons across the church and it’s a really beautiful piece of architecture,” Martin said. “With that story, St. John’s always talked about transparency and work, as they are a Catholic institution. So, when the Abbey was made, they always talked about all the materials that were used and there were no secrets as to what was going on.”
From there, Martin constructed a design that incorporated these community symbols and values.
“On the face of the watch are a bunch of hexagons to resemble the Abbey Church. But also if you look on the back of the watch, you can see all the gears and movements moving in the background,” Martin said. “And that’s to show that transparency in work. You can see all the materials that are inside of the watch and so that’s kind of how its legacy was created through St. John’s.”
Martin noted that he incorporated his university’s values not only in the watch design, but also in Legacy’s business structure.
“I’ve taken a charitable aspect to the company. So, 10% of all of my profits from each watch sold goes directly back to the university or organization that I’m working with, to support their student scholarship fund or other cause they’re passionate about,” Martin said.
In this way, Legacy LLC, allows buyers to not only carry their alma mater with them, but only give back to the school in the process.
While Martin got his inspiration from his time at St. John’s, he was grateful to take advantage of the resources offered by Notre Dame during his graduate study. During his time on campus, Martin was a part of the IDEA Center, as well as the McCloskey Competition.With these resources, Martin set out to create a Notre Dame watch design.
“The licensing team at Notre Dame was incredibly helpful throughout the process… Licensing took quite a bit of time. But through that time, I was able to have some help with the graphic design and got to interview some students,” Martin said. “So I created the Notre Dame high-end male watch.”
Martin expresses gratitude for those that helped him along the way, as well as Notre Dame as a whole.
“The Notre Dame community just completely took me under its wing, even just for being there a year, so I was super thankful for that,” Martin said.
In terms of what the watch will look like, Martin said he quickly picked up on one prevalent aspect of the ND community: the alma mater.
“The design highlights a cover that is transparent, so you can see the gears moving directly on the face of the watch and then it has the alma mater laser engraved on the outside of the watch as well,” Martin said. “Each watch has your name and class year engraved on the back. And all of these watches are hand assembled and handmade and painted by my manufacturer.”
Martin says that the Notre Dame watch launch will hopefully be within the next two weeks — right in the heart of the holiday shopping season.
Martin concluded by reflecting on his journey with Legacy LLC and offering advice to any student entrepreneur about the value of “stick-to-it-tiveness.”
“Allocating enough time each day to your company and not giving up when you see the first roadblock is the biggest challenge,” Martin said. “It’s impossible to do alone. Notre Dame did a really, really good job of helping me, so I’m excited for their watch to launch.”
Contact Kelsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.