Design Goals: Affordable Luxury, Natural Materials, Stylish Design
Affordable Luxury: Automatic watches are expensive, usually costing upwards of $1000. They do not require any batteries and they use the power of your own arm movements to self-wind and continue running. My dad has a few of his own mechanical watches from 40 years ago that still work with a little bit of winding! Our goal was to keep the Kickstarter price for this watch under $500 without sacrificing quality, and we achieved it! The watches are made with surgical grade stainless steel (316L), scratch resistant sapphire optics for both the front and the back (yes, there's a "showcase back"!), 5ATM water resistance, and Super-LumiNova photoluminescence! By cutting out all middle-men, we can now manufacture these luxury watches and make them available at a fraction of the price that they would sell for in a watch store. As a Kickstarter backer, you get an additional discount (up to 50%) over the retail prices of these watches (retail price $790)!
Natural Materials: We have always loved the look of wood and steel; its probably why we love to work out of cafes with wooden tables!
Freelancer" by LAIDBACK comes in two varieties of wood - Red Sandalwood and Bamboo. Both come with matching Genuine Leather straps with same-color stitching to further emphasize the watch dial.
The Red Sandalwood offers a rich, deep and mature feel; that can appear rugged in the day-time yet classy at nights. The case of the Red Sandalwood has a sleek gun-metal PVD coating that adds to its allure.
The Bamboo offers a bright, cheerful and youthful feel; that appears flashy in the day-time yet snazzy at nights. The case of the Bamboo has a shiny polished finish that will definitely grab attention!
Stylish Design: Relaxed yet sophisticated. It's how we would define a laidback freelancer. The Roman numeral track vaguely resembles a hammock, and the visual symmetry of the track that tapers at the ends and is widest at 5H (V) is balanced perfectly by the crown at 2H and the Power Reserve sub-dial between 10-12.
One of the hands (hour hand) is solid and white with a SuperLumi-Nova coating similar to the colors in the black sub-dial; while the other hand (minute hand) provides a see-through outline similar to the Roman numeral track. We opted for a screw-down crown to improve the water resistance for 5ATM. We also moved the position to 2H to provide better comfort. The curved lugs lend a grand feel to the case which weighs in at exactly 99 grams.
In true freelancer fashion, this watch design was made possible through the global contributions of various freelancers, including a Swiss watch-designer with over 15 years of experience in the watch-making industry.
The watch design for "FREELANCER" by LAIDBACK began a year ago; and took months of sketches, refinements, 3D modeling and renderings to perfect. Next, we sent our final designs over to our manufacturer to prepare prototypes. We tested various finishes and coatings on the stainless steel case. The watch required case molds, polish, machining, engravings and assembly to come together, particularly given the hard task of combining wood with steel; and the custom elements such as hands and sub-dials. When I finally received the prototypes in my hand, I was in tears - they were so damn beautiful to hold! What started off as a sketch on a piece of paper was now a beautiful functioning automatic watch on my wrist.
The heart of the watch. The 9130 Miyota Movement is both competent and attractive in this watch, beating a smooth seconds-hand sweep across the dial, which look especially exciting between the 10H and 12H.
- Case Dimensions: 42MM diameter; 12.72MM thickness
- Case Material: 316L Surgical Grade Stainless Steel (corrosion resistant to sea water)
- Optics: Scratch Resistant Sapphire Crystal (Front and Back)
- Water Resistant to 165 feet / 50 Meters (5 ATM)
- 40 Hour Power Reserve
- Superluminous hands and dial
- 22 MM x 20 MM Tapered Genuine Leather Band with Same-Color Stitching
- Butterfly Deployment Clasp
- Lacquered wood presentation box
- Two Year Limited Warranty
We've finalized the technical designs and lined up our manufacturer. We have ordered multiple prototypes and are satisfied with the quality of work. We are ready to start manufacturing as soon as we raise the funds for the initial order. The lead time will be 3 months for manufacture (Oct-Dec) and another month for packaging and shipping (Jan). We expect to deliver these watches to you in February 2017, just in time for Valentine's Day (*hint* the DOUBLES reward could be a great gift for yourself and your partner)!
How will your Kickstarter pledge help?
The funds that you pledge will be used to procure the movements, manufacture the cases and hands and finally assemble the watches. We will also procure materials for packaging such as the boxes and the watch pillows.
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