We all want millionaire watches. You know the kind.
Watches so unique, they are instant conversation starters.
Watches so expensive, they stun the room and make people whisper our name.
Watches with that ONE thing that make them cost more than a house -- the Tourbillon.
Put a tourbillon into any watch — the price explodes: Six Figures. Seven Figures.
The world’s most expensive watches??
No surprise - they are all tourbillons.
Want to buy a tourbillon for five figures?
The New York Times says that is almost impossible.
Clearly tourbillon watches are out of reach for me and you, for nearly everyone.
Yet...do they have to be?
When you think about making a more inexpensive tourbillon, simply “cutting out the middlemen” or “eliminating manufacturer markup” won’t bring down the price of tourbillon watches.
Those are overused marketing buzz words for making yet ANOTHER “affordable luxury” watch.
This is harsh language but it needs to be said. Any brand that talks about “cutting middlemen” and selling true luxury watches “direct to consumer” is telling you a nice fairy tale.
It sounds nice in practice but it isn't based in reality whatsoever.
Because in reality: a basic minimal watch with a turnstile Miyota movement can NEVER be a luxury watch.
It's putting lipstick on a pig.
You are paying a “luxury” price for craftsmanship on par with a Walmart bargain bin watch.
What you’re getting isn’t “affordable luxury”, you’re paying $270 for a fabricated story and $19 for a cheap watch.
This isn't bringing you affordable luxury - it is robbing you.
Fortunately, or unfortunately for us, we just saw that tourbillon watches really ARE 6 or 7 figures.
Again if that sounds insane - I agree with you 100%.
But what is even more insane, what will REALLY make you mad...is the reason they are so expensive.
And the reason is all too familiar; a small group is controlling nearly everything. There is actually a "secret watch society” actively price gouging high-end timepieces and stopping us from wearing what we want.
To uncover this unfairness, we first need to see why tourbillon watches are intrinsically so valuable. Only then can we know and what is or isn’t fair to pay for them.
Here’s why they will always be pricey...
In order to make a tourbillon, expert machinists use million dollar equipment like the Willemin 5-Axis. These machines give form and function to finest of raw materials.
This machine transforms precious metals into the cases, bezels, fasteners, and dials of your tourbillon watch.
Want an ultra high-end watch?
Then you need high-end watch parts.
And high-end watch parts can only come from high-end machines.
A tourbillon cannot be built in an environment that is less than perfect.
Every piece is made precise and accurate.
The margin of error is only microns.
But these are JUST the watch parts.
We haven't even begun the Grand Ballet of Watch Assembly yet.
100s Of Hours Of Detail
Because you see, after machining, these intricate parts are hand-worked. The attention each piece receives walks a fine line between obsession and passion.
You don’t just have one watchmaker dedicated to making your timepiece. A small army of master horologists add hours...and hours - of laser focused, hand-crafted detail.
And It takes 100s of painstaking hours to make ONE tourbillon.
Yet hyper-focused eyes and minds are not enough. To successfully build a tourbillon timepiece, you need the most important ingredient of all.
Master watchmakers are the only ones capable of building a tourbillon.
Only through years and years of training, practice, and learning can they tackle complications such as minute repeaters, grand sonnier, and the tourbillon.
Because for these elite artisans, it isn’t just watchmaking.
They approach their craft like its heart surgery.
And this tourbillon assembly? That’s a HEART TRANSPLANT.
If all this seems excessive, remember - NOTHING about a tourbillon watch is supposed to be “affordable” or “normal” or “accessible”.
From the million dollar equipment, to the surgically precise watch parts
From 100s of artisanal labor hours, to the world-class fingers of the horologists:
A Tourbillon IS the supercar of watches,
A marvel of engineering,
But does it really have to be THAT expensive? Does it really have to be THAT ridiculously priced?
We believe no watch should be beyond our grasp. ERA represents the first way to finally access ultra high end watches. We are the only solution to the question:
How Do You Buy Millionaire Watches For Under $1000?
Hopefully you are skeptical. Knowing how tourbillons are now made, how is it even remotely possible to buy them for 3 figures?
Remember that watch “secret society” we mentioned earlier? The one purposely keeping you away from the watches you love, purposely holding you back. Lets expose them.
See, the ultra-luxury watch brands are making fools out of you and me. We are being lied to and manipulated by a select group of corporations, AGAIN.
Remember: we just saw that only elite watchmakers can build a tourbillon.
But... the ultra-luxury brands control the world’s elite watchmakers.
So, you want a tourbillon watch?
No problem. You can get one through a luxury watch brand and they will charge you anywhere from $100,000 to even $1,000,000 dollars or more.
Don’t like that price?
Who else is going to make the watch for you? The luxury watch brands control the world’s elite watchmakers.
If that sounds like an unfair monopoly or cartel -- you’re right. It Is
But here at ERA, we want to finally break this monopoly and we are in a unique position to do so.
Having first worked as luxury brand distributors, we got to see “behind the scenes” and how things worked in the watch industry.
More importantly after years of networking and forming strategic partnerships:
We got to know the same master watchmakers who build tourbillons for the luxury brand cartel.
By partnering with these same master watchmakers, we broke through the cartel wall.
And together with these master watchmakers, we finally made the world’s first ever accessible tourbillon.
In Greek mythology Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gave it to mankind.
He took from those with unlimited power, and shared a gift that was meant for all.
Inspired by this timeless myth, we made a tourbillon watch attainable for all.
Made EXACTLY like other tourbillon watches, the ERA Prometheus comes with a lower half, exposed mechanism.
Here we see the balance wheel, pallet fork, hairspring: watchmaking virtuosity in full display.
Other than the show-stopping Tourbillon, the ERA Prometheus has even more complications that you would expect from a 6-figure watch.
Every timepiece is detailed and engraved with gears and other flourishes. Such as a 24 hour GMT Timer on the left and a dual revolving sun-moon dial on the right.
All these mechanisms are housed behind beautiful sapphire crystal and a special made stainless steel body.
As befitting for a watch of its caliber, the Prometheus also features a hornback leather croc style band that is stitched with premium midnight blue threading.
We originally didn't want to offer brown bands with this particular model because we are extreme horological and design purists here, and brown doesn't usually go with the blues we have on the dial of our timepiece (earth tone palettes and cool ones usually don't go together).
That being said, we still took some photos with some prototype sourced brown hornback croc bands and put them on our Instagram for fun awhile back.
After so many of our fans wrote in wanting them, we took a hard look at our stance and we're pleased to announce we are going to give our customers what they want.
Here are some prototype photos of some of the brown hornback croc bands, we will get feedback from our backers and finalize which ones the final one will ship with, so don't worry about selecting a color on your reward level!
Lastly on the back, each watch is engraved with a unique serial number. So your timepiece will be a limited edition and always, one of a kind.
The finest timepieces must be stored in the finest way, so it's no surprise that we have a hand-crafted and polished lacquered wood box to house your legendary timepiece.
And as amazing as it already looks -- this box shown here is actually just a prototype, the final version will be even more custom and stunning!
We're proud to announce that we will be introducing TWO other variants for those who simply must have the finest Tourbillon upgrade pick:
The ERA Prometheus Titan Edition & ERA Prometheus Prime Edition
The ERA Prometheus Titan Edition and Prime Edition are both special limited-edition versions that feature over 2.3 carats and over 78 diamonds that have been fused with the bezel and stretched around all surrounding metallic surfaces.
Both feature an upgraded PLATINUM bezel and all the diamonds on both are natural Bright cut round GH colored diamonds with a clarity of VS1.
The main difference between the Prime Edition and the Titan Edition, is the Prime Edition will be the FIRST public Tourbillon that will be produced, customized, and delivered with the serial number ERA00000001.
In short, it will be the first timepiece to usher in a new age of horology for the masses.
But with such amazing timepieces, it's important to remember that while your tourbillon timepiece is bound to attract a lot of attention, owning an ERA Prometheus is not about flaunting a 6 figure timepiece.
It’s about - NO WATCH being beyond our grasp.
It’s about - NO ONE telling us where our place is in life.
It’s about - NOTHING being impossible to get.
If you agree with that...then please, back our timepieces and support our kickstarter.
We pride ourselves in being the most most accessible high-end tourbillon timepieces in the market. So for a full 24 months (2 Years):
If your watch is suffering from any mechanical defect, we will gladly service it for free during this time and make it right.
We are aiming to make our shipping fees as quick and as affordable as possible.
We expect delivery for this initial kickstarter campaign to begin in mid-November 2018.
Diameter: 44 mm
Thickness: 12.72 mm
Accuracy: +/-25 seconds/day
Power Reserve: ~42hours
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Case: Hand Finished 316L Stainless Steel
Crystal: Ultra Scratch-resistant Sapphire Glass
Water Resistance: 5 ATM / 50 Meters
Movement: HZ3360A Tourbillon
Strap: Black Hornback Style 100% Leather With Midnight Blue Stitching
Weight: 3.53oz / 100 grams
We started ERA because we yearned to wear watches that were impossible for regular people to wear. Since these watches were purposely kept away from us by luxury brand cartels, we knew there had to be a better way.
Emboldened by our relationships with independent master watchmakers around the world, ERA was founded to breakthrough this luxury brand monopoly.
Our team’s background for ERA started as a small but successful boutique distributor of high end luxury goods. It was founded by Michael Galarza who is a modern horology enthusiast with a love for ultra high-end timepieces.
His greatest passion however is for disruption of corrupt, unfair, and inefficient markets.
Believing no good or service should be beyond anyone’s grasp, he’s been all over the globe since 2009 challenging industry status quo in the apparel, jewelry, and watch sectors.
Knowing that a watch is a unique form of art, design, and personal expression - his company strives to make the most inaccessible watches, accessible.
What exactly is a tourbillon?
A tourbillon is the invention of famed watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. It was made to counter the ill effects of gravity on the accuracy of his timepieces.
Breguet’s solution was to create an escapement that was constantly in a state of motion. Called the tourbillon (French for “whirlwind”), the escapement is housed in a rotating cage that, because of the constant motion, averages out the effect of gravity when the watch is stuck in different positions.
They’ve remained common among the uppermost echelon of the watch market. Most Swiss-made examples start at around $40,000 and price tags often break the six-figure barrier.
This is because tourbillons are arguably one the most difficult movement to make by hand. The tourbillon mechanism is tiny, weighing in at under a gram, and is usually crafted with more than 40 parts, finished by hand and made from lightweight metals like aluminum and titanium. They require a special set of tools and a lot of time to make. For example, just to make a single A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Pour le Merite, its tourbillon chronograph movement takes 18 months.
I saw a tourbillon for $100 - what’s the difference?
Simply put, those aren’t tourbillons.
These are scammers that are trying to pass off an open heart / flywheel off as a real tourbillon. They are preying on the customer thinking they can see some simple gears and equating it with a tourbillon. What you are probably seeing is an attempt by a Chinese seller to pass a regular mechanical watch as a tourbillon-like watch.
They are allowed to advertise in such a confusing and possibly ill-intention manner because the platform (aliexpress, amazon, ebay, etc.) lets them.
There are no trusted brands who sell mechanical tourbillon watches for under $1000.
And that’s why we created ERA
Is your tourbillon real? How is it so much less expensive?
There is no such thing as a “real” or “fake” tourbillon. You either have the mastery to make it or you don’t.
And most cannot - they are a feat of technology and creativity, both beautiful to look at and very difficult to make by hand. .
That’s why tourbillon watches will always be pricey.
But by breaking through the cartel and monopoly, we are able to get you a world-class tourbillon for on average 99% OFF what you would pay for another similar Tourbillon.
Will I be forced to pay high VAT / Customs fees?
In short, no.
When we send out the backer surveys, we will give you an option to pick a low declared value so you pay little to no VAT / Customs fees, or the option to pick a declaration of the full amount you paid.
We will work with our couriers to make sure you pay as low a price as possible when it arrives.
What about servicing for my watch?
That's a great question -- because your timepiece will eventually need to be serviced every 3-5 years, as it's a literal machine that has hundreds of pieces that click perfectly into place thousands of times a day.
We're pleased to announce that we have secured agreements with some world-class horologists that have agreed to service our watches when they are needed.
Just shoot us a message when you want your watch serviced, and we'll take care of the rest!
We are avid readers of watchuseek and consider ourselves watch nerds. We are very open to a healthy discussion regarding a myriad of topics like: movement, sensitivity, movement comparisons, tourbillon comparisons, price vs value, etc.
We only ask that you backup your claims with data or relevant technical images, because whenever we can - we will as well.
With a project of this scale, there are almost countless people we need to thank, because without their help: our project would never have came together.
So special thanks to the many members of watchuseek.com for constantly taking the time to answer obscure questions. Ariel from ablogtowatch.com for his insightful articles, MHC for showing us the beautiful process of making a tourbillon, Watchfinder&Co for their insightful video analysis, and our beta users for all their feedback and reviews! We love you Jamal and you can buy more than one watch soon!!!
For all comments/questions/inquiries, you can connect with us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow ERA on Social Media :
Risks and challenges
We are aware our project is bold and complex: "making 6 figure watches at 3 figure prices". It is true that there are always unforeseen issues, but we have anticipated and planned for potential risks and have built a rock-solid production and delivery plan.
Firstly, we've been in the manufacturing and distribution business for years and so our knowledge and expertise of the production process is quite advanced. You can have complete confidence in our capacity to provide high-quality products on time.
Most products that fail on Kickstarter fail because the sponsors were just hobby tinkerers who had no idea how different prototypes are from mass producing finished items.
We don't have that problem.
This is what we do day in and day out. There will be no surprises.
Our years in the industry have let us build out a sophisticated distribution network so delivery will be timely and inexpensive.
We do not anticipate delays to our timeline unless this Kickstarter becomes the most-funded Kickstarter watch campaign ever. If that happens, there could be a slight delay since these are literal hand-built masterpieces; nevertheless we already prepared for that situation by having 3 different groups of master watchmakers ready to produce these masterpieces for our customers en masse. Even in this scenario, we don't anticipate the delivery deadline slipping more than 1-2 weeks.
Our goal is that EVERYONE gets their reward in time for Christmas, no matter what happens. Period.
In any case, if there is ANYTHING unexpected that happens, we promise to keep you informed right away, both during the campaign and afterwards.
Lastly, know that over the past few months we have shown our prototypes to many watch connoisseurs, journalists and influencers. We have gathered an incredible amount of valuable feedback and are finally ready to make millionaire watches a reality for everyone.
Thank you to everyone who has supported the project from the start and to all our backers!
- (43 days)