The big financial puzzle
Before we began working on our design, we got some quotes from different manufacturers - but these quotes were based on intial specs and 2D drawings. With a final design it was time to get a final quote for out cost price on the watch.
We've already decided against making our project a Kickstarter project. Our financial resources are limited, so the plan was to start with a production of 50 watches as it was important for us to finance everything ourselves and not depend on the financial backing of others.
While calculating and researching we also managed to finalize our 'logo mark' for the crown. We decided to use our brand name on the dial in stead of the logo, which would only be shown as a nice little detail on the crown.
Our logo mark for the crown
It soon became clear that it's very difficult to find a manufacturer willing to do only 50 watches. Most of them requires 300 or 500 as minimum, which we couldn't afford with your budget.
It took us most of the first 6 months of 2019 to find those few manufacturers willing to do 50 watches only. We also had to find a manufacturer with a good reputation and satisfied clients, as the quality of watch manufacturers goes from 'useless' to 'very high end'.
In this part of the process, we found several Facebook groups and contacts very valuable.
Our next challenge came after we've found some manufacturers willing to give a quote. Upon receiving our design, several of them got back and apologized that they couldn't manufacture our dial - it was too complicated. As the dial is a vital part of the design, we surely wouldn't go with a partner that could not manufacture our dial design.
Another very big challenge was the cost price for 50 watches. It was so sky high that we would either need to raise the retail price of the watch to a quite high level - or to accept losing money on our project - even before we've begun!
Why it's so expensive to manufacture a watch
One of the reasons why it's so expensive to manufacture a watch is because the factory needs to create a mold for the watch case - and this mold is unique for every case design.
The mold is really expensive, and dividing this expense into 50 instead of into 500 (watches) means a BIG difference to the final price per watch.
3D print of our very first version
We also had to allocate money for additional molds as we could not be sure the first mold was perfect. We might have to change the design a bit if the watch is not good to wear or adjust sizes of some of the components - and each change require a new mold.
Our watch needed to be water resistant down to 200 meters which also makes it more expensive with additional requirements for både gaskets and the internal components and design of the watch.
Finally we wanted to equip the watch with an anti reflective sapphire glass in order to make it scratch proof for everyday use.
We spent a month to consider how to proceed financially as we were aware that we couldn't charge a too high price for our 'unknown' brand - and we really didn't want to fund a project that was doomed to cost us money.
A lot of decisions to be made
While considering our financial options we also had to consider which straps to go with the watch.
This took a lot of consideration. The budget was already very tight, and it's quite expensive to buy 50 handmade and vegetable tanned leather straps in the required quality - and we also wanted to offer a secondary strap suited for more active use.
A possible leather strap for our watch
At this point in the process I got in touch with Mick, the co-owner of watchbandit.com, who sells watches and straps.
Kasper and I agreed that our watch should primarily be a nice 'everyday watch' in quality materials - and we didn't really care about 'bling-bling', fancy effects or corporate branding.
So we made an agreement with Mick about buying they straps at a discounted price and equip the straps on our watches. We really loved the idea about a 'coop watch', and besides the design it's the coop thing around the entire watch that really makes it quite unique.
Watchbandit.com has their own branded straps, and as we know they only do high quality stuff, it was an easy pick choosing one of their fine vintage straps matching our design. Then we made a proforma agreement about a collaboration that we would finalize later in the process.