[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

TL;DR

  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.)

 

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.

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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 —

TL;DR

  • 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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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

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