Production SITREP: Storm Before the Calm

| Estimated read time: 5 minutes
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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

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