Our Story So Far
Hi everyone - I'm Sujain Krishnan and I'm the owner and founder of the Melbourne Watch Company, an Australian brand that was launched in 2013 and aims to bring customers high quality and stylish mechanical timepieces at an affordable price point.
With order fulfillment now complete for the Hawthorn, we are pleased to present our 3rd and most ambitious project so far - the Portsea, a triple calendar automatic timepiece named after a seaside locale on the Mornington Peninsula southeast of Melbourne.
We are currently targeting mid-October 2014 for delivery of the Portsea to our backers.
We've always been a fan of traditional 'marine chronometer' timepieces and relished the opportunity to create our own version of what we feel is a timeless style. For those who aren't familiar with the traditional 'marine' style, it usually refers to the combination of a simple a white dial (traditionally enamel) and either black Arabic or Roman numerals. Many marine style watches also feature hand-wind pocket watch movements with a sub-seconds dial at 6 o'clock.
We have decided to put a modern twist on the classic marine design by combining the traditional outer marker track, white dial and arabic numbers with a modern automatic calendar movement - the Miyota 9120. We have used Miyota movements in both of our previous timepieces and have been very impressed so far by their build quality and reliability. We will also be offering another twist on the style - a blue dial with white numbers.
If we are successfully funded, we plan on producing the Portsea in the two main dial colours (white and blue). We are also offering a limited number of white dial timepieces with rose gold plated cases. We will be initially offering 250 timepieces through this project (100 white, 100 blue, 50 white/rose gold).
Note - All photos in this project are of the pre-production prototypes of the Portsea. Refer to the notes at the bottom of the project for details on items that will be updated for the production version.
A Global Effort
We wanted to challenge ourselves with the Portsea - we've ventured away from our previous production paths and have partnered with a European OEM with extensive experience in manufacturing high grade timepieces. We are also exploring production techniques not normally seen in micro-brand timepieces such as the use of ceramic dials and 3D stamped case backs.
We are proud that the Portsea is coming together as a truly global project - Australian design, Japanese movements and parts sourced from both Europe and Asia.
We have chosen the recently released Miyota Cal. 9120 automatic calendar movement to be the heart of the Portsea. The 26 jewel Cal. 9120 used in the Portsea will feature a "triple-calendar" setup of month, day and date. We have also chosen to display the date at 6 o'clock rather than at the standard '4.5' o'clock position. The Cal. 9120 operates at a beat rate of 28,800bph and has a power reserve of more than 40 hours when fully wound. Technical specifications for the Cal. 9120 can be found on the Miyota website.
The case for the Portsea is made from fully polished 316L grade stainless steel and measures 40mm in diameter with a thickness of approximately 12.5mm (lug width 21mm, 48mm lug to lug). We are also offering a limited number of timepieces with PVD rose gold plating.
The solid steel case-back for the Portsea has been stamped with a nautically themed scene rather than traditional engraving or embossing.
The dial for the Portsea features multiple thinner dials which have been overlaid to give an effect of depth. The main dial layer (sub dials and numbers) is made from ceramic which gives it a unique finish. the base layer of the dial contains a 3D striated pattern to further enhance the depth effect of the dial.
The Portsea will be available with two choices of dials - traditional white with black numbering and blue hands as well dark blue with silver/white numbering and silver hands.
We were unable to get samples of the blue dial Portsea prior to our Kickstarter project launch due to supplier constraints. Please refer to the render below for reference.
Below is a full summary of the specifications of the Portsea:
Case - 40mm 316L stainless steel - 12.5mm thickness
Case Back - Solid stamped steel with nautical theme
Crystal - Flat Sapphire
Movement - Miyota Cal. 9120, triple calendar setup, date at 6
Dial - Triple layer with ceramic main disc
Hands - Ion plated with "M" counter-balance on sweep seconds
Strap - German made croc-grain leather with stainless steel buckle
Water Resistance - 100m/10ATM
Warranty - 24 months
All watches will ship in a Melbourne Watch Company display case.
The Design Process
As with all our timepieces, the Portsea began as a series of sketches. We had agreed that we wanted the Portsea to have a series of sub-dials, however we were not sure whether to go for a chronograph movement or a calendar. Subsequent investigation ruled out a chronograph as we could not find a suitable movement that would allow us to keep the watch within a reasonable price range.
We also originally planned on using a display style case-back similar to the Flinders, but opted to challenge ourselves with the 3D stamped case-back that can be seen on the prototypes.
We then began work on formalising the design with both 2D and 3D computer renders.
The final stage was to have working prototypes of the watches produced. Photos of these can be seen throughout this project.
As the Portsea is our most ambitious project to date, we are turning to crowd funding once more to help us bring it from prototype stage to full production. Our goal is higher than our previous projects due to higher cost movements and and more complex tooling requirements.
We need to hit our goal of $35,000AUD in order to progress the Portsea to production. We will be using a combination of revenue from our prior models and this Kickstarter project project to fund the production of the 250 timepieces being offered. All watches will come on a choice of dark brown or navy blue German leather straps.
In order to help us achieve this goal we are offering you some great backer rewards as well the chance to secure a Portsea timepiece from the reduced pre-production price of $550AUD (early bird). The MSRP of the Portsea will be $775AUD when released (add $20AUD for rose gold plated version).
If we exceed our funding goal and achieve the stretch target of $45,000AUD then we will also be providing all backers with both dark brown and navy blue leather straps at no extra cost (ACHIEVED).
**NEW GOAL** If we achieve a new stretch target of $75,000AUD we will also be upgrading all Portsea timepieces with anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystals at no extra cost to backers (ACHIEVED).
We have already finished the design and prototyping phases for the development of the Portsea. If we are successfully funded then we will continue directly to production. We will be using the same manufacturer for production that produced the prototypes of the Portsea.
Refer to the schedule below for further information:
Whilst the prototypes of the Portsea are of an overall high quality, there are several minor items that will be refined or corrected for the production version. We will be producing the production version with the same manufacturer who has created the prototypes.
Hands - The "M" on the prototype seconds hand is undersized. This will be corrected for production to be similar to our previous models
Dial - We will be adding spacers between the mid and base dial layers to enhance the depth effect. We will also be enhancing the base layer horizontal pattern effect and overall colour palette.
Case - The "M" logo will be engraved onto the crown as per our previous models.
Case Back - We will be replacing the current screws with versions that do not protrude as substantially from the case.
Straps - The prototypes came fitted with deployment clasps. The production version will have regular buckles as per our previous models.
About Melbourne Watch Company
Melbourne Watch Company was founded in October 2013 by Sujain Krishnan. The designs for the Flinders, Hawthorn and Portsea have all been created in-house and have not been outsourced to third party designers.
All day to day operations such as project management, order fulfillment and marketing are handled by Sujain and his team. Assembly is being outsourced to an experienced European OEM to ensure that the Portsea is of the highest build quality. Parts are being sourced globally and final assembly will take place in Asia. Sujain liaises with the manufacturer on a daily basis to provide oversight and direction.
Melbourne Watch Company has strong roots in the online watch enthusiast community, especially on Watchuseek where we are a sponsor. We have shared the evolution of the design for the Portsea there from the initial concept phase and are thrilled with the level of engagement we have received from the community.
Risks and challenges
As with any project, there are always risks that delays can arise due to a variety of factors beyond our control including supply chain and quality control issues.
We are confident that having successfully produced two timepieces that we are well equipped to deal with any issues that may arise with the production of the Portsea. Furthermore, our chosen European OEM has more than two decades of experience in manufacturing quality timepieces.
In order to avoid any potential supply issues, we have already purchased the Cal. 9120 movements from Miyota. We have also already completed tooling through the creation of prototypes, which will aid us during production.
Our order fulfillment capabilities are also fully established with both the Flinders and Hawthorn models being successfully delivered to customers without issue. We now also have an established partnership with DHL to handle the majority of customer deliveries.
If we do face any issues during production we will be transparent with our backers with regular updates (as we did with the Hawthorn). We pride ourselves on customer service and can be contacted easily via Kickstarter, via our website or through Watchuseek (username SKrishnan).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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