COMET CHRONOGRAPH WATCH
1940's Inspired Vintage Timepiece
COMET CHRONOGRAPH WATCH
1940's Inspired Vintage Timepiece
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, September 28 2019 2:00 PM UTC +00:00.
It was September 2017, and I was in the market for buying a 1940’s Pierce Chronograph on eBay. I came across this beautiful vintage watch with a high price tag of $1,400 USD. With no room for negotiation, I sadly had to let it go. It was after this experience that I realized the prices are jumping for all popular vintage models in mint condition and many people cannot afford to buy them. This is when I decided to make my own affordable microbrand focusing particularly on 1940’s vintage watches and my passion towards vintage watches gave birth to COMET CHRONOGRAPH. Design elements are taken from Doxa, Enicar, Pierce, Eberhard, Universal Geneve Compax series, Tissot, Longines, and Jardur Bezelmeter.
Comet watches will come in 7 different series and my goal is to sell them under $300 USD.
- Chronograph – series #1 (Current Kickstarter)
- Chronograph – series#2
Chronograph series#1 is inspired heavily by Pierce and Enicar watches and I am offering 7 different color options for my 1st Kickstarter. There are additional 3 color options available as a stretch goal once the funding surpasses $75K, $85K and $100K USD. If you like a particular color option from the stretch goal, I request you to buy now without waiting for my funding to surpass the target. In case if the project does not surpass the stretch goal, you can always cancel your pledge till the funding period is alive. The money will not be deducted from your credit card until the last day of my campaign.
Miyota 6S11 was perfect for my dial design and quartz watches are always easy to maintain. Miyota 6S11 is highly reliable, yet cost effective. There were other options available in the market like the manual wind or an automatic movement, but would make the watch very expensive; while some other options, like the VK67 AND VK61 Meca-quartz, could not meet well with my dial designs. The sub-dials have to be 17mm apart to meet the dial layout.
The COMET watch comes with “K1-double-domed” crystal which adds a very unique and elegant look, unlike the flat sapphire crystal. For reference, Dan Henry and Undone also use K1-double-domed crystal.
The case is inspired from the 1940’s Jaeger-LeCout, classic rectangular push pins with a domed crown and water-resistant up to 5ATM. The case is cast in 316L all stainless steel with high molybdenum content to protect against corrosion. The mid-case is finely brushed and the bezel is polished, case back features a radial sunburst finish with engraved logo in the center. Specifications are engraved on the outer portion radially.
The watch does not feature a signed crown to preserve the essence of the 1940s watches.
The beautiful dials and the hands of the COMET watch are heavily inspired from 1940’s Pierce Chronograph. It took me over four months of effort to just design the dials and hands. Initially I came up with 50 different colorways which you can check on my Instagram page - @Comet_chronograph. Of these 50 options, I have selected ten best designs for the Kickstarter.
Many of you might question the reason for paying two-three hundred dollars for a quartz watch! Here I’d like to educate my fellow backers on the dial design, construction, and its exorbitant price! The reason is DIAL, the most expensive component of my watch, more expensive than the 316L case and the Horween leather strap! Generally speaking, the more colors in a dial,the more expensive it gets.
From cutting a slice of copper from the copper bar to the final QC inspection, there are a total of 20 steps involved. One small mistake and you have to scrap the dial! I’m expecting a scrap rate to be as high as 25% because of high standards of quality control and no room for any kind of exception.
Considering the complexity involved, I have chosen the best Dial makers in Guangdong province who have immense experience. This decision came with a very hefty price tag as the MOQ/ dial color is 300 units and min dial order should be 3000 pieces.Now, imagine a situation where I only get 25 orders on Kickstarter for my Mint color dial, I still have to make 300 pieces and assemble around let’s say - 50 watches (as I know this is not a best seller). What will happen to the remaining 250 dials? You guessed it right, I have to SCRAP them!
All COMET WATCHES have “Horween Leather” strap which is the same leather used by W&W, Hodinkee and Shinola, and are all priced between $100-$150 USD. I was very confident that I can drastically reduce the price by working with my supply-chain in mainland China
The lining is nubuck material with hot-stamp of “Comet & Horween” logos on each side. Stitching at the lugs is in cream color and “V” stitching at the long end is tonal with leather. Out of 4 prototypes we made, 3 colors are selected for the mass production. The black dial will come with brown leather, the blue dial will come with tan-brown and all other dials will come with black leather straps.
NOTE: We are aware that these prototypes have very large hole size for their buckle, the mass production version will have smaller holes.
The reviews of my watches by Youtubers and bloggers will be available anytime after 20th Aug 2019 for you. Please check the links provided below. My passion for the watches lead me to develop my own watch brand and I have invested huge amount and time to make them available to you.
- Total of 10 different color options.
- 7 - Colors to choose from primary goal
- 3 more colors to choose from stretch goals
- BLACK dial will come with BROWN strap
- BLUE dial will come with TAN BROWN strap
- ALL OTHER dials will come with BLACK leather strap.
- ALL watches will come with a disposable watch box.
- Watch box : We are currently exploring 2 different options (Cardboard or Tin). All watches will come with 1 standard design. We will select the design based on weight, easy to QC, easy to handle and cost effective for shipping.
Considering the fact that this is my first Kickstarter, I'm trying to be very conservative and realistic. Although total time requested is close to 7 months, we have a factory shut-down during Jan 2020 due to the Spring Festival in China. I'm also adding 2 extra weeks for the second round of QC as this is my first experience with my current supplier.
1) Do you have a website?
No, we are working on it (cometchronograph.com). Website will go live around Apr-May 2020.
2) Comet Chronographs are made in which country?
The watches are designed in the USA and made/manufactured in China, predominantly – Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Huizhou.
3) Where do the watches ship from?
Kickstarter orders will be shipped from Hong Kong and the USA. All international orders (other than USA) will be directly shipped from Hong Kong.
4) Which countries can you ship, any exceptions?
Most countries except Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, North Korea, and Yemen. Additionally, any other country which is currently under FULL embargo by the U.S.A.
5) Which courier company do you use?
For countries outside the USA, we will use courier service such as DHL, SKYNET & DPEX where all shipments are tracked and signature required. We will use postal service (USPS) for all American orders.
6) How much does the shipping cost?
Standard $10 USD shipping on all orders
7) Can you declare a lower price on the shipment?
No, we cannot as we would put our self at huge legal risk. The price declared on the shipment will be the value you pay for the watches we are shipping.
8) Who will pay import taxes and duties?
The buyer has to pay all import taxes and duties.
9) Does the “ANTIMAGNETIC” feature work?
It’s a quartz watch! As soon as you take the watch away from the high magnetic field, it will start working again, no need to demagnetize like mechanical movements.
10) Does it have any LUME, what kind of lume?
This is not a lume watch. We have a basic “SO-02 & SG2” Hong Kong Luminous on the hands. Our USP is the vintage dial and vibrant colors!
11) What warranty do you offer?
All Comet chronographs will come with a 1-year warranty from the date of shipment, the warranty will cover any manufacturing defects on workmanship. The warranty does not cover damage to straps, glass or batteries caused by the wearer, and internal or external damage resulting from improper use.
12) What happened to the travel watch box, why is it not offered?
At the current design level, the travel box weighs around 1.6Kg, international shipping cost from Hong Kong will cost over $40 USD. We cannot make this profitable at a lower price. We are working with our supplier to reduce the overall weight before we can make it sellable.
Hello everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my Kickstarter campaign.
I'm Bhavin Patel, owner, and founder of Comet Chronograph. I am a US citizen with Indian background. If you decide to back my project, I assure all of you to deliver this product in a timely manner. I have my masters in Mechanical Engineering and I work full time as a product engineer at one of the BIG-3 automotive giants in Detroit-Michigan. Making conceptual sketches, turning them into 3-D models, generate engineering drawings, etc. are my day to day activities. It should come with no surprise that all the watches are designed and engineered here in Detroit, Michigan (my bedroom to be more specific). I'm only outsourcing the manufacturing part in order to provide affordable vintage-inspired watches to all my backers.
Although I do not have any prior experience "explicitly in watch manufacturing", I have plenty of first-hand experience in automotive part design & manufacturing. I'm working full time as a product engineer since June 2011 and I have successfully launched many vehicle programs in the last 9 years!
I will be very happy if this project gets fully funded, this will financially help me to work on future programs planned for next year and beyond. Best regards and have a wonderful day!
Risks and challenges
Although this is my 1st Kickstarter, I have visited my watch suppliers in China multiple times during the prototype development phase and I plan to visit multiple times again during mass production and final quality checks on all of our watches.
I have also visited all the tier-2 suppliers who are responsible for making dials, case, hands, crystal, leather strap, etc. I have personally inspected their manufacturing capabilities and capacity to meet high volume demand. In fact, I have posted a multi-part blog post on Facebook watch groups "Microbrand watches" and "WATCHA" of “How I made my first watch in China”, where I have discussed in detail on my supplier selection and sourcing criteria.
Our primary factory where watches will be assembled and QC'd is very well established and they supply watches to many well-known brands we know. We have M-W-F meetings with our main watch supplier to follow up on the program timing.
Our primary factory functions with multiple tier-2 suppliers who provide the same commodity. For example, If we see an issue with hands or crystal maker, we can immediately source them to another tier-2 supplier who has the same quality standards.
Furthermore, I have laid out the timing plan very conservatively. In an event of any delays, we should be able to contain the time loss and still deliver the watches by the end of APRIL 2020.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!