Movements, Horween Leather, and Going Global

| Estimated read time: 3 minutes

#COURGcrew —

TL;DR

  • On schedule: Look for BackerKit order survey early next week
    Paid deposit to start watch movement building ahead of timeline
    Ti2 vs Ti5 visual difference should be minimal
    Added Asia fulfillment partner (53% international backers!)
    Completed RDX x WW Horween leather strap prototype = Butter (Translation: I like it a lot and would eat it if I could.)

Onward:`

Order Survey Status.

We’re just past the 14-day mark post-campaign and the survey details are being finalized! Thanks for your patience. The Kickstarter funds still have not cleared yet. However, it appears all the transactions are complete on their side. Kickstarter dropped quite a number of backers who were unable to get their credit cards problems resolved.

So, BackerKit will dispatch BACKER ORDER SURVEYS once the funds settle, which I’m told can take a few days past the 14-day KS payment processing window.

Once you receive these surveys, you’ll be able to adjust/add whatever preferences you need to fine tune your order.

GO: Thousands of Movements

In any case, I wasn’t comfortable waiting for all of that before forging ahead. So earlier this week we went ahead and dropped almost $60k of our own savings to get the special order NH35 movements in motion with Seiko.

We skipped in front of other orders in the long queue because the critical mass of #COURGcrew gave us huge leverage. They’ll start shipping movements to the watch manufacturer in October! Well within our timeline, and earlier than I expected.

Not only that, again because of the scale of our order, this main distributor of these Seiko movements will send movement specialists to work alongside our assemblers for optimal quality assurance for everyone’s peace of mind as we build COURG.

Ti2 vs Ti5.

Unfortunately, we won’t have the different chunks of titanium for comparison before the BackerKit survey goes out (likely early next week). The reason I’m told it’s not a great idea to compare the differences in the raw material based on uncast/un-machined Ti is that the whole mold and machining process changes the finish anyway and isn’t comparable to the finish on a production case. Add to that, additional factors like color correction and lighting considerations.

For example, take a look at some early initial photos I received of pre-Kickstarter prototypes next to semi-finished raw material for reference, notice even the color difference with the same materials.

That said, I spoke with another specialty sand/bead blasting outfit today for a second opinion to get their take. They said the difference between grade 2 and 5 are most clearly seen when brushed or polished — which makes sense because shiny metal catches and reflects more light. They told me that when titanium grade 2 and 5 are sand/bead blasted, the color difference is hardly noticeable.

That’s especially true if we go with a blast substrate such as aluminum oxide that subtly darkens the tone. He told me the main reason why grade 5 often looks less blue is because jewelers and watch brands like that grade 5 can be shined. Most brands often use glass beads or other substrates for their finish that brightens the finish. That makes sense since grade 2 does not take to being shined so much, so when we see examples it’s slightly darker.

I know that it’s not a guarantee and likely doesn’t allay the fears of many backers on the Ti2/5 fence in terms of color. Bottom line: We won’t truly know the difference until production samples are in our hands.

Supply Chain.

THANK YOU all for an astounding response rate of roughly 1,500 out of some 2,000 backers for our shipping survey. After those preliminary location scout results (see below), I’m leaning towards partnering with an additional Asia-based fulfillment partner for #COURGcrew out east.

This will help drastically lower the cost for premium shipping upgrades for you for a couple reasons. First, the size of our order helps us negotiate better shipment terms. Second, because we are a first time small business order we also get special deals. I’ve seen some of the early estimates on the costs and have been quite pleased and I think you will be as well.

Over 50% of #COURGcrew who responded are international and report from some 70 nations!

ARRIVED: W&W x Redux Horween Prototype

Worn & Wound shared a prototype of the Horween leather strap in the natural color with me earlier this week. All I have to say is: Butter. [Clarification: in the way it feels, not the color.] Before this project, as a lifelong bootstrapper, I always bought the cheapest straps I could find. Not any more. This leather is so sweet. I’m a bit undecided about the leather loop. I like the look and feel of it, but have found that it migrates a bit and I have to fuss with shifting it back in place. I may have them stitch it in place, or go with a third metal loop instead. The hardware here is brushed stainless steel, but as I mentioned previously, I’m working on titanium hardware for these as well.

HINT: We’re on Instagram as well @reduxwatch

Happy Birthday

Right around this time last year, the COURG project began as a barely noticeable seed. And today, the tyke turns 2 years fun and we’re headed out on his first camping trip! Hope you and yours have some adventures and memories to make this long weekend.

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