Type 46 Development Update
It's been an exciting few weeks since last update. The Type 46 is shaping up and if everything continues to go well, I'll be able to present the final pre-production unit before Christmas and collect the deposits to get the production started. Therefore, the next update you'll here from me will be a big one :)
Casing -- There has been some development regarding the casing. The initially announced sterling silver casing with nano-ceramic coating is not rigid enough and I see this as a huge reliability issue. I am therefore announcing that all Type 46s will all be made equally, that is with a stainless steel casing with PVD coating (which is what I'm currently developing with). If you wonder what will happen with the existing 14 silver casings (those I mentioned in the original project description), I had the idea to use them for a special edition Type 40. Because the Type 40 has no moving parts, I'll be able to cast them in epoxy like the current Type 40s. These 14 units will be subtracted from the 1000 Type 40 units meaning there will still exist only 1000 Type 40s (986 with plastic shell and 14 with silver shell). This project is still in early stage but if you are interested you can send me an email and I'll make sure to contact you when these units are manufactured later in 2014.
Mechanism -- That is what I'm most excited about! In the original Type 46 design, the cursor movement was kept along a linear line using a fiber-glass rail and end position was detected using micro-switches. This was fine for the proof-of-concept but I soon realized this was going to be a reliability issue: in some rare cases, the cursor would lock up with the end switch. Because the motors have so little torque (they are only 6 mm in diameter), once they screw the cursor with the end-switch there was no way out of there electrically (I had to open the watch and unscrew the cursor from the end-switch). The solution I'm currently exploring is a sapphire rod rail with golden tips (that act as end-switches). This approach has two main advantages:
1) There is no discontinuity and when the cursor makes contact with the golden tip, it has not reach the end of the lead screw and cannot physically lock itself up.
2) It looks really nice (my photographic skills and equipment are limited so I cannot really express the natural beauty of the components in the picture below). Note that the miniature plates that will show the brand, serial number and back scales are still is in production (this is why we can see the battery in the middle).
Sapphire crystals -- I've decided to upgrade the back crystal from mineral to sapphire. I do not anticipate the back of the watch to be exposed to wear like the front but there is no reasons (except cost) not to put the best crystal on the back as well. From experimentation, in addition to the obvious improved wear resistance, I've realized that:
1) Sapphire looks and shines nicer than mineral glass...I think this is important for a luxury watch.
2) Sapphire sounds better than mineral glass (let me explain this one). If you tap or scratch the mineral glass on the back of the current Type 46 prototype (as you would naturally do when putting on the watch), it sounds hollow and flat. However, a sapphire crystal has as distinctive tone with a higher pitch and a "richer" sound. The devil is in the details :)
Road-map -- Because the Division Furtive watches could not exist without its collectors, I think it's important to let you know what is going on internally. Therefore here is Division Furtive's road-map for 2014 (please keep in mind this is still a very small operation so this is not a big list):
- Start Type 46 production and make all 46 units.
- Continue production of Type 40 and ideally sell all remaining units in 2014.
- Develop and produce the special edition Type 40 with sterling silver casing with nano-ceramic coating (14 units).
Unclaimed Type 40 Units -- I still have 5 watches ready to be shipped from the Kickstarter campaign for which I have not received address confirmation or accelerated shipping payment (if applicable). I've sent many reminders but received no replies...at this point I'll therefore simply wait and hold on to the watches until these collectors get in touch with me. If you haven't received the Type 40 you paid for, please get in touch with me.