A DIFFERENT STANDARD
*Note - All photos in this project are of the pre-production prototypes of the VA-01. Refer to the notes at the bottom of the project for details on items that will be updated for the production version.
We believe that there is no reason to settle for subpar products that are either overpriced, or lazily re-branded designs that lack any sense of originality. We want to put the people first. This means, creating original, high-quality timepieces that are designed with style and functionality at a fair and honest price.
Our Story- "We Just Like Watches"
Our brand doesn’t use any combination of two anglo sounding names, European names, or random exotic latin words. I’m sure a few brands definitely come to mind.
We don’t have any fancy lineage stories, meaning, we aren’t related to anyone who has had a history of making their own time pieces. Sorry, Grandpa did not make watches. There will be no B.S. about being inspired by places we’ve lived or traveled. So being as we’re from the nation's capitol of Washington D.C, you won’t be hearing anything like how our collections were inspired by the the columns of the “Lincoln Memorial” or the roof of “The Capitol Building”.
Lastly, we don’t have vast aspirations of shattering the luxury watch industry. We just like watches, and want to make quality timepieces of our own. So,that leads us to who we are. We are Variant Watch Co., Variant by definition means “different from the standard.” And as young entrepreneurs and watch enthusiasts, our company was formed as a means to break away from the standard seen in the industry where fast fashion equals stylishly disposable products. Basically, we wanted to take all the qualities of a premium watch, and make it affordable.
Our original timepieces draw inspiration from watches we love and would want to wear. We wanted to create a modern watch with a timeless design that is uncluttered, yet visually interesting. Something that was clean, but that would stand out in a sea of minimalism. If you look at the design of our dials, we wanted something that would catch your attention. Looking closer, you'll discover the little intricacies with every detail.
We believe that form should fit function, so all aspects of our design serve a purpose. After much back and forth, revision after revision, we were finally satisfied with our designs and that’s when the real journey to crafting our perfect watch began.
Our First Model: VA-01
*Note- Date dial of the all black VA-01 was photoshopped to show what the production model would look like (see changes at bottom of campaign)
Features / Specifications
Starting from the interior, we wanted to ensure that the movement, which is the heart of the watch, was dependable and of the highest quality. UNLIKE many companies that use lower end movements with plastic components to save on costs, we went with a movement made by Ronda, a Swiss company which has a long track record of creating precise, reliable movements. The Swiss made Ronda slimtech caliber 1009 is a 10 jeweled, gold plated and completely metal movement, meaning it is resilient and fully repairable should anything happen to it.
Well we definitely love our hand wound and automatic movements, but there is something about the ease and efficiency of a good quartz watch. You set it, forget it, pick it up, and it's good to go. Quartz movements epitomize the function of watches in that they were originally meant for keeping accurate time. Like a well oiled machine, the Ronda Slimtech Cal. 1009 provides extremely accurate time keeping with -10/+20 secs in variation a month, compared to some automatics that vary -10/+20 secs a day. The Ronda Cal.1009 requires virtually no maintenance other than a replacement battery every few years (25-40 months). Batteries (model no. 341 and 315) are widely available and inexpensive. Not planning to use your time piece for a while? Just pull the stem, as it cuts the battery consumption by about 70%.
Our timepieces are equipped with a flat sapphire crystal with a triple layered anti-reflection coating on the underside, which is highly scratch resistant and allows for optimal visibility of the dial (unless you are scratching it with a diamond, that crystal is going to look great for a long time!). Whereas most commonly, others will use uncoated, plain mineral crystal, which is essentially glass to cut costs.
Hand applied polished hour markers help give our dial a more premium feel. The sword hands and varying hour markers were chosen for ease of legibility. Our unique radial CD cut pattern on the outer rim makes for a more interesting visual upon closer inspection. We love the look of the small seconds sub dial, so we knew we had to incorporate this into our first design. Keeping the seconds separate allows you to distinguish it much faster and timing things can be done with relative ease. The contrasting sub dial from the main dial offers a pop of color that really draws the eye in and gives our timepieces a distinctive appeal. C1 (blue) lume is applied on the hands and solid pips on the reflector ring allowing for night / low light functionality!
For the case, we utilized premium surgical grade 316L stainless steel for its strength and corrosion resistance. Aside from the steel, the cases are plated in Gold, Rose Gold, or Matte Black (PVD coated). The mixture of brushed and polished surfaces allow for the premium look and feel of our timepieces. At a 40 mm diameter (48 mm lug to lug), and 7.5 mm thickness, it is the perfect unisex watch!
As for water resistance, most companies making dress watches don’t care if it is water resistant or not, as it saves them money. That, or they don't think it's an important feature for the style. We believe it's better to have it than not. All of our timepieces are rated at 10 ATM water resistance, meaning you can go for a swim or even scuba dive in a depth of up to 100 meters or 328 feet without the worry of your watch breaking. Accidentally falling into the pool...or another large body of water? No problem!
Lastly, we believe in the versatility of a timepiece. The look of a watch can be completely changed depending on the strap used. That is why our timepieces come with BOTH a genuine calf leather strap as well as a Milanese stainless steel mesh strap (water/corrosion resistant) with quick release pins so you can easily switch them out in a snap. That essentially gives you two watches for the price of one. (Much wow, much value!)
In addition, each strap is easily adjustable and will fit almost any wrist size. We wanted to ensure that our watches could be worn by both men and women!
Our Business Model
Cutting out the middlemen to save you money! Heard that before? I'm sure you have, but hey, that's the idea! We are trying to offer you the best price without overly marking up a product more than it actually costs us to make it. That's our promise from above remember? We're about you guys! We want to be an honest company that isn't a one trick pony. We want to be a long lasting brand that people trust and want to continue buying products from.
Case: Brushed and Polished Surgical Grade Stainless Steel Plated in Steel, Gold, Rose Gold, Black (PVD Matte) / 40 mm (48 mm lug to lug) / 20 mm Lugs / 5 mm Crown / 7.5 mm Thick
Water Resistant: 100 M / 328 Feet / 10 ATM
Crystal: Flat Anti-reflective Coated Sapphire Crystal.
Dial: Applied Indices in either Steel, Gold, Rose Gold, or Black. VARIANT Logo is Embossed Up From the Back and Plated in either Steel, Gold, Rose Gold, or Black color. Unique Thick CD Cut Pattern on Outer Rim. Radial Sunburst (Blue / White), Polished (Black) Dials. C1 (Blue) Lume Applied on Hands and Pips on Reflector Ring. Date Window and Small Seconds Subdial.
Movement: Swiss Made Ronda 1009 Slimtech Quartz Movement, 10 Jewel Repairable Movement.
Battery Life: Renata Swiss Batteries, 25-40 Month Battery Life.
Strap: Genuine Calf Leather / Stainless Steel Milanese Mesh / Easy Release Pins
Warranty: 2 years
Uncompromising in quality, our standards are anything but standard.
We Need Your Support
To keep the price affordable given the materials and level of craftsmanship we are using, we have a minimum number of watches that we need to order, and that's where you come in. By backing our project, you will help us pay for the first production run, and in exchange you will receive a beautiful watch with an impressive spec sheet at a highly discounted price!
With our suppliers ready to go, we need your help to place our first purchase order. Your support will go towards helping us bring our dream into reality. Thanks again, and don’t forget to share our campaign with your friends and family!
Our reach only goes so far beyond our networks. Please share our project on Facebook/ Instagram/ any other form of social media, send a few quick emails to friends and family, or you know, just tell somebody about us. It can go a long way to help ensure the success of this campaign!
After over a year of designing, prototyping, revisions, and preparation for this campaign, we are finally at this stage. The plan from here on out will be as follows:
June: Kickstarter goes live!
July: Campaign ends at the end of the month and funds go to manufacturer to begin production
August: Funds clear and production starts at the beginning of the month
Oct-Nov: End of October (Finished timepieces will go through multiple quality checks). By early November we should be able to start shipping out your new Variant timepiece!
November: We look forward to seeing our timepieces on your wrists!
As noted in the project above, this will be where the changes for the production version will be shown.
As of now, the only changes to the initial prototypes will be:
1. The date dial on the all black model will be changed from white to the reverse (black with white numbering).
2. The addition of lume pips around the hour indicators on the reflector ring, allowing for increased night/low light functionality (on all models).
We will ship VARIANT WATCHES worldwide, with the exception of Argentina, Belarus, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Myanmar/Burma, North Korea, Russia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Please note that you may be responsible for duties, fees and taxes applicable in your region.
Free shipping in the US
International shipping costs: $10
Duty/VAT charges: If you live outside of the US, you will be responsible for any applicable duty/VAT charges. Customs: Some countries are known for being very slow with customs, and you probably know if you live in one. We're sorry that we can't put a magic stamp on our packages to help them get through faster.
We will start fulfilling orders from the end of October to early November 2017. While we do not expect this deadline to change, it is possible the estimated shipment month may be updated. We will do everything in our power to get these timepieces on your wrists as soon as possible, but not at the expense of quality. If at any time you would like an update, please either check the "Updates" section of our Kickstarter Campaign, or feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR MORE PICTURES ON THE WRIST OR IN THE WILD...
Yup, we're best friends that share a love of watches! Another thing I'm sure you've heard before, but it's the truth. We founded VARIANT as a means to create our ideal watches, make them accessible to the masses, and hopefully our passion gets other people interested in learning about and getting hooked in the wonderful world of watches. For those who have never owned a watch, we would love VARIANT WATCHES to become your gateway drug to horology. To those already well versed, well, we would love the chance to become another quality addition to your collection.
Risks and challenges
Every project has risks. We're no different. We've gone to great lengths to make sure that everything is in place and that the final production runs smoothly. This is why it has also taken us longer to get to this point - we wanted to make sure that everything was just right. However, in manufacturing, there's always a risk that suppliers do not fulfill orders on time. We're working with a manufacturer that is very professional and organized. We are working closely with them to make sure production goes smoothly. In any case, we will do what we can to deliver before the expected delivery dates!
We won't be offering stretch goals because this could potentially add delays. There may be minor improvements made to the watch leading up to the production, all of which will be communicated to you here. We wouldn't send out a watch that we ourselves would not be happy to wear.
We'll update you frequently about our progress, and if there are any blips along the way, we'll let you know!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)