I hope you voted (if you’re in the U.S.). I did.

But I don’t care if you voted Trump or Biden or other.

I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat or neither.

What matters is we’re in this together and we all want a brighter future.

Better than yesterday. Bickering won’t get us there.

Watching the news won’t get you there.

Let’s all take a collective exhale.

Let’s vote for an epic today and an amazing tomorrow.

Not by what we say, but by what we do and how we live.

That was then. This is now. Uncertainty will pass when you focus on what is certain.

What is certain is you have a purpose to fulfill today.

Good work to do. A family to lead. Problems to solve. Wounds to heal.

Let’s go.


  • A Secret Path to Your Heart
  • Simple U.S. Navy SEALs Breath Technique
  • What (Not) to Do When Flying Upside Down
  • Origin Story. HONNR -> VALOR -> SCOUT -> ENDUR -> COURG/2c

Continue reading

Let’s START something new. 

Redux exists to equip and encourage you to tackle your missions. I just happened to start with hardware — watches. 

Now, I’m starting an experiment to be more intentional about ground support for your wetware (mind, soul, spirit, character) upgrades. 

Once a week I’ll debrief with you on three waypoints (like trail markers) converging on one theme.

Why three? 

Well, it takes three points to triangulate your position. When you connect the dots, and remember where you’re headed, you can course correct as needed. 

Weekly Waypoints will include: 

  • Ancient wisdom
  • Scientific evidence
  • Workshop visit / Prototype intel

  • A personal story I’m digging into (this week literally)

Everything you need will be in the email, think of it as a heads up display. But if you want more, you can always meet me here the jump for a dive deep.

This week, in honor of this humble launch, let’s START SMALL.

It’s been an insane year. Many people are waiting for 2021 to make things better.

<Breaking News> 

There’s no point in waiting for January to get a new start. January 1 resolutions are pegged to an arbitrary date anyway. It’s only meaningful because we assign some magic to that date.

Any date will do. Today — right now — is as good a time as any, and certainly better than later.


Mission Impossible

Waypoint 1: Ancient Wisdom + Starting

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

Francis of Assisi, friar, deacon, mystic, circa 1100s


How Pee Breaks Could Change Your Life

Waypoint 2: Science + Starting


A Stanford behavior scientist wanted to do more pushups everyday. We all know exercise is a keystone habit that cascades into all kinds of goodness in our lives.

Most of us would just grit our teeth and do some until we “forgot” by day three.

Instead, Fogg picked an everyday trigger and started tiny. Every time he went to the bathroom, Fogg did ONE pushup.

Soon enough he could do more each pee break. He kept going and is up to 70 a day (depending on coffee intake haha).

“Take a behavior you want, make it tiny, find where it fits naturally in your life, and nurture its growth.

If you want to create long-term change, it’s best to start small.”

BJ Fogg, PhD, founder, Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University

Make sure to celebrate small wins tangibly. i.e. *YES!* (queue: arm pump) because science confirms habits change through feeling good, not beating ourselves up.

Fogg’s TED talk. And book.

What’s a goal or change you need to make? How can you start tiny and trigger it with something you already do every day? Write it down, START today!


Cabinet of Curiosities

Waypoint 3: Redux + Starting


  • Over the next few weeks I’m going to open up my cabinet of curiosities (more below) and see if you’re interested in adding any of it to your kit.
  • We have multiple watch prototypes underway flying evasive maneuvers through some turbulence. Partial update now (scroll down), full update next week…
  • Even so, we’re not just about the watches (deep dive below). How else can I help you? Reply and let me know!


… and a little something extra: 

Rubies, Diamonds & Gold, A Story

My 7 year old son, let’s call him Scout, looked up a word in the dictionary. On the way, he came across the word “ruby” with pictures of a gem before and after being cut.

Scout is obsessed with rocks.

Recently Scout saw a roughly polished opal of mine. He grabbed some generic rocks. He sanded. He painted. He coated them to look like my opal. He’s spent hours gently cracking geodes open.

Last week he said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be a geologist, and that’s my final answer.”

Needless to say, that ruby image hooked Scout.

After hours of research, Scout told me we needed to take a trip and he knew where to go and what to do. He even had a plan:

“How to find rubies, gold, and diamonds: Shovel with Knifes, Buckit, Hammer, Chesle”

Cue big eye roll (not a proud dad moment).

I felt the urge to say, “It’s not that easy. You have no idea how many people spend their lives trying to dig up treasure. Let’s be reasonable.”

And then I checked myself — we all need to START SMALL. The last thing he needs is me telling him what’s not possible, especially when I haven’t even tried.

Heck, I (probably) wouldn’t have launched Redux if I had known all the pitfalls and frustrations.

Sometimes, the not knowing — being unreasonable — is the only way we will go on the adventures we’re meant to explore.

So, instead I said, “Pack your chisel, kiddo, let’s plan a trip!” I’m not sure we’ll find anything, but I’ll let you know what we find.

What I AM certain of is that worst case no gems, but we might just dig up something far more precious — a treasure trove of good memories and the sparkle of exploration together.



Welcome to the new abnormal.

On January 1st, I posted a message on Instagram about making 2020 epic. Little did I know… it’s been epic alright.

And now that we’re already barreling toward the end of 2020, I wanted to check in and debrief with you.

As some of you know, we planned to launch new watch design projects in 2020. Prototypes were originally scheduled to arrive last December. [Spoiler alert: We grounded those plans — actually that makes it sound almost pleasant and peaceful, it really feels more like a stomach lurching turbulence-induced stall.]

But then the world turned upside down. We hit massive delays from our industrial engineers and manufacturers.

Rest assured, we will push forward. Stay tuned for further intel next week.

In the meantime, I’m writing now for three reasons:

  1. How is your “new normal” going?
  2. Sharing lessons from 6+ months of turbulence
  3. I’m opening my cabinet of curiosities for you to gawk at

What’s that about curiosities? I have a bunch of projects in stealth mode. These have never seen the light of day for various reasons. Sometimes I just get distracted and need to make something. Other times these were experiments to find solutions for myself. 

The End. 

We’re down to our last watches! To be exact:

COURG Zero-Hour

COURG Zero-Hour

13 Zero-Hour

2 Minimalists

1 Type-A  SOLD!

This is a huge milestone for us since we turned off all marketing and advertising a year ago with plans to transition into the new crowdfunding.

In the meantime, we received kind requests for specific variants not actually in stock. So, I’ve built them when I have the components — and bandwidth — to make them. A few Type-A potentially, if you’re interested.

If you’ve been on the fence about owning a COURG, now’s the time. I’m not sure whether we’ll make another production run ever.

Now, with the new designs still in a holding pattern, we need to try something different. 

Just waiting around until the prototypes arrive to our satisfaction and then the months required for a proper crowdfunding launch is not an option.

We also want to respond to what’s been happening even with our limited resources. So, we will dedicate a percentage of sales from small batch projects to directly support first responders and healthcare workers on the front lines.

And most importantly, we want to ask: How are you doing and how can we help?

Many of you are members of our Valiant Alliance and are first responders.

I have a couple ideas I’ll share soon, but reply and let me know. We’re here to equip and encourage.

I hesitated a long time before sending this (I’ve been drafting this series of dispatches since April!) because I feel a bit torn. I know that most of you, understandably, think of Redux & Co. as a watch company (Reduxwatch.com @reduxwatch and all that).

Not Just Watches

But we never set out to just sell watches — they’re the flagship. Not the end goal. 

Our vision is first and foremost about redeeming the time, and helping our crew live fuller more purpose-filled days. Part of that was building a workshop-business where I could create, make, design, and see what deserves a spot in your kit.

So in some ways, what we’re asking you is also an existential question for us. Are there further ways we can equip and encourage you? How do we better support you on your missions? What do we do better than anyone else in the world for you?

A More Focused Experiment

Redux & Co. began as an experiment, and somewhere along the way I started feeling inadequate. Like I needed to be more polished — that we had to pretend that we had it all figured out. 

I tried to make it sound as if we had a larger organization. The royal nebulous “we.”

But really it’s just Wonderwoman Grace, our two littles, and I here in our NYC apartment, and we’re going to keep it real. 

We are who we are. We’ll continue to be authentic and not pour on any veneer.


P.S. Thanks to those of you who made the deep dive with me and landed here. What’d you think of this? I’d love to hear if this was helpful (or not).

In the meantime, check out pre-turtlenecked Steve Jobs talking about not playing it safe one year BEFORE he took Apple back and rebuilt it. Let’s you and I bash through some walls. [Video just under 2 minutes]

Here’s a quick tutorial about how to adjust your titanium flex band for personalized fit. I prefer a pretty secure and snug fit from my watch straps. So, I found that for my wrist, the best length was when the overall band was one inch shorter than my wrist measurement.

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“Grit is the stubborn refusal to quit.” Anonymous

For those of you interested in the gory details, here’s a peek in the workshop and final recap of the ordeal that finally got us where we needed to go. Venture on only if you don’t mind some grit between your teeth, inhale some abrasive, and feel the motor oil splatter.

You’ll get a little taste of why I wanted to quit and just refund the money. Lord knows there wasn’t profit in this project. But I don’t like to quit. I’m pretty stubborn when I set my mind to something.

Are the end links perfect? Perfectly imperfect. That is, on some links you can still see some maker’s marks. But I think they add to the finish.

And as with titanium as you know from COURG, they’ll pick up their own patina over time as you rock it. In the end, I decided to leave my personal endlinks rougher than all yours to remind me of the grit and abrasive tenacity it took to see this small batch hand crafted project to completion.

Well, you know full well now that the 3D printer we used, who had promised to help us finish the links, failed and gave up. I chased down an expert polisher from Omega, and he was too scared to try.

I went back to the 3D printer and pushed him to try again. He did. He tried taking the endlinks to another company. Both failed.

I realized I would have to do it myself to figure out how to make it happen. After a some research, I learned that some gunsmiths had success using bullet shell polishing tumblers to finish titanium. So, I purchased a tumbler with much anticipation and poured in some abrasive.

Trial & Error & Error & Error & Victory

From what I read of gunsmiths’ experiences, some said their projects took days of tumbling. Keep in mind, these tumblers are just glorified vibrating bowls.

The thing was ridiculously loud and something came loose and it got even more obnoxious. I worried my neighbors would go out of their mind. I was going out of my mind.

Three days later: FAIL. It did absolutely nothing besides make noise.

Looking back, I don’t know what I was thinking pitting a vibrating bowl against titanium grade 5. Wonderwoman Grace would call it optimism bias.

I set up a DIY mini-grinding cabinet and set to work with my dremel and some flapper wheels. But, when grinding titanium grade 5, because the metal is so hard the grinding produces a lot of heat. So, you need some kind of coolant.

You can’t use water because although it cools somewhat, it wouldn’t lubricate the cutting surface enough to make a difference. And so, I had to use motor oil.


(Scout likes hanging out while I do messy things.)

I dipped the endlink into the motor oil and then applied the dremel flapper wheel. Amazingly, it worked and I was able to grind the nubbly 3D printer textures to a smoother surface.

(And yes, the little DIY cabinet is surprisingly effective because I added an extra sealant in the lid. So, no oil or abrasive dust escaped into the area where I work on watches!)

But still, that surface was not nearly the right match. I need to get matte and smooth.

Maybe the gunsmith vibrating bowl would work now? Nope. I needed a real sand blaster.

Easy-Peasy Sandblast

WRONG. One limiting factor is that I have no room in my workshop in the apartment (a small walk-in closet) for a compressor, so I bought a mini-blaster used for etching glass in the hopes that it could do the job. It was like I was spraying baby powder at the endlink.

With some experimentation, I found what worked fairly well was 220 grit sandpaper. But I couldn’t sand the endlinks like you might imagine, because then I would get a sort of brushed finish.

I found that pressing a fresh part of the sandpaper on the endlink, while rubbing the end of a metal rod against the back of the sandpaper yielded a sort of sandblasted matte finish.

I tried this on a few links and it took hours and my fingers were getting seriously cramped, and the finish was not uniform enough. There was no way I’d get through 30!

Next, I tried various makerspaces and I only found one with a solid industrial sandblasting setup. But they weren’t equipped to let me switch out the abrasive they had preloaded, so I just had to take a shot.

The grit turned out too coarse. I liked the look of it, but it just didn’t match the case and band.


Time & Space

In the end, it took us going to Toronto and a week off from the day job to get them done because there’s no way I could have set this up in our apartment in Manhattan.

Living in a small apartment with two little children (and a very patient wife), and neighbors, it just wasn’t possible to get a large air compressor and real blast cabinet.

Blast Workshop

(That’s the final setup that made it happen! We’re now the proud owners of a bench grinder, a blast cabinet, heavy duty air compressor, and 40 lbs of proprietary abrasive mix!)

My plan was to hit the links again with a finer grit. Thankfully, I found a company called Spectrum Abrasives in Toronto specializing in supplying abrasives of all kinds. They’re a family owned business started by the dad, and now run by his two sons.



Spectrum explained that I couldn’t reblast a blasted surface. A coarse grit blasted surface, can’t be blasted to an optimal finish with finer grit.

They recommended we use a special grinding wheel first to polish the surface lightly, and then hit the links with a blend of glass and aluminum oxide grit to match the band and case finish as close as possible.

A grandson of the founder, on the way to college in the fall, created the special abrasive blend for us. There’s just something special about a family business.grind

We wanted to introduce you to our friends at Wicket & Craig:


Founded in 1867, Wickett & Craig is a world premiere vegetable tannery. Veg-tanning is a natural, labor-intensive method that requires skilled workers. The eco-friendly process produces durable, exquisite leathers recognized for their depth of color and rich patina. Simply put their leathers not only endure, but get better with age.

Wickett & Craig calls Curwensville, Pennsylvania home, making it one of the only specialty vegetable tanneries in the U.S.A.

Continue reading →

[Image: Kicking up some dust in the Judean desert on an epic adventure. And yes, for you eagle eyes, I kept my COURG at EST and used the bezel for IST.]

Greetings courageous crew! Wow. I can’t believe it’s been one year since we started fulfillment on the first COURG production run.

After a year of mostly feeling like I mostly trekked the e-commerce wilderness, it’s time to take a breath, and get my bearings. So, I wanted to debrief with you all about what we’ve worked on this year and where I hope we’re headed.

“You can choose courage or you can choose comfort, but you cannot choose both.” Brené Brown


  1. Redux & Co. 2016: Beyond the comfort zone
  2. Mission Accomplished: Flyboy Nicholas, Wings for Wishes
  3. The Redux & Co. Workshop
  4. 2016 strap build in progress
  5. Limbo: Strap changer multitool order
  6. Navy Squadron special edition
  7. R&D: Seeking new ballistic nylon material + technology
  8. Welcome, Glazy — client care+support extraordinaire!
  9. E-commerce stack build out
  10. 2017 Projects? Paging IP attorney?
  11. Fulfillment & repair operations migrate Stateside
  12. 17 Book recommendations from my 2016 stack

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(Image courtesy firefighter H.Hudgins, on duty)

“Jump off the cliff and learn how to make wings on the way down.”
– Ray Bradbury

#COURGcrew —

Thank you, thank you, ad infinitum. I thank each of you for rallying around when we jumped off the Kickstarter cliff of building something new. Your enthusiasm, passion, and patience were the essence that became the nuts, bolts, gears and drive that made COURG possible. I apologize for the lengthy radio silence. Let’s debrief, crew.

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(Image: Nav panel of an Airbus 330 with headings that include waypoint COURG in living color on a flight from Helsinki to New York City shared by fellow COURGcrew member Capt. PK — thank you!)

COURGcrew —

I’ll keep this lean.

Final major wave deploys Monday

Our final major wave was packed today and ships first thing on Monday. There’s roughly 370 of you (and me!) in this wave of mostly TiGr5 backers and I want to sincerely thank you for your long-suffering and gracious patience having to stay in a holding pattern over the lunar holiday festivities.

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(Featured image: Mike M.)

COURGcrew —

I understand it’s likely that it feels like not much is going on, but it’s been one of the busiest stretches thus far for us. It’s been roughly 15 days since the last update, and there’s much to report. Thanks to so many of you who have waited patiently, cheered us on, and updated one another on arrivals.
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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.)



  • 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.

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Deployment Phase: Greenlit, GO.

Estimated read time:

COURGcrew —

We started shipping this week! Tracking info to follow shortly.

In the meantime, here’s intel on COURG units reporting for deployment. It’s been an intense couple weeks gearing up for this stage. From supply chain details, to accounting coordination, I can’t convey how proud I am of our team and field operatives for how all the gears engaged the right cogs and meshed.

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COURGcrew —

As promised, I’ve debriefed with the special ops crew over the last 10 days as soon as I published a new post about the tour of duty to visit our ground operations. Actually, some crew members caught the posts even before I had time to notify everyone via email. On point.

Here, I’m summarizing the Meet Your Makers post series for all the entire crew in case you’d like to catch up and binge on production details. I’ll start from the beginning in case any of you missed day 1 over the Thanksgiving festivities. Continue reading

COURGcrew —


  • Meet the assemblers
  • Horween straps inspected and immediately en route
  • Operator’s Manual / Mission Log on the presses
  • TiGr5 pushing for pre-Christmas shipping

Welcome to assembly. This is the last station before deployment to the crew.

For those of you who’ve been following along, you’ll notice this facility is “slightly” different from the case manufacturer in RECON day 3. I dig the contrast between the gritty monster machines and then the ultra-detail work of a dust-free environment with workers armed with miniature tools and delicate instruments.

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COURGcrew —


  • Ballistic nylon straps in full swing
  • New leather mil-strap maker after safety issues and general shady-ness, pushed production back 4 weeks.
  • TiGr5 prototyping

Ever wonder what enough material for thousands of ballistic nylon mil-straps looks like? Now you know. On the left, the huge tower of ballistic is ours and will strap the COURG to our wrists:

Raw Ballistic Nylon

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COURGcrew —


  • All systems go for first wave deployment beginning of December
  • Dial, hand, and case manufacturing walk-throughs.
  • Many people work hard to build your COURG — in these 3 areas alone, a minimum of 15 craftspeople.

Here’s a Thanksgiving edition update. I’ll blast this out to everyone since it’s been a bit of a radio silence since our last debrief. But the next 3 trip debriefs I’ll summarize before the next blast.

Apologies for going MIA for a week. I planned to file these dispatches in real-time each day, but we took some enemy flak in the form of the Great Firewall of China, some food poisoning (I blame seafood), and a cold. And then I didn’t realize that all work shuts down for 1.5 hrs each day for lunch and siesta.

In some cases, workers stayed at it and let me see the workflow so I could move on to the next stop on time. The workshops and factories were scattered across the industrial outskirts so everything was an hour apart, and then we also contended with traffic bottlenecks at almost every turn.

The trip was an eye opener and really humbling to see how many people must work in tandem in order to craft the COURG for us. I have new-found respect for the men and women who help make the COURG. They are tireless in the attention to detail and stringent in producing excellent watch components.

As I toured these workshops and factories I saw many other big name brand watches on parallel production lines. We benefit from the stringent policies and standards that the larger established brands adhere to. For example, one brand insists on 5-day work weeks (other factories open 6 days), with hefty overtime.

Please know that this is a rough outline to give us a sense of the production. There are many other steps left out. The first day was jam-packed. We started around 8:30a and didn’t wrap at the titanium grade 2 factory until after the workers had already left for the day around 8p. What follows is a chronological account so you see as I saw, with some tidbits gleaned from later in the week for context.

So, this is quite long. Grab your favorite brew, sit back and enjoy the flight. Welcome to the hangar.

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Field Ops: RECON Flight Plan

Estimated read time:
Landing Gear

COURGcrew —

I’m at JFK about to board and thought I’d share the flight plan for the next few days so you have a sense of where we’re headed. Here’s the rough coordinates for the next few days. This tour of duty will be intense and we’ll have a lot of big decisions to make.

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COURGcrew —


  • 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

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#COURGcrew —

All systems point to scheduled departure in December. We’re sorting through the multitude of logistical details to ensure smooth fulfillment, from best practices for SKU tracking and instruction inserts to optimizing packaging to accommodate the diverse orders. In the midst of taming that chaos, we keep our most intense focus on COURG itself and all the details I obsess over.

As an aside, I noticed at Wind-Up (more on the fair below) that some people pronounce COURG, “CORG”. NO. NO. NO. It’s pronounced /ˈkʌrɪdʒ/. Eh yeah, thanks for no help, Oxford dictionary.

COURG = COURAGE. (In case you’re a new recruit, check out the ‘splainer.)

Redux = RE-DUCKS. (Bring back, revive)


  • Production and fulfillment on schedule for TiGr2 starting in early December, then TiGr5 to ship a couple weeks later.
  • TiGr2 vs. TiGr5, aesthetically nearly indistinguishable
  • Titanium hardware in full production mode, slotted to arrive in the US end of next week.
  • Developed a proprietary lume for true blue: RDXb1 Layered 7 times +sealant
  • BackerKit lockdown activated, charges to follow when closer to fulfillment
  • Wind-Up NYC x Redux COURGcrew = Good times.
  • Meet Chronos, a clever new device for alerts from your case back

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