Alex McBride was happy in his day to day work. He wore a suit, showed up to a beautiful office, and worked with innovative minds on bridging a gap between thought and reality – what many would only imagine as a dream. Growth and development are the crux of his life, in work and personal affairs. So what makes a happy person leave a job that they love? The story of The 5TH began far before the first release of watches.
“Growing up at the feet of my parents, I witnessed them work tirelessly on their architectural projects and I gathered a pretty unique perspective for the amount of work that went into creating these buildings”. From a young age Alex would often get to see an idea blossom into a standing building. His parents Debbie Ryan and Robert McBride of ‘McBride Charles Ryan’ have won many accolades for doing exactly that – bringing dreams into reality. Most recently they were recognised for their work on the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, with the ‘2017 Victorian Architecture Medal’ and the ‘William Wardell Award For Public Architecture.
“I started working in property development because I wanted to use my unique perspective for the way architects and creative minds worked to bring some amazing projects to life” – a suitable job for a creative mind with eyes for business. “I was inspired by the dedication and commitment they showed to each and everyone of their projects”.
A correlation was drawn between their hard work and the finished project; a building that you can walk into and feel the way that the architect intended it to feel. “What fascinated me was the link between value and design. I wanted to crack the code of that magical formula. I decided it was my job to facilitate the works of these kinds of people; the creative doers of this world.”
“I started a design blog in the hope to connect with more creatives from around the world. Little did I know that this design blog would be the start of what The 5TH is today”. The transition from design of quality spaces that evoke certain emotions, to a blog that evokes the same reaction came naturally. A lot like a standing building, when you leave a digital space you feel the way the designer intended you to feel. “When we turned the blog into the first version of ‘The 5TH’ we had bigger dreams than we even realised”.
That itch for growth and development surfaced again. “Our first ever ‘about’ page wrote ‘we want to do a limited edition watch, monthly, that’s designed in collaboration with a different international designer’”. It proved to be a relatively impossible feat for a start up. But Alex was dedicated to living his best life.
“What makes one space more valuable than another? Is it the way the space feels? Is it the way the space is configured? Is it purely the size of the space? Or is it the way the space is marketed?”. The same questions apply to the design process of every watch. What makes one watch more valuable than another? Is it the way it makes us feel when we put it on? Is it something more tangible? Using his background in quality, design and style on an architectural level, Alex has been implementing the knowledge and experience he accumulated over the years.
The proof is in the Japanese Quartz Movement. Flashback to one of our latest campaigns where we launched the Bilbao collection. The design was inspired by the architecture, strong lines and textures of the Guggenheim. Eager to collaborate with creative minds, Alex jumped on a plane to explore Spain under the umbrella of ‘work’.
Many long days and even longer nights go into the cityscapes that we see as individual pieces of work. A job that Alex loved was the necessary stepping stone to see him living his best life. “Working with the creative doers of this world is my passion – it’s what inspires me, drives me, and makes me want to achieve more”, according to Alex. He found a likeminded community who also place great value on quality, design and style, you guys. That’s communicated in the collaborations we pursue, the campaigns we run, the people we present and celebrate. Everything, from 5TH start to finish.