About this project
Alberta Watches was born out of the desire to create a beautiful and affordable watch. A pretty simple goal, really. This led to a year-long project of designing the perfect everyday watch: one rugged enough to wear outside, and stylish enough to impress.
My name's Leo. I've been designing products for other companies for several years now. For a long time, I have been looking for a beautiful, yet affordable watch. I never found one that I loved, so I decided to design one myself. The result is Alberta Watches.
From its classic style to the optional handmade leather strap, the Alberta Watch has been deeply inspired by its namesake province. Alberta, Canada, is a place of mountains and lakes, prairies and rivers. From the colours to the choice of leather to the construction, the Alberta Watch takes its cues from that rugged nature.
I had three design goals for the Alberta watch:
AFFORDABLE: Watches usually get sold at 8 to 10 times their value. We're not going to market a lifestyle that isn't yours. This watch isn't for fighter pilots or racecar drivers. It's a great everyday watch at an incredible price.
RUGGED: I wanted the Alberta Watch to stand up to anything you throw at it. As a skier and mountain biker, I'm tough on my gear. I've put the samples through the ringer (and the washing machine, oops!) and am confident offering a two year warranty.
STYLISH: The Alberta Watch offers a refreshing pared down take on the classic field watch. It is equally at home on a fishing trip as in the boardroom. It's a watch you can rely on in any situation.
Our watches are made by some of the most experienced watchmakers in the world. People who also make watches for brands like Casio, Hugo Boss and Bulova. We are so confident about the quality of the watch that we're offering a two year warranty. If the watch breaks, we'll send you a new one. If your strap breaks, we'll send you a new strap.
We're really excited to offer this strap made by Robert Nurse. Robert is a master saddlemaker in Alberta with over 30 years of leather crafting experience. If he can make you a saddle, you can trust him with your watch strap. Hand stitching achieves a durability unmatched by machines, as each stitch is knotted.
I couldn't give a master leathercrafter just any old leather, so we're using one of the best hides available. Horween is a tannery in Chicago that has been producing a leather of almost legendary quality since 1905. The Chromexcel leather we are using is tanned twice. Once to achieve suppleness, and once for durability. It then gets hot-stuffed with waxes to further assure it's longevity. The resulting leather is both beautiful and strong. It only looks better with age.
As a natural and hard-to-work material, leather requires a higher investment compared to options like rubber and nylon. What you get, however, is a comfortable strap that conforms to your wrist over time.
Our standard strap is available in brown or black, has extra anchor stitching for added durability, and the keepers (those loops that hold the strap tail down) are extra wide so they won't break off.
*Photoshop Warning: Because a new grey dial can't be made in time for the campaign, this photoshopped image is the best I can do for now. So please know that the actual watch may differ slightly from the image. But, I have tried to make it as close as possible, and it should give a close approximation!
Sorry, and thank you for understanding!
Robert Nurse is a local saddle maker and leather crafter. He has been making custom leather goods for over 30 years. Robert doesn't love having his face online (he's a classic cowboy type), but you can check out more of his work on his website.
Eugene Ho of Pacific Watchworks grew up in Vancouver, Canada and moved to Hong Kong in 1997 where he began doing product development for well-known brands such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Timberland, Reebok and Ecko. He works with watch brands in North America focusing on design, materials, samples, prototypes, production and quality control. It's because of Eugene that our watches are made by some amazing craftspeople - people that make watches for Casio, Hugo Boss, and Bulova. For more information, please visit www.pacificwatchworks.com.
There are still a few things that have to get done! First, we need to finalize the design of the caseback etching. This is where we need your help. Do you feel really strongly about one of these caseback designs? Let us know in the comments or drop us an email, we'd love to hear from you!
The crowd has spoken! Design 1 will be the caseback. After some edits for better laser-ability and adding the Serialized numbers, this is what we get:
Please leave any advice, thoughts, or questions in the comments, or feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you!
Risks and challenges
If this campaign is successful, there are going to be a few risks and challenges to consider:
After a successful campaign, you'll have two weeks to pick your watch and strap colours using the funder's survey. I really want to make sure the watches ship with plenty of time to spare before Christmas, so gold stars to everyone who fills out the surveys quickly! After two weeks, a default colour will be chosen based on the most popular choice.
I want to make sure that every watch leaves the factory in incredible shape. In this regard, Eugene will be my eyes and ears, making sure strict quality controls are met. Eugene's expertise is almost unparalleled, but I'll add a second quality check by having the first few watches expedited to me for a second tear-down.
I've already enlisted family and friends to park ourselves in a room until every last watch is addressed and shipped. Controlling this step directly will ensure the quickest turn-around possible. Lastly, dealing with import rules is never fun, but I'm crossing all my "T"s and dotting my "I"s early to avoid any problems.
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