Hi Kickstarters, I am a watch designer with a passion for
classic cars. I visited a Good Guys car show in Jacksonville, Florida and while
l was there l designed the perfect watch to accompany a long drive in a classic
‘50s American car.
When l got back to the UK l gradually turned my drawings
intotechnical plans and then set about building the prototype that you see in
the photos. I used a Swiss ETA mechanical movement, and a Swiss Sapphire, the
rest l made myself, including the dial and leather straps from the finest leathers
I printed the Coastliner script logo onto the dial and added
my trading style for this project which is Automatic Watch Co. I thought this
sounded like a ‘50s industrial brand.
The result is a gorgeous watch which has been well received.
I want to make a proper production run of 50 Coastliner watches.
To be able to do this production run properly, l really need to have
some tooling made and have the cases turned on a CNC machine. Then l can work my artistry and finish
the watches off by hand.
The watches will have a 1 year guarantee and come in a
beautiful presentation box.
- Stainless steel case,
mirror polish finish
- Screw down case-back with exhibition window
- Case diameter - 40 mm
- Waterproof to 50 meters ATM
- Sapphire Crystal
- ETA 2824 - 2 self-winding mechanical movement
- Calfskin, light brown leather strap with light green lining
- Stainless steel push-button deployment clasp
- Designed in the USA, Swiss Made
PRODUCING A WATCH
I started out like most people in this industry, by taking apart old watches to see how they work. I have come a long way since then and have recently finished my own movement design.
My Deuce watch is a good example of my work. It started out as a rough prototype in aluminium and then stainless steel, turned on my old lathe in the UK. This lathe dates back to the 1960s and was probably designed in the '40s but it hasn't let me down yet.
The dials are chemically milled out of brass sheet. This provides the surface textures and also cuts out the disc while keeping it completely flat. I then use my high speed micro drill (revs to 30,000 rpm) to drill out the tiny holes for the applied numerals which have two brass pegs behind each number.
Next up, l spray the dials to achieve the finished colour. Then l take the whole project to Switzerland. It is only one hour away from Gatwick airport to either Basle or Geneva. The way that the industry works is that most of the famous brands don't actually make all of their watch. they go to a case maker, then a movement maker, then a dial maker and so on. I probably do more work on my watches than most brands do. I have contacts at several case makers and they produce the finished cases to my specifications and plans. My dials are printed by a specialist printer in Switzerland and then l apply the numerals by hand - a tricky process that l have mastered.
I buy the ETA movements ready made. For the Deuce watch l had some straps made in Geneva, but l now make my own straps. All of the parts come together at my friends offices in Marin-Epagnier, a village just north of Neuchatel.
I have to pay 4.5% import duty on the watches when l ship them back to my office in the UK which isn't too bad. I sometimes have watch packaging made in Switzerland and sometimes in the UK. It is price dependent really.
Here is my finished Deuce watch!
Risks and challenges
I have plenty of experience in the watch industry and have extensive contacts within the Swiss factories that make watch parts for the famous brands, so the quality is assured for any additional parts that l don’t make myself.
The prototype works perfectly and the ETA movement is a reliable base for accurate timekeeping.
The only downside is the long lead times that you have to endure in Switzerland to get anything done, such as the machining and engraving of the cases and casebacks. So l would expect to have finished the watches within 5 months from the closure date of the Kickstarter pitch. I could say sooner but l don’t want to let anyone down.