I’m shopping for a watch.
After browsing through hundreds of styles, I keep seeing outdated designs, over-priced status symbols, and questionnable builds.
"There isn't a single good-looking, quality, honestly-priced watch!", I frustratingly declare storming out the mall.
An idea starts brewing in my head...
Several months later, I'm standing in front of the computer.
My heart is beating faster than I ever thought it could.
I'm sweating, badly.
I'm about to launch a new brand of watches on Kickstarter, the upcoming crowdfunding platform.
The watches look great, they use the best materials and craftsmanship, and I managed to keep the price incredibly low (more on that later).
I’m staring at the big green button. It reads “Launch”.
The Bomber is the 5th project by Helgray. In Spring 2014, I released the WWI-Series, raising close to $160,000 from more than 700 backers. I came back during Winter 2014-15 with the Silverstone, crushing my previous effort with close to $230,000 raised from more than 800 backers. I then followed with the Hornet which became an instant icon. And last year I released the Le Mans which was the most sophisticated Helgray watch.
By becoming a backer of this project, you will help me pay for the first production run, and in exchange you will receive a rad watch with an impressive spec sheet at a deeply discounted price.
Becoming a backer also means you're taking part in a movement: that of disrupting the antiquated retail model where every middleman adds his own unnecessary markup to the final price.
Before going to the drawing board, I set some requirements. These are the 4 things that I decided I would absolutely not compromise on.
With the watch spec'ed out, it was time to get to the drawing board and to get prototypes made. Once the design renderings were done, I produced the technical drawings. I sent those to my manufacturing partner so that they could validate the engineering and feasibility of the Bomber.
My previous experience and my established relationship proved extremely valuable in communicating my requirements and expectations with my suppliers.
We agreed on the different processes that would be used to make the different parts and the specs and design were then locked down.
The next step was to make a set of prototypes that I would use to validate the design on the wrist, to inspect the quality of all components, and to test the durability.
Several months later, I received the prototypes. To put it simply, I was blown away! The Bomber looked great, worked great, and felt great on the wrist. This is in fact the most badass watch I have ever worn.
Risks and challenges
I realize creating and delivering a product is a complicated process and often comes with unexpected hiccups. That is why I have been preparing.
I have spent the past several months making sure the supply chain is in check. I have a well-established relationship working with a reliable manufacturing partner. I have previous experience and I'm prepared to deal with fulfillment of preorders. I also have contingency plans for all the steps that are out of my control.
I'm going to keep my backers informed during the production process. I'll do this with regular updates and sharing pictures as often as possible, for example when the watch cases are finished, when the dials are printed, during final assembly, when the final presentation boxes are made, etc…
If somewhere along the way I find that there is a setback in production, or that I cannot make the timeline, I will keep all of my backers informed.
In the end, I want to make Helgray a long-lasting brand of affordable watches. I will do whatever it takes to fulfill my promises and to deliver watches that will exceed my backers’ expectations!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (56 days)