Deployment Debrief 2016: Unboxing, Waves, and Staging Timeline

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COURGcrew —

Welcome to 2016, hope you all enjoyed some solid R&R. We’ll get right to debrief, there’s lots to cover. (Image above, fellow backer, J. Chiew.)

 

TL;DR

  • The COURG has landed — first field reports from 12 backers.
  • 500 COURG units deployed.
    +Wave 1: Titanium grade 2 Type-A stock kits, with no leather strap add-ons. Quantity = 200.
    +Wave 2: The second wave included multiple titanium grade 2 variants and added some Horween strap orders. Quantity = 300.
  • Production Update
    +Wave 3: Scheduled for 10Jan, and planned to include remainder of titanium grade 2
    +Titanium grade 5 COURG scheduled to arrive 10-20Jan
    +Mil-straps scheduled to begin arriving in two days.
  • ATTENTION: Inspect the Mission Log when the COURG arrives.
    +Review the Operator’s Manual section RE: functions and best practices.
    +Date change is counterclockwise rotation.
  • Working to have everything shipped before Lunar new year festivities that shut everything down in Asia for 3-4 weeks.
  • Communications update.
  • Growing pains = Learning. Thank you.

The COURG has landed — first field reports.

Fellow backers have begun to share their unboxing shots on Kickstarter and also on Instagram at #COURGcrew.

I think first in was RedBlue Green with this sweet shot. Totally dig the metal type — I have some myself:

unbox redbluegreen

Ron W. reported his COURG landing with a slick slideshow accompanied by his savage serrated blade:

unboxing ron w

J. Chiew served up noir inspired goodness:

Riley H. snags the first #COURGcrew #WOTD on Instagram.

Timur G. posted up his COURG arrival in Russia.

somethingsaid in Spain logged the first COURG Zero Hour sighting.

555gear with a shoutout in everyday carry style:  

Enoch. Y. shot his unboxing: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Squaregetaway represents from the USN.

Roberto strapped on his COURG on his way out the door enroute to a Costa Rican adventure.

Harry G. *fist bump*

Finally my #kickstarter backed @reduxwatch has arrived. Blown away by its awesomeness #COURGcrew #reduxwatch

A photo posted by Harry Gilliam (@imonahorsepartdeux) on

Darkmirage also posted a nice little unboxing series on Watchuseek that included this sweet shot (leather straps, his).

Thank you, COURGcrew — I can’t wait to receive my own COURG and you’re making the wait hard to bear! I’m sharing the pain because I’m last in the queue after all units have deployed.

unboxing RDX COURG darkmirage

Those are some of the 500 COURG units we’ve deployed so far.

If we’ve deployed your COURG, we’ve dispatched an email from HQ with tracking intel. I wish the tracking link provided were better, but that’s what we have to work with right now, and I thought it would be better than having you go through the hassle of entering it. Please check your spam in case our dispatch was flagged for some reason.

Waves? To be honest, I had expected we could ship everything all at once. But this has not been the case and instead of holding everything up, we decided to move ahead with a wave strategy, so I hope the anticipation isn’t too much to handle.

Completed components have arrived in batches rather than upon completion. Field operatives decided to hand check each package and make final inspections personally. In fact, our operatives spent many late nights make final tweaks to some Mission Logs and Mission Folios to secure stitches and clean up some stray threads.

In addition, that closes the accountability loop for any servicing and warranty issues that might arise if their team drops or mishandles and we don’t know about it. That’s because they were not comfortable delegating pick and pack duties to an entity unfamiliar with our gear that might cause mix-ups. If there’s a problem with your COURG unit, we’ll know for certain it was incurred in shipping or after arrival. Our service teams will then inspect the watch and determine how the COURG sustained the damage.

In the end, I believe this is the right call and am grateful for our field agents’ diligence and dedication to our project. It’s yet another reminder to me of the importance of building a foundation early on to systematize our workflow.

Wave 1: Titanium grade 2 Type-A stock kits, with no leather strap add-ons. Quantity = 200.

The reason why the first wave enlisted only Type-A’s with date and mil-straps was because those were the first variants to arrive from the dial manufacturer. As we hit the Christmas closures, they wanted to get as many units out as possible so focused their effort on preparing the first available variant.

Wave 2: The second wave included multiple titanium grade 2 variants and added some Horween strap orders. Quantity = 300. That’s a mix of Type-A, A-11, Zero Hour, Minimalist, Type-B, dates and no-dates.

Wave 3: Scheduled for 10Jan, and planned to include remainder of titanium grade 2

Many of you have asked that we declare the package to customs as a “Gift” or for a nominal value, but our legal consultants and other companies with vast experience advised us to declare a reasonable value or risk serious consequences. The declared value on the COURG is $199 USD.

Production timeline update

  • Titanium grade 5 COURG batches scheduled to begin reporting for duty and deployment prep from 10-20Jan.
  • Leather mil-straps scheduled to begin arriving at staging location in two days.
  • Working hard to have everything shipped before Lunar new year festivities that shuts everything down in Asia for 3-4 weeks in February.

ATTENTION: Inspect the Mission Log when the COURG arrives.

The NH35 is a workhorse and has proved its reliability in the stable of Seiko’s venerable line-up over many decades. However, as with any finely tuned machine, the NH35 still requires care so please review the Operator’s Manual section on the back cover regarding functions and best practices (such as when NOT to change the date) before you mess with the crown.

The COURG features a screw down crown that may be factory-installed tightly. Turn the crown counterclockwise firmly with your fingers, and not with pliers or some such. The factory did not use enough torque to require rotation with hardware to unscrew.

When the crown releases, an internal spring pops the stem up into the first position (movement winding, clockwise rotation). From there, a light pinch will move the movement’s gears into second position (date setting, counterclockwise rotation). You should only use the strength in your fingers as opposed to yanking or pulling hard with your hand/arm. One last pinch outwards will move the movement to time set gears.

Comms update.

I’m sorry I have not been able to keep up with messages between blog comments, emails, Kickstarter messages, Kickstarter comments, Facebook, and Twitter. As you know, fellow backer and comms first officer John Boehm has helped field queries from the Kickstarter comments area. John has kept me updated as issues cropped up. Many thanks to John and others who have worked to help field questions and lend a hand on deck.

There’ve been an understandable flurry of excited/worried/anxious “Where’s my watch” emails and unfortunately, we won’t be able to answer until you receive the tracking email. In the future I’ll want to plan to have a status page where you’ll be able to see the exact status. For now, the best indicator if you haven’t received a tracking email is to check the BackerKit profile.

Growing pains = Learning. Thank you.

Speaking of pain, < rant > There are few things that irk me more than when I read messages about how much money we’ve made — particularly when they reference manufacturing in China as some sort of talisman for wealth. I can assure you it is not, and that in fact when I told our field agents and manufacturers how much I had charged for the COURG, their eyes bulged, they choked on whatever it was we were eating, and asked how I was going to make any money. I rest assured that most of you are business savvy enough to know better. < end rant>

I felt like in some ways that as a business we skipped from a crawling infant straight to a teenager behind the wheel for the first time. But I also know that this growth spurt is an opportunity to set the stage for a meaningful developmental phase. So, I thank so many of you for how you’ve encouraged and brought constructive criticism to help us ease the transition into a responsible and productive member of society in less than a year. Your patience is gracious and your confidence in us, invigorating.

Tackle your 2016 missions, and Godspeed. elbert, over and out.

 

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  • William Powell

    I’m glad that everything is going well with production and shipping. I’m looking forward to getting my grade 5 COURG before too long. I sure hope shipping is possible before the Asian New Year celebration shuts things down. Well done COURG team!

  • Jason C

    Thanks for another great update Pilot! Now that we know our bearing and have a clear understanding of the flight plan I imagine all the passengers will sit back and enjoy the remainder of the ride!

    I will personally look forward to Jan. 10th-20th with a huge dumb grin on my face waiting for my chance to get some picks of that lovely Ti Grade 5 goodness.

  • Travis Sandidge

    Your attention to detail is spot on, and my COURG… Honestly, I wish I could call it mine, but I bought it for my wife. The watch is so good looking, and I have no doubt it will outlive us both, even through our many future backpacking trips and world travels. I could go on, but I’ll just thank you and the team instead: Thank you!

  • James Trott

    As always, this is a professional, inspiring, and from the heart update. I’m blessed to be associated with this project. Thank you for your diligent work on our behalf. Thank your family for the sacrifices they’ve made. I did that myself with small children and some of the blessings came many years later. When my watch does come I will enjoy it with pride. Godspeed.

  • Bernd Heuser

    Hi,

    I just wanted to ask if there are any news about shipment of the Grade 5 Watches (Type B with Date)?

    I’m celebrating my birthday on February 14th and wondered if there are chances i might receive my watch beforehand? Considering the shipping to germany and the time it needs to process customs the 20th of January would be a good time to send it on its way 😉

    Keep up the good work and thanks for that awesome kickstarter project, I’m really glad I could’ve supported you guys.

    Greetings from Germany,

    Bernd

  • Joseph Salice

    How long till TI5 ships can’t wait

  • Baja

    Hooray! I received my COURG today – and I **love** it. The attention to detail, starting from the design all the way to the packaging is superb.

    I do have one question, though – I have a small wrist (approx 6.5″ diameter) – on the ballistic nylon strap, can I trim it? I”m assuming that, if trimmed, I’ll need to heat-seal it.

    • Greg R

      Congrats Baja! Can I ask where you live? I have not received my shipping notice and live in Canada. Did you order a Ti2 or Ti5?

  • christophe

    Great…I’ve just received my courg Grade 2 today I’m very pleased, it’s very smart. i’m a huge fan of automatic watches and it’s an interesting piece in my collection. Thanks a lot and congratulations on your team
    A Parisian fan