Aside from the fact that pretty much every business is set up to make a comfortable living for it’s Directors (us included), we were of the opinion pretty early on, that if we’re to get rich form building watches, then it would be on volume of sales, not mark-up. Getting a reputation for making great pieces, as well as having more integrity, seemed like a more sustainable way of doing things.
Sure, it’s going to take us longer to reach the perihelion of ‘watch building royalty’, but as with any start-up, the focus has to remain on short term value propositions and addressing the genuine demands of our buying public.
As a budding (but terrible) guitarist, I was always impressed by Paul Reed Smith’s business model; ‘superior quality at any cost’. – A model that, in principle anyway, is regarded by the ‘number crunchers’ as commercial suicide, but this relentless pursuit of perfection (if you keep the faith), I believe, will always become synonymous with your brand if you can adapt to the inevitable short term failures and somehow just keep going.
The challenge for any start up when trying to work this ethos, is that the product needs to be ‘in hand’ and physically in the public domain for some considerable time, in order to gain such a revered reputation.
So, using this model to inspire us, we agreed on five unbreakable principles, that we have vowed never to deviate from, no matter how shallow the bottom line looks.
1/ We’re making the watch out of a battleship, fact! Not including an arbitrary piece of commemorative metal in the case back so we can simply associate ourself with ‘faux heritage’. The case, case back and bezel will ALL be sourced from the same historical metal asset.
2/ 90% OEM at least. With the exception of the movement, standard indices and crown tube, the glass and various gaskets, every component will be developed and manufactured based on our own spec’, in the UK.
3/ To include at least 3 details that you’d normally expect to see on a very high end piece. This area is still pretty ‘fluid’, but we’ll be choosing these features from the original hand-tooled prototype. As it stands, we’re considering; multi directional brushing, flash-plating of details, dyed lume, matt ceramic, satin treatments to the inner rehaut and two specific variants of the watch (not interchangeable parts).
4/ 70% of the stock to be available to earlybird backers, not just few ‘family and friends’ pieces, used to create the impression that we’re doing well.
5/ All assembly and quality control to be overseen by at least one founding Director. We won’t send it out if we wouldn’t buy it… To be honest, we think it’s pretty deplorable to outsource quality control, but hey, that’s just us.