I began sending out Vuelta 25s yesterday (January 3rd) and today. I am doing so at a clip of around 15 a day. As I continue to optimize my process and bring on a bit of help I expect that rate to increase.
The Vuelta 17s have still not arrived. The delay is due to a quality issue with the crown that was caught and is being rectified. I am being told that it should be at my office within two weeks time, I will continue to update you with the best information I have. The factory that is producing the case and crown split up the order on me which while necessary has been frustrating for me as it increases some of my costs. Some of the Vuelta 25s are part of this second batch as well, but I do believe I have enough on hand to fill the majority of my orders. Not to mention that by the time I wrap up fulfillment on the first batch, the second will have probably already arrived.
Apologies for flaking on this bit. The sheer complexity and focus of getting this product out the door to you has overshadowed this small but meaningful part of the Kickstarter reward. The idea I had now 10 months ago was to give each of you a dandy frameable certificate to go along with your watch. Instead I am sending you just the watch. (With the box sleeve signed by me with the serial number noted) You will still get the certificate, but it will be a self-serve thing that will set up on my website that you will retrieve by entering in your watch serial and kickstarter email and print. I know. I know. Lame! But I still intend to be good about this and make it as slick as I can.
When you get the Vuelta you will get the box, the watch, a nice microfiber cloth (useful for cleaning AR coated optics) and the owners manual (with warranty info included). Things absent are Warranty registration card and a nifty tag, but as I know who you are anyway, I felt both are collateral more suited for brick and mortar retail. (Does anybody actually fill out and manually mail a registration these days?)
I will in the future aspire for a more unified and complete feel to the packaging ensemble and likely reach out to package design nerds for consultation with this versus rolling my own. While I feel pretty decent about where things landed, it has a bit more to go before winning an Academy award for best unboxing video.
Signing the Sleeve of the Box
Master luthier William Cumpiano signed every guitar he ever made and wrote "Ars longa, vita brevis." on the inside (Life is short, Art is forever) I really like that and decided to do similar. I am however leaving out any aphorisms and just signing the box sleeve with the serial number noted on the cover. (At the risk of turning the thing into a Cabbage Patch Kid).
Protective film on the front crystal
When the watch arrives, peel off the clear vinyl applique on the sapphire crystal. I didn't mention this in the manual, and I'm sure it will be apparent, but I'm mentioning it just in case somebody thinks the crystal is dirty. You never know. ;-)
If you filled out the survey you will notice the bit about recognition on my website. That part still stands and if you choose "Yes" you'll appear on the acknowledgements page on the website. You can say No if you're skittish, but even in this sophisticated world there's still very little a crook or lurker can do with just a name on a webpage. You were a part of this, so stand up and be recognized!
Order of Delivery
Somebody asked if early backers would get preference on delivery and the question set me down a big long meditation on the subject of who-should-get-what-when. The dissatisfyingly vague answer is: Everybody gets treated the same. Which translated into meaningful practical English means you will receive your order based pretty much on how well it batches together with a bunch of other orders I can knock out at the same time. But I will do my best to mix International with Local orders, Large pledges with small pledges, and overall make as fair an unfair thing as possible without letting it get politick-y.
Take a Photo!
If the watch arrives, and you're happy about it, send me a photo of it on your wrist or instagram or blog about it and send the link! I might make a little gallery for here and the website based on what I get.
That's it for now. I'm going to be plenty busy in the weeks ahead. As always if you have questions, comments, please reach out.
I will do my best not to let an update slide for this long again but I am not a fan of sharing information before it's developed and things were murky for a while. I am super appreciative of your patience, and regret the long interval for this update. Much has been in process.
In the case of -both- the prototype development and the production units, the PVD coating step once again proved longer than scheduled and a bit problematic. It's a frustrating bottleneck and something I intend to be more hands on about with future production runs. It was the last piece to be completed, and it's now complete. The watch heads are being assembled and tested and barring any surprises are to be air freighted sometime during the week of the 17th to my office. It must still clear customs and I must inspect, regulate, assemble and box with all it's attendant collateral. Then ship! Inotherwords, there's still further to go. But not much longer. Unless Customs takes unusually long, I expect to be filling orders from late December through January.
On the backburner has been the whole process of getting everything ready to ship. I've had the watch boxes in my office since October. I am about to receive the owners manuals, and I already have microfiber cloth, polyethylene baggies, bales of packing material, shipping boxes, labels and tags. Little things that all need to be sourced and add up to create the whole package experience. Until one attempts to take on packaging, it's tough to appreciate just how much thought and talent goes into the art of creating a presentation that also has to meet aesthetic, functional and business demands. My hat to all the unsung package designers of the world.
In this particular update I also wanted to share somewhat of the unboxing experience complete with a video, etc. But I decided to rework the owners manuals at the last minute to make them nicer looking, and as it was getting to be December already without an update, so that part will have to wait. Frankly you'll be unboxing these for yourself soon enough. :-)
There's few new visuals to share other than the stock bands for those who did not upgrade to the waterproof Chaparral. These bands are now complete, and I will share photos of them with you now.
Wired Magazine covered the Vuelta 17 in their December gift guide, and I absolutely encourage you to check out their magazine if you haven't already, there's tons of great gift ideas in there aside from my products. :-) Nathan Hurst, the editor selected it as a staff pick, and I could not be more honored. Additionally, the Vuelta 17 is part of the Wired Pop Up Store going on right now in NYC in Soho. If you're in the tri-state area I encourage you to check them out. It's currently at 583 Broadway (Broadway and Houston). Let me know what you think.
Also, I've reworked the front page of the website to tell a bit more about the Vuelta to the visitor. Would love to hear your feedback. As always, www.padronwatchco.com
This concludes this update. I haven't been fond of the draggy feel of these last few months nor the fact that the holidays are now tangled up in what should have been a fall delivery. Yet when considering everything, this is precisely the time where planning transitions into execution and that's never going to be neat nor terribly transparent. But we're nearing the moment where watches will finally be delivered and I couldn't be gladder.
Will there be another update before the holidays? Well, I should have good cause to especially if I have the entire order by then, or to keep you informed on what's going on until they arrive. Either way, I won't mind if you bend my ear as sometimes I need to be reminded that silence isn't always golden. But until the next update, I wish you a peaceful holiday season.
Off the bat, I've gotten requests from people who have missed the Kickstart if they can still preorder a Padron Vuelta, and my answer is of course! I am offering the Vuelta for preorder on my website. As always the address is http://www.padronwatchco.com
Both Vuelta prototypes are out of my grab at the moment. The 17 is being reviewed by a magazine, and the 25 is in a museum -- yes, a museum. :-)
The latter is the Walker Art Center, where it will be on display in the lobby in front of the Gift Shop as part of a focus on Kickstart projects local to Minneapolis. It will run from Thursday, October 25th to November 1st. If you live in the Twin Cities, I invite you to stop by and see it. I will be there on the 25th as well as part of the event to answer any questions.
But enough about the glamour of horologist life as I want to take a moment to talk about deadlines, e.g. when can you expect to finally get your awesome Padron watch so you can proudly wear it and tell your friends and loved ones about it. What I have done here is lay out what I know as of right now and extrapolate what the future will look like based on it.
To talk delivery, we need to start with a date which is not the ship date. That date is November 26th, which is when production is to be completed on everything, including a pre-assembly check.
Production can frustratingly feel at times like a black box, but I can share a few things: The order of 37mm sapphire rounds are done and my casemaker has them already. Same for the all-important Seagull TY-2130 and 3620 movements. This is all good news because both sapphire and movements can be the trickiest to secure in a timely manner.
As production is the art of making things, it invariably makes the date. Inotherwords, if there’s a line error, that causes a delay. If equipment breaks down, that’s a delay. Hence, when production is over, the last great unknown (aside from customs) is out of the way and we can draw a schedule on more solid ground. I have been following up closely on this and the latest word I’ve gotten is we’re still good for the 26th as a date. So I’m optimistic.
Assembly and a post-assembly check occur afterwards, which is a week-long process. Then there is air shipment. They will need to clear a customs inspection, then be delivered to my office where I will then do final inspection, a final assembly step, and boxing and shipping. From there, I can then begin to extrapolate a timeframe on the condition that customs remains a smooth process. (Customs did go silk-smooth for the boxes, which are now all in my office)
Assuming we keep the November 26th date, and assuming no holdup in customs, then orders begin to ship mid-December. As things stand right now, I have all the boxes and bands, and it’s time to send out that survey so I can start assembling your orders as of today. In this way when the watches finally arrive, the rest goes quickly.
My vision of what things look like by mid-December is hopefully a situation where I am pulling up your record, locating your box and band, attaching said band to your watch, testing and regulating the watch, and placing it in the box along with the Owners Manual, microfiber cloth, and some last-minute brand collateral I am working on currently. (tags and such). Then sending it to you. Then you being a proud owner of a Padron Vuelta.
That too won’t happen in a day, and I will have help here present for that as there are hundreds of orders to fill. But it will happen and I will ensure it will only happen well.
As always, I promise to keep you posted on any developments as they happen.
I leave this update with some additional photography that I did to help build out a press kit and marketing. At least to show you more of what you're getting. :-)
Write me with any questions.
Attached to this update is the photo of the Vuelta 17. I am very pleased with it, especially the dramatic appearance of the very large TY3620 movement. It also has a nice solid feeling on the wrist, weighing in at 96 grams. (exactly 10 grams more than the 25).
I was however, pleasantly surprised to learn something new about the TY3620. In speaking about the Vuelta 17 during the Kickstarter campaign, I underrepresented the beat count. The movement inside the Vuelta 17 is actually a 21,600 beat-per-hour movement, and not an 18,000. I had it stuck in my head that all wide diameter pocket watch movements were slow tickers when this is not the case with this particular model. And it's a shame, since stating that this was in fact a faster ticker would have definitely enhanced the sales appeal of the 17. Bottom line is: The Vuelta 17 is even a better watch than I said it would be!
Now for some updates:
Boxes are being shipped
The Padron watch boxes are finished, and are currently on a cargo vessel making their way over to the gulf of Mexico all the way from the port of Fuzhou, China. They'll be processed by customs in Laredo, TX then delivered to Minneapolis. They're scheduled to be at my office around the 10th of October.
Default Band is finalized.
After running through many samples, the non-Chaparral band is actually going to be highly similar in appearance to the Chaparral, with exception that it will be black stitch by default. It will also be a genuine leather band, but not have the same level of unique water resistance protection that the Chaparral has.
Watches are being produced.
The Vuelta 25 and 17 are now being made. Manufacturing is a two-month process, which began in earnest last week following the long delay with the prototypes plus changes and approvals. The cases are being made in Hong Kong, and I actually took time to fly out there last week to meet with my casemaker to go over the case prototype and production schedule with a side visit to the HKTDC Watch fair, where I also had the opportunity to shake hands with the awesome team making the boxes now under shipment.
One key development that came out of my HK visit was that I was able to get the black date wheel back into the Vuelta 25 design, which is huge. For a while, the date wheel was to be white (and I had updated my previous renderings to show this) Upon discussing it further with my supplier, we found a way to get the manufacturer to send the movement with the black date wheel already included. Usually this is a separate step which can be time consuming and introduce needless risk. So getting it preassembled with the movement was a definite win.
Needless to say I came back from Hong Kong with better ties to my suppliers and my head swimming with ideas on how to take what has already shaped up to be a great watch and make the next generation even better.
The lateness of the prototypes really did push everything up, but we're now off in the running. September and October is factored as the time it will take to complete and test the components, with some possible bleed into November. Late October / early November is when I would have things air-freighted (versus sea freight) to the US, which will be appreciably faster and safer. Customs is always a wildcard. Customs may simply greenlight my shipment, or give me considerable grief as a first time manufacturer, but I have done everything possible with my logistics partners to ensure compliance for an issue-free importation.
As of today, I am forecasting receipt of the goods with testing, packaging and distribution to you happening throughout November to early December. I will do all in my power to ensure we stick to this timeframe.
We have a product. It's real, a bunch of them are being made right now, and it's the most satisfying feeling to be at this point, considering that you helped me get this off the ground just this April.
And it's a beautiful, amazing and dependable watch. I've worn both the Vuelta 17 and 25 on my wrist for weeks now. I took both prototypes with me on my trip to Hong Kong and wore the heavier 17 while wandering around much of the city. On the hottest days (and it's humid as heck in HK) the watch never once felt burdensome, and I attribute that to the excellent breathability of the Chaparral band, and the design of the lugs, which by standing just slightly above the wrist allow for additional air flow.
I will close this update with a photo of me at Victoria Peak high above Hong Kong bay posing with the Vuelta 17. I don't think I've shared a wrist shot in my last update, but here you can get an idea of the size and look of it here. I've mocked up the thing countless times, but until you wear it on the wrist, you never quite know what you have. I'm happy to say that it's everything I would want as a watchmaker and an enthusiast, and I cannot wait for you to have your own and share in my enthusiasm.
seconds to go
Pledge $3 or moreYou selected
Every little bit helps and you have my deepest thanks. Your name will appear as a contributor on the launch website.Estimated delivery:
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A personal Thank You card, credit as a backer on my website, and free Padron Watch Company stickers.Estimated delivery:
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A personal Thank You card, credit as a backer on my website in larger boldface type, and a napkin sketch on any topic your choosing (must be appropriate, and yes, I am drawing it. :-)Estimated delivery:
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A personal Thank You card, credit as a backer on my website, and a personally autographed and mounted 8x10 print of a Vuelta schematic.Estimated delivery:
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Credit as a backer on my website, free stickers, and a handsomely mounted and autographed 8x10 color print of the Padron Vuelta 17 prototype rendering. You'll also receive a cool paperweight I've made out of vintage watch parts cast in clear resin.Estimated delivery:
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A personal Thank You card, credit as a backer on my website in largest boldface type with a tweet-length (140 characters) flyout message of your choosing. One -awesome- Padron Watch Company t-shirt (specify size), 8x10 autographed schematic, and tons of stickers. And a cool paperweight I've made out of actual watch parts cast in clear resin. :-)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $289 or moreYou selected
10 backers All gone!
Exclusive "Early backer" price for the Padron Vuelta 17 Pilot. 10 of these will be made available. If you missed this, you are still receiving the great pre-launch offer for the Padron Vuelta 17 Pilot and 25 Automatic listed below.Estimated delivery:
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10 backers All gone!
Exclusive "Early backer" price for the Padron Vuelta 25 Automatic. 10 of these will be made available. If you missed this, you are still receiving the great pre-launch offer for the Padron Vuelta 17 Pilot and 25 Automatic listed below.Estimated delivery:
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21 backers Limited (79 left of 100)
This is the pre-launch price for the Vuelta "17 Pilot". This pledge will count towards the preorder of one. You will also receive an official "backers certificate" which indicates your support in making this launch happen.Estimated delivery:
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90 backers Limited (10 left of 100)
This is the pre-launch price for the Vuelta "25" Automatic. This pledge will count towards the preorder of one. You will also receive an official "backers certificate" which indicates your support in making this launch happen.Estimated delivery:
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3 backers Limited (32 left of 35)
This is the pre-launch price for the Vuelta "17" Pilot inclusive of the upgrade to the ultra-water resistant Chaparral™ band. If you've already pledged this combo, no worries. Your order is noted though you may switch to this at any time. Please indicate black or red stitching when selecting this pledge. You will also receive an official "backers certificate" which indicates your support in making this launch happen.Estimated delivery:
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35 backers All gone!
I have extended the Kickstarter offer for the Vuelta 25: This is the pre-launch price for the Vuelta "25" Automatic inclusive of the upgrade to the ultra-water resistant Chaparral™ band. If you've already pledged this combo, no worries. Your order is noted though you may switch to this at any time. This is for new pledgers who missed out on the first 100. Please indicate black or red stitching when selecting this pledge. You will also receive an official "backers certificate" which indicates your support in making this launch happen.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $438 or moreYou selected
23 backers Limited (12 left of 35)
I am extending this offer to an additional 35 spots: This is the pre-launch price for the Vuelta "25" Automatic inclusive of the upgrade to the ultra-water resistant Chaparral™ band. If you've already pledged this combo, no worries. Your order is noted though you may switch to this at any time. Please indicate black or red stitching when selecting this pledge. You will also receive an official "backers certificate" which indicates your support in making this launch happen.Estimated delivery:
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Why settle for one when you can get two Padron Vuelta 17 Pilots? Now you can at a great value!Estimated delivery:
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This is a 2-pack offer for both models of the Padron Vuelta (The 17 Pilot and 25 Automatic). A great value!Estimated delivery:
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Why settle for one when you can get two Padron Vuelta 25 Automatics? Now you can at a great value!Estimated delivery:
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1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)
Wholesale sampler of 5 Padron Vueltas. QTY 3 Padron Vuelta 25 Automatics, QTY 2 Padron Vuelta 17 Pilots Plus a "backers certificate" and a free 8x10 signed print of the schematic.Estimated delivery:
- (50 days)