Production SITREP: Storm Before the Calm

| Estimated read time: [est_time]
COURG TiGr2

COURGcrew —

TL;DR

  • Tons of production photos in this one
  • BackerKit to charge cards Monday, 9NOV
  • TiGr2: GO! We’re well into production and I’m very pleased with our progress.
  • TiGr5: Production prototype scheduled to arrive next week
  • I head out to inspect manufacturer production lines in Asia, 14Nov. Sign-up now if you want alerts for daily updates on this trip.
  • Special order NH35 movements arrived and are being regulated
  • Helvetica Type-B prototype Helvetica looks and glows sweet
  • Lume brightness upgraded & vintage white finish achieved
  • Horween prototype, regular = 10″ XL = 11″
  • COURGcrew made a strong showing at the Chronos launch

We are in the storm before the calm. Everything remains on schedule albeit with razor-thin margins. In some ways I feel we’re  assembling the plane while sprinting down the runway. On certain details, there’s agonizing predicaments for a creator.

Do I go for perfection on details only I will notice? Is it worth delays that would push everyone into 2016? Or do we maintain flight trajectory knowing full well that 99.9% of people will rather have the watch in hand  sooner than have me sweat this angle, that curve, that finish?

COURG TiGr2

COURG TiGr2, handset not finals

One such detail that I’ve had a hard time finalizing is the bezel marker. (John/Yinon/others, I know you feel me on this one.) I really feel quite attached to the feel and aesthetic of the round lume bead, but in the end three functional issues trumped that sentiment:

  1. The bead’s lume wasn’t nearly as bright as straight C3 (yes, we’re using that for the marker, for contrast).
  2. In my daily use of the bezel, I found the dot to lack accuracy in taking quick readings, and the triangle is much better for precision.
  3. I’d rather not have anything glued on with the risk of it somehow falling out over time.

I actually have a solution I think could implement the bead and still provide accuracy (and no it’s not the ugly bead/triangle mashup), but this is one of those instances where we don’t have time to experiment anymore and see if it works out how I envision.

And I’m pleased with the counterbalance of the bezel marker with the triangle in the dial. This actually makes it abundantly clear that the COURG is an instrument.

The thrash, as Seth Godin calls it, is over — it’s GO time. (Tip: Fellow creators, check out Godin’s ShipIt journal for your projects, you won’t regret it).

Some will say I’m probably over-sharing here, but the truth is we’re in this together and I think most of you’ve enlisted so that you can get the insider view to the grimy workings of the hangar — not the shiny polished outside (although we’re not making anything shiny).

On the bright side, I’m amazed at how much we’ve accomplished since the campaign end. From sourcing new manufacturers to developing a proprietary lume, to designing exclusive Redux titanium strap hardware, we’re on the way.

BackerKit to Charge Cards Monday, 9NOV

BackerKit has confirmed that we’ve entered the window of time post manufacturing initiation and pre-fulfillment, where it is acceptable to charge the remaining balances. Thanks for your patience on that front and those transactions will run on Monday morning, so please make sure all is in order with those accounts this weekend.

TiGr2: GO!

We’re well into production and I’m very pleased with our progress. Cases, check. Bezels, check. Crowns, check. Dials, check. Movements, check. Sapphire, check. Brass movement holders, check. The one remaining item pending approval are the hands.

This most recent TiGr2 prototype (pictured above) seems to have more blue-gray tone than the first run. I believe this has to do with a second sand blast that I asked the manufacturer to hit the cases with.

[rev_slider TiGr2]

 

 

TiGr5: Production Prototype Inbound

Our next batch of TiGr5 prototypes are on schedule to arrive next week as planned. Among these prototypes will be one case without the special protective coating and one with the coating so we can confirm that the sealant does not cause unwanted color shift.

Manufacturers: Pilot (+ COURGcrew) Incoming

I head to Asia on the 14th. Our forward team has alerted the ground operatives to have everything ready for inspection upon arrival. So, I’ve got a very busy week planned with in-depth tours of all our manufacturers. Rather than write long missives like this one that cover weeks of work, I will post more regularly in short posts to the blog. I’m going to aim for at least once a day. Because of that, I don’t want to spam everyone and email you everyday.

What I’ll likely do is post directly on the blog each day, but not blast everyone.

So, for those of you who want to debrief with me daily, you can sign up here for a special operations email list, and I’ll give you a heads up right when I post, at most once a day.

Otherwise, just sit back and wait for the recap email for links to each post after I return, or drop by the blog to see the action.

So, is there any part of the manufacturing process that particularly intrigues you and you want to learn more about? Do you want to see pictures of any specific leg in the build? If so, drop a comment below and let me know and I’ll do my best to gather intel to share.

Special Order NH35 Movements

Roughly half of our special order has arrived and technicians are regulating them. Seiko will deploy two technicians to oversee assembly and that will coincide with my arrival.

 

[rev_slider SITREP6NOV]

 

Helvetica Type-B Prototype v.2

Looks and glows sweet. That is all.

The Helvetica Type-B

The Helvetica Type-B

 

Lume Brightness Upgrade & Vintage White Finish

As you all know we’ve worked hard to develop a bright true blue lume because, well, these are just not blue:

C3 C1 BGW9

 

In addition, we’ve further boosted the lume brightness:

File_000

RDXb1 Lume first run (center), second run (left and right)

As you can tell, I’m a wee bit obsessed over certain details. And here’s another one. I originally spec’d a bright white daytime paint for maximum contrast between a matte dial and the numerals. However, as we’ve continued to work on refining the dials it’s become clear that the bright white was too much stark contrast.

And then on the other hand I really did not want the tan daytime color that’s being used in a lot of “retro” dials or the ubiquitous yellow-looking C3.

I’m pleased that we found a way to achieve both brighter blue and a subtle vintage white:

IMG_2017

WW x RDX Horween Prototype v.2

Here’s a shot of our titanium hardware on a Horween natural strap made with the new die. Obviously, there’s some blue color cast on the photos they took, but you get the feel.

Disregard the thread color pictured. We’re going with a natural tan thread and gray thread for the Color 8.

Worn & Wound plans the regular strap at 10 in. and the XL at 11 in.

IMG_6947 IMG_6948

Chronos + COURGcrew = BOOM.

COURGcrew made a strong showing at the Chronos soft launch on Thursday morning. Estimates are that we stormed the site and made off with roughly 20-25% of the early bird spots. *FIST BUMPS* That’s remarkable considering the 250 spots were gone in a few hours.

COURG x Chronos

COURG x Chronos

We would have likely snagged more units except we hit some air traffic control issues. Many of our international crew couldn’t taxi for takeoff because Chronos only opened the gates for 8 countries during the pre-order soft launch.

Among those excluded were COURGcrew heavy hitters such as Singapore (ranked 2nd in COURGcrew member numbers),  Australia (5th), Hong Kong (7th), among many other outposts of course. These rankings are estimates based on preliminary campaign rollcall.

Chronos tells me they are increasing the number of countries served as they roll out further, so check back.

As COURGcrew, you can still head over there and grab a Chronos unit yourself and score $5 off. Pre-orders are open for a limited time but they haven’t announced how long that period will be, so jump on it.

Here’s more shots of the Chronos deployed on a COURG and a rather thoughtful Bloomberg review of Chronos.

BTW, did you know there’s a 6 hour stretch when you shouldn’t change the time on your watch? I didn’t.

Hope you’ve got a refreshing weekend planned. Godspeed. elbert, over and out.

 

 

Share this post

  • tkshk

    Love the new white paint and blue lume on the dial!!! It’s very interesting and fun to follow behind the scene thought and design process.

    Look forward to reports from the manufacturing sites! It’s going to be like watching a Discovery channel program. I’ll get my popcorn ready. If you get to have some free time for sightseeing etc., it’d be nice if you could share some local info as well 😉

  • Krishna

    Hi Elbert,

    Thanks for yet another great update! I am doubly happy to read you are heading out to Asia.
    I think we are at a stage where maintaining strict quality control should be one of the focus areas. To want to ship them on time is important, but we do not want anyone to get a faulty piece because of oversight on a long assembly line. I was therefore happy when you shared details about QC check by an experienced watch person previously. Any more updates on that front will be reassuring!

    Thanks,
    K

  • Joshua

    @backer- I liked how the round pip lume on the bezel popped out. However- I read and agree with your choice as a fair trade-off between all considerations. You si,r have a good eye for design, I didn’t buy the watch so much as buy into your vision. So keep it up- be true to yourself and don’t worry overmuch about naysayers. If they don’t like it I imagine they can sell it at a tidy markup after these go live.

  • Jason C.

    Great update as always, I can only speak for myself but I greatly appreciate the details you give us. Your attention to perfection is what sets Courg apart from many of the other crowdfunded watch products and goes to show why your campaign did so well. I hope your flight on the 14th goes off without a hitch and all land crew are ready to debrief on your arrival!

  • Lonnie

    I must say after seeing the leather strap prototype and after ordering a Chronos yesterday I regret not having ordered 1 leather strap for my two watches. I hadn’t initially because I have a small wrist and all that extra strap material is annoying. With the added Chronos I bet some of that would have been alleviated.

  • Chase

    I was one of the people who voted for a triangle bezel but over the weeks of looking at the triangle compared to the bead I’ve come to decide I like the bead more. I understand that it’s too late to change that on the ti2 and I doubt you would go back to bead for the ti5 but is it something you would consider?(maybe…?) .
    I can’t wait to receive this watch however I am willing to wait in to 2016 for the perfect watch.
    Really excited to see all the progress, keep up the good work!

  • blkadder

    I have to say, you are the best @creator I have seen on KS. The updates are greatly appreciated, since you have been showing things right from the start. I look forward to seeing the updates from the far east, and of course seeing a shiny (not so shiny) new watch. Thanks very much for keeping us updated.

  • Mark

    Does the type-B come with a date option now??? I changed mine away from that because the description that was given said there would be no date option available with that face. If so I wish I hadn’t changed it.

  • Bobby

    Thanks for yet another great update. The Type B dial ended up great an I’m happy ended up switching to it, Also, about the 6-hour stretch when you should adjust the time, it’s actually about the date adjustment, so one shouldn’t adjust the date and it’s better if the time is not adjusted backwards. So if you have a watch stopped at a point after 9 o’clock you first set the time forward to see if its am or pm and the date will change, go past 3 am if the date is changing and after that set the date. That’s one of the reasons I went for no date – I don’t have to adjust the date and lose time finding out whether it’s am or pm

  • Oliver

    Is there any way to change your variant before the 9th or are we totally locked in now. After seeing the Helvetica in lume I have to say that is a good looking face.

  • Awesome! Thank you so much for the great updates. Getting so excited to get this sweet piece on my wrist. Cheers!

    • You’re welcome, Ron — thanks for letting me know you’ enjoy the updates — takes hours to assemble those, so that makes it all worthwhile to hear that!

  • Chuck

    @Creator. Type B dial is looking good! Can’t wait to see more pics.

  • John Crumrine

    Terrific update as usual, man. I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures in Asia.

    However, once we take delivery, what can you give us weekly updates on? I believe we’ve all beckett accustomed to reading your positive reports. Will you start a regular blog?

    -John C.

  • You sir continue to be the most dedicated kickstarter project manager I have ever had the pleasure of backing in a long line of supporting crowd funded projects. Thank you for your obsessive attention to detail, the constant updates, and plethora of pictures of the entire manufacturing process. I’m extremely pleased with the results of the new white paint and blue lume, and I actually prefer the triangle bezel marker. Having the opposing triangles in the bezel on the type A & B faces brings a gorgeous balance to the design was missing with the bead. Keep up the stellar work.

  • Pingback: Unboxing the Redux Courg... Warning! Picture Intensive - Page 2()