New design, thoughts and opinions...

Discussion of SAS Watches and Míleata Military Watches

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New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Graeme » Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:56 pm

Hi Guys :salute: ,

I would like to get your opinions on the next design and the way forward with it.

Let me first introduce you to the proposed design for the SEA-02

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This is a slightly scaled down version of the SEA-01 that we all love so much. The case size is 42mm dia, 49mm lug length, and 22mm lug width, and only 13.5mm from the top of the domed crystal to the bottom of the caseback. The bezel is also slightly tapered to match the domed crystal, so the whole watch will sit lower on the wrist, compared to the SEA-01. The Water rating is 500M and I have done away with the HE valve. It will still have the screwed in crystal and anti-magnetic protection, Viton seals, Anti reflective coating, and Deep etched and PVD’d bezel.

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The 5 link bracelet of the old SEA-01 is gone and replaced by a beads of rice with a ratcheting diver’s extension clasp. It is 22mm and flares out at the lugs. There will also be a 22mm version of our premium rubber strap, and the watch will come with both. The lugs will have the same Allen key screwbars.

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The dial is still a sandwich construction but is more balanced, the date is now at the six position, and the hands have had a face lift and are silver. The whole watch is more refined and elegant so I feel the hands need a little more elegance.
There are other small new details, like the minute marks on the bezel go all the way around and the case will be brushed finish with the top edges polished. This will be accented with the BOR bracelet: the outer links will be brushed and the inner rice beads will be polished. The caseback will have the same engraving as the SEA-01 (I just haven’t drawn it yet! :grin: )

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OK, so that’s the proposed idea. Some details might change slightly but that’s the general plan.

Now we get on to the important stuff!

There are two ways to make this: Irish made using Miyota 9015 or Swiss made using the 2824.

I have been getting quotes from all my manufacturers and movement companies, and the first thing I’ve learned really quick is manufacturing costs have risen quite a bit since I made the SEA-01. The same with the movements, the 2824 is a good bit more expensive and also the Swiss franc and Euro are almost on par now, which only compounds the problem for us compared to a few years ago when the Franc and the US Dollar were linked. To put it in perspective, the total manufacturing cost of this watch is double of what it cost to manufacture the SEA-01. Now I know the quality is there to justify a €1,500 watch but I have to look at sales and how well they can sell, I don’t want to end up with people just waiting for them to show up second hand on sales forums.

The other option is using the Miyota 9015. This movement has been the biggest surprise for me. I have been using them in the Míleata series and they are rock solid. I have been wearing a M2 for just over a year now and given it some abuse, and I only had to adjust it twice, once for summer daylight saving and once for winter time, that’s it! The damn thing runs as accurate as a quartz! I did notice a difference compared to ETA’s when I got them originally, they needed a lot less regulation compared to the ETA’s but never expected them to be this good. I can see why so many brands are switching to them and it’s not because of Swatch’s supply of 2824s. There are 2824s available, they are just more expensive as discussed earlier. The Miyota also give less problems compared to the ETA’s, and this counts because every timing issue or faulty movement comes out of my pocket on shipping and warranty repairs and at around €100 just for a round trip shipping it adds up.

I haven’t done the exact numbers, but using the Miyota and doing all the assembly here myself the cost would be nearly half of the Swiss way. The price would be nearer to the SEA-01. Our case maker is one of the best although slow and a little pricy, but I am reluctant to change as their quality is second to none, as I’m sure you guys know. So at the moment I am leaning towards the Miyota, but this is one of the reasons for this post to get your opinions on it.

The next issue is funding, and earlier I mentioned the speed of sales. My model has always been to fund the next watch with the sales of the current model. We put our last funds into the Míleata watch, and including advertising and shows this has eaten a large hole in our budget. Now things are moving but not at a pace quick enough to get mew models out every year or two, and I know you guys are waiting on the next SAS offering and we want to get newer models out like this SEA-02, the SPORT range, and more SEA-01s. The whole thing is just going to slow for us so we feel it needs a bit of a kick. So I am toying with the idea of funding some of SEA-02 through Kickstarter. I have noticed quite a few watch companies on there and it may be the kick we need. I have looked into it a little bit and discovered a few different crowd funded websites. So if any of you guys have any experience of these or know which is the best site to use I’d love to hear it too.

Another possible idea would be a DWC group buy, a limited edition 100 pieces, with custom DWC text or HTFU on the dial? :scratch:

Again these are just ideas that I’m throwing out for your thoughts. :cheers:

Time to dust off the cobwebs, change gear and let’s get moving!

Regards
Graeme

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by hoppyjr » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:05 pm

I like it and would be fine with a Miyota, but a Soprod would be better.

I like the case, but with chamfered edges to match the ToxicNATO. :)

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by r.palace » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:14 pm

Dig it. Like the date at 6 and the hands are funky but not clownish.

I actually prefer the ETA over the Soprod; I've had better timing results with the former.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Graeme » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:15 pm

The Soprod is a little more expensive than the 2824, this is why I haven't mentioned it.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Axelay2003 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:25 pm

Lug bars appear too square and too industrial especially on the bracelet. Will it be possible to curve the outer edges of the lug bars to match the slight curve of the case?

With this case design, 42mm will probably still wear large and too close to your 44mm offering. If elegance and refined design is what you are after, why not 40mm with 46mm L2L? :shrug:
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by r.palace » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:28 pm

Axelay2003 wrote:if elegance and refined design is what you are after, why not 40mm with 46mm L2L? :shrug:
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Axelay2003 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:30 pm

You can also consider ditching the date and have number 6 at that position.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by r.palace » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:32 pm

Axelay2003 wrote:You can also consider ditching the date and have number 6 at that position.
-1
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by CGSshorty » Tue Jan 26, 2016 3:53 pm

The hands don't work at all. You have an established brand identity now with two models, and this model should use the same hands.
I don't mind Miyota at all. I'd prefer. 2824 or 2892, but not at double the price.
I dislike kickstarter and similar sites. It diminishes the brand, in my mind at least.
I'd love a DWC LE, but I wouldn't want anything on the dial.
The bracelet is not a match for the case. SAS is all about angles and hard edges. That bracelet is all soft and round.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Axelay2003 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:05 pm

I like the bracelet. This could be that refined and elegant watch you are looking into producing. Maybe make the case a little "softer" around the edges, especially at the lug bars.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by mattcantwin » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:34 pm

Thanks for sharing, Graeme. :thumbsup:



Any other hand-sets considered to this point of the design?
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by tattoo chef » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:00 pm

CGSshorty wrote:The hands don't work at all. You have an established brand identity now with two models, and this model should use the same hands.
I don't mind Miyota at all. I'd prefer. 2824 or 2892, but not at double the price.
I dislike kickstarter and similar sites. It diminishes the brand, in my mind at least.
I'd love a DWC LE, but I wouldn't want anything on the dial.
The bracelet is not a match for the case. SAS is all about angles and hard edges. That bracelet is all soft and round.
I pretty much agree with Chris about the hands and bracelet. I have no issues with the 9015. If you can get the boost on Kickstarter I say go for it. Hasn't hurt Benarus.

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Axelay2003 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:21 pm

Benarus did great on Kickstarter.
Last edited by Axelay2003 on Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by matt.wu » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:22 pm

Also, do know that Gerald generally has very particular tastes that are specific to him only, so careful of the design-by-committee trap. :) :) :) :) :) :)

Funny thing is, I don't think you even asked for feedback on the design...
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by Axelay2003 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:26 pm

:banplz:
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by toxicavenger » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:32 pm

BOR bracelet is a good idea but soften the edges on the case to match it. Or do away with the bracelet and put a rubber strap on it. This was what I really disliked about the Bluering.

Movement wise the Miyota is a great option. Or maybe a VAL24, SW200 or Seiko NH35 (36)/4R36.

One thing that does not work at all is the cathedral hands.

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by streetracer101 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 5:50 pm

not a fan...imo you threw your money away with that design. seriously. you may not think so right now, and you may not think so ever...but I think you did.

can you take this into the water? of course, you can. but the watch really doesn't have anything appealing to the eye. maybe this is the best of the watches you sell, but that's about it.

again, my opinion only...if you and your DWC friends like it, then that's all that really counts.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by tattoo chef » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:14 pm

matt.wu wrote:Also, do know that Gerald generally has very particular tastes that are specific to him only, so careful of the design-by-committee trap. :) :) :) :) :) :)

Funny thing is, I don't think you even asked for feedback on the design...
He does say thoughts and opinions on the title, so we all ran with it lol

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by CGSshorty » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:15 pm

matt.wu wrote:Also, do know that Gerald generally has very particular tastes that are specific to him only, so careful of the design-by-committee trap. :) :) :) :) :) :)

Funny thing is, I don't think you even asked for feedback on the design...
That has never stopped me. Not once. :lol:
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by toxicavenger » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:24 pm

streetracer101 wrote:not a fan...imo you threw your money away with that design. seriously. you may not think so right now, and you may not think so ever...but I think you did.

can you take this into the water? of course, you can. but the watch really doesn't have anything appealing to the eye. maybe this is the best of the watches you sell, but that's about it.

again, my opinion only...if you and your DWC friends like it, then that's all that really counts.
Graeme does his own design work, so I am sure it is easy for him to mod

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by andrema » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:29 pm

How about dropping the end links down a little to create a shadow line? The integration doesn't work for me, it looks too blocky to me.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by CGSshorty » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:47 pm

andrema wrote:How about dropping the end links down a little to create a shadow line? The integration doesn't work for me, it looks too blocky to me.
I would eliminate the bracelet completely. How many Sea-01 do you see on the bracelet? Make a 22mm version of your fantastic rubber strap and call it a day.
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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by RALAustin » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:06 pm

I like everything about it except the hand set.

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by manitoujoe » Tue Jan 26, 2016 7:28 pm

First, I like the direction. Smaller, more sleek. I'm looking at mine right now:

The SAS vibe is the rounded and the square. I like the look of it. Honestly, not a huge fan of the hands shown, but I'm not as against them, I guess. Like the bracelet. The 5-link feels more catalog, and a BOR is probably not the right answer, but close.

F the 2824. I don't think you'll re-coup the $$ in using it. Miyota has been keeping spot on timing on the Zixen. Very impressed. I think the truth is there are so many catalog micros out there with $300-500 price tags, that you need to be limber to get the attention. The case construction is sweet. No HEV, domed sapphire, drilled bezel with PVD. That's your brand, like mentioned above.

I'd use the same hands, come to think of it. Maybe make some silvered, some blackened. one thing I would do if you could, is widen the font on the sandwich dial. I notice the lume doesn't hit a wide a surface on the sea-01. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the date at 6pm.

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Re: New design, thoughts and opinions...

Post by giosdad » Tue Jan 26, 2016 8:15 pm

I like everything about it except the hour and minute hands. I think your standard hand set with polished edges would work. I like the design of the seconds hand. I think the bracelet looks interesting. I was concerned that the lugs are to long, but see the L to L is 49mm. I am a big fan of BOR bracelets and can't wait to see the ratcheting claps. I really like the date at 6.

The Miyota Is fine as you should sell many more at the lower price point. The Irish Made The last few watch companies I followed make their target several times iverw
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