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

(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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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 —


  • 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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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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#COURGcrew —

Just in, the photos we’ve all been waiting for — and quite possibly the first TiGr2 vs TiGr5 direct comparison posted anywhere online based on everyone’s extensive web hunting!


  • Titanium grade 2 and grade 5 prototypes do not differ noticeably in color.
  • Worn & Wound to host “world’s first affordable watch fair” in NYC, 23-25Oct. We’ll be there.

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#COURGcrew — October SITREP.

Thrilled to report we’ve made steady progress in the last few weeks. This got a bit long as usual, and I hope you enjoy this dispatch from the ground crew hard at work here in the hangar.


If you haven’t already, FILL OUT YOUR SURVEY NOW so we can include your order in the first production wave … we’ll wait right here for you … until this MONDAY.


  • Mission on schedule
  • Survey lock and load: 19OCT (MONDAY)
  • Production underway for Ti grade 2, pressure tested to 17ATM
  • Ti grade 5 prototype near completion, pressure tested to 20ATM
  • Helvetica for Type-A
  • Exclusive titanium strap hardware confirmed
  • Multiple order shipping & freight no added cost
  • Horween leather patterns in motion
  • Fly Boy –> Superbowl Boy
  • Check this space for HQ dispatches

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Mission Control: BackerKit Survey Dispatched.


  • Problems?
    Titanium grade 2 and grade 5 order mix enabled
    Horween XL!
    Quartermaster Requisition Directive: Scramble backers to review preflight checklists to confirm COURG order details on the double so that we can taxi down the runway and prepare for on time departure.

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SITREP: Ground Crew Operations

Directive current as of 14:50 19SEP15

TL; DR Coordinates

  • BackerKit surveys Monday/Tuesday
    Pre-production case molds for both titanium grade 2 and grade 5 on schedule
    Case back design distilled with room for engraving
    New titanium grade 5 manufacturer, upgrade add-on price revision = 35USD
    Consulting with Seiko about shock resistance
    Horween backers only — Raise your hands for XL Straps, and VOTE on strap tail shape:
    Titanium strap hardware design and development process evaluation
    18 ATM confirmed after pressure testing
    Wish Kid wants to fly a fighter jet!

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#COURGcrew —


  • 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.)

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#COURGcrew — !

Debrief from the latest developments with the ground crew in the hangar and beyond.

TL;DR: Please report your locations and Ti strap hardware upgrade preferences for logistics planning:

Mission Phase: Production Prototypes

Airframe: Our agents in the field report our manufacturer has production prototypes in motion. This means that the makers begun to build the molds, and tooling that will shape the titanium grade 2 and grade 5 for our COURG cases, bezels, backs, and crown.
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COURGcrew —

Here’s a compilation of prototypes that make up the design benchmark for where we’re headed into the final production of the COURG.

COURG, Type-A.


COURG Titanium grade 2, with final bezel triangle marker dimensions

COURG on prototype Italian Leather MilStrap with exclusive Redux strap titanium hardware

COURG on prototype Italian Leather MilStrap with exclusive Redux strap titanium hardware

All the Variants.

Note that all variants come in date and no-date versions, including the Type-B.

Both Type-A and Type-B have been

final design benchmarks


Horween Chromexcel collaboration with the Worn & Wound team.

color8 natural

Horween Chromexcel: Color 8 (left), Natural (right)

Worn & Wound x Redux Collaboration

Prototype of the Natural strap. Note that we will use a natural uncolored thread for this, and dark gray thread for the Color 8.


Italian leather MilStrap with secure understrap.

Italian MilStrap Square

Italian MilStrap: Distressed tan (top), Saddle dark brown (bottom)


All together now:

Image: Bernard, editor in chief Everyday Carry

Image: Bernard, editor in chief Everyday Carry at Wind-Up, NYC

Packaging: The Redux Crate + Waxed Canvas Mission Folio

S box front

L box front






Estimated read time:
by air

COURG for every mission. Every day.

This watch is for all those of you out there with adventure in your blood, and missions to tackle.

Nope, that’s not a typo.

COURG is a way point, which is a navigational tool used by pilots to chart their flight across the globe. Way points are composed of 5-letters and made to be spoken as a word so pilots can quickly transmit their location via radio. This particular way point stands just outside Washington, DC and as you probably guessed — is pronounced COURAGE.

We chose COURG because courage is a character trait we could all use more of — choosing to make the right and often difficult decisions even when we know the going will get tough.

Now you know, it’s not “CORG”, COURG = COURAGE

Be strong and very courageous, friends.