One feels that one must apologise before continuing… With ‘targets moved’ and ‘goalposts shifted’, the launch of our first watch has somewhat been surrounded by uncertainty and admittedly, a little pragmatism on our part.
Rest assured though, no promises have been broken or reneged on, but some adaptation has been necessary…
The single most important goal for us, as it’s always been, is to produce a sub 500 euro watch, with levels of quality to rival a 2k ‘retail monster’. This will inevitably mean a struggle to break even on our launch edition, but this first watch isn’t based on a profit model, it’s about setting a precedent; a set of standards that will define our product line for years to come. – Call it a ‘marketing exercise’ if you like (you’d be right to a degree), but this ‘strategic mission statement’ has been devised to help us build the kind of reputation that we’d like to be synonymous with, so the pressure to get this right first time, is palpable.
Needless to say, we’ve left no stone unturned. Not just with process and manufacturing, but also with the Customer journey. As some of you will know, a post-bexit distribution plan has been at the centre of our hold-up. We’ve looked at all kinds of work-arounds; from dual invoices (which could potentially reduce customs valuations for our Customers), to mainland distribution centres that will assemble and distribute the watch as a ‘grey export’.
…As it turns out (thanks to my co-founder’s pure genius), the tax relief we’ll receive for making a ‘green’ product from reclaimed British Steel, will help us absorb a good portion of our Customer’s potential duty costs. So problem solved!!
This is a lovely story, but when are you releasing the f**king Kickstarter?
Why the wait, we’ve been waiting an age?
As it goes, we could launch right now; everything’s certainly in place, but 4 days ago (pretty much around the time we were going to ‘pull the trigger’) we happened on a random email from Kickstarter, informing us of their ‘Make 100’ marketing drive.
…This is something they do every year, and for us (and pretty much any start up) it’s an opportunity to jump into a monumental marketing machine that we’d otherwise not have access to. – With Crowd-Sourcing, you generally have to bring your own crowd, but with ‘Make 100’ you get exposure to the nigh-on-impossible-to-target KS backer pool.
For more information follow this link: https://www.kickstarter.com/make100
If we want to give The HMS Cornwall the VERY best chance of seeing the light of day, it’s hard to see past this. – Our original launch quota was 200, but as we’re no longer working with a profit model (yes! our pieces really do cost a fortune to make… More than the RRP of a good entry level ‘Swiss’), maybe more humble beginnings will give our brand and reputation a more ‘measured’ start.
After a pretty heated meeting, the decision was taken, that selling a limited run of 100 to a broad audience would be much more likely than selling 200 pieces to a self-generated fan base.
So sure, the launch edition watch will be more scarce, but we’ll be able to give each piece the love and care that it deserves, meaning we can stay on-track with our original quality assurance goals, and genuinely offer something that looks a million dollars for less than a new Squale or Steinhart… Nothing wrong with those guys, but we’re coming for them, no question.
What should we expect to see in the meantime?
Lots of teasers. Between now and launch, we’ll be releasing some great studio shots and some beautiful macro filming, produced by the very talented DOP; David Ginelle… Plenty to get your appetite wet, don’t worry about that.
You’ll also see plenty of annoyingly repetitive posts, shared to the various microbrand groups (nothing unusual there then?), and shortly after launch, we hope; several positive reviews… So if you’re a reviewer, we haven’t forgotten about you, it just makes more sense to put the stock out there whilst the campaign is live, as opposed to preempting it… You’re still getting your pieces.
Have any of the Launch spec’s changed.
Yes, they’ve actually improved as we’ve refined certain processes and managed to do better deals on certain 3rd party elements, like movements, straps and glass… I don’t want to give too much away though.
To finish up, I’d like to thank you all for your patience whilst you share this journey with us, it’s been a bumpy ride in places, but we’ve made it to the end and I can say with some conviction, that based on our most recent prototype, that there’s not much our there, this side of two grand that will touch the Cornwall for uniqueness, quality and finish.