Stainless steel chronograph
Kickstarter Watch Project
I joined Giant watch company this year, and my first order was from an Australian customer for the kickstarter watch project. We received the 1st inquiry on 27th Feb, 2017, and we counter - offered on the prices under the specific design with all kinds of specification. After 3 days, we confirmed the sample and bulk price under Sellita SW260-1 movement, genuine alligator strap, 316L stainless steel. And my customer settled the payment on 30th Feb. The process from the 1st inquiry to the payment settled took only 3 days. You know, I was pretty excited at that time.
When we received the payment, we started to confirm the every detail with our customer: case design, dial, hands, crown, strap , buckle, logo and words design on the watch... All the details confirmation took quite a few days, since we would have to confirm all the watch details one by one before production. Then we made the drawings for our customer checking. But all the production details a nd drawings were confirmed till to 15th April, because of the back and forth change and revision from customer, to perfect the watch design for each part.
On 16th April, we past the order information to our factory to arrange production. For the watch, the main parts are the case, dial, strap, which will take a long time for production. Here i would like to share the sample making process.
On 12th May, we finished the dial and we checked it carefully to see if all the details were following our customer’s requirement. The answer was yes. So we took photos for our customer’s checking, and they were very happy with what we had done, which was under our expectation actually. But when we assembled the dial to the case which was finished on 26th May, we were quite surprised to be advised that they were not quite satisfied with the whole appearance. They thought the flat dial might be more matching with the case than the curved dial, so they strongly requested us to re-make the dial and then to see whether the flat one or the curved one will be more perfect. Then we informed our factory of making the extra flat dial in vertical brushed finishing, which was ready on 15th June. Finally they chose the new flat dial.
On 26th May, the case was finished. To be honest, the case was pretty nice, especially the beautiful glossy finishing made the watch in high luxury. We took pictures from all angles and sent them to our customer for reviewing. They were satisfied with it, except the words between the case lug. They requested us to remove the words to the case back, since the actual appearance of the words on the case was not what they thought. To meet their requirement, we polished all the case to remove all the words, and then etched the words on the case back. On 10th June, the new case and case back were finished. And at last, we got the approval from our customer.
When the crown was assembled to the watch, we found that the crown did not match with the case very well. Since there were 2 steps on the original crown design, and the inner step can be seen from outside, which made the whole appearance not nice. We reported it to our customer and they felt the same way. Then we informed our factory of CNC the crown to remove the inner step to make it more thinner, much more matching with the case.
For the hands, normally we will find the similar hands in the current stock to match the design, since creating the hand model is very expensive (3 hands mean 3 models) and actually the hands of current stock are sufficient for all types of hand designs. But our customer’s hands design was very very special, so we had to create the hands models to customize, and we make the blue color by heating.
For the strap, we spent a lot of time in getting the right color and alligator pattern. Since as you know, it is kind of hard to get the right color in sample status ( For strap sample, we normally will find the existing leather color to match the required color to avoid the high wastage of dying a whole piece of leather to just get one leather strap). For the genuine alligator pattern, it will be quite different even in the same completed leather ( The pattern on the alligator belly will be larger and nicer than the limbs). We followed the required color and alligator pattern to source many times in the leather market, and finally we found the best matchable leather to make the strap sample, even the wastage was very high since we had to buy the large leather to make one strap sample only.
The whole completed watch sample was finished and assembled on 16tH June. We took the short video from all directions and showed to our customers. Honestly, i was a bit nervous, even though the sample was nice and was made under all the requirements of our customer, since i was afraid to be told that they would need the another change. Finally, they accepted the sample. You can’t imagine how happy i was when i see “Approval”!!!
Today when i review this project and all the sample making processes, the sample taking such a long time ( almost 4 months) is due to the back and forth changing and correction during production, and the sample re-making after the 1st round sample was finished. Actually we had the reason to say no of re-making the sample, since we confirmed the watch details beforehand to customize the watch. But the question is “should we”. The watch is an artwork actually. The back and forth changing is quite reasonable, since you will never know what the actual watch will be until it is finished. Design is one thing, the actual watch is another thing. What’s more, following our customers’ instruction of making the watch they require is our company’s responsibility and this is what OEM means. For our customers, they focus on the designs and marketing, and we, as the watch manufacturer, will provide the most professional OEM watch manufacturing service to help them achieve their designs in manufacturing and to be their strong backup. Only both of us are working together, can we present the perfect watch to the consumers and the market.