Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Tintin Speedmaster

***A Tintin Speedmaster? Maybe.

A few years ago Omega released a special edition “racing” Speedmaster. It was initially met with hesitant approval by much of the Omega community, and it certainly did not rocket off the shelves. Recently Omega’s Head of Product Development, Jean Claude Monachon released a statement saying that the red and white striped minute track of the “racing” Speedmaster was appropriated from the colours of Tintin’s rocket. That left a few people quite confused, but the story behind the striped minute track developed as more information was released.

‘Destination Moon’ and ‘Explorers on the Moon’ were two Tintin comics that were issued in 1950 and 1954 respectively. They featured Tintin, Haddock and Professor Calculus travelling to the moon, and ultimately saving the world. The most notable feature of each of these comics was the rocket- it was the daydream of every teenage boy during the 50s. Its red and white colour palate was striking, yet the soft curves were sleek and slender. The rocket embodied the mad rush during the cold war/space-race era. Keep in mind that this was nearly 20 years before the moon landings and 8 years before a manned space mission.

Omega approached the publisher of Tintin with a prototype of their Speedmaster, as an homage to those Tintin comics. This prototype featured Tintin’s rocket as the salient feature on the dial, as well as the red and white minute track. Unfortunately, the publishers did not agree with Omega’s design and collaborative effort, so the prototype was dismissed. In its wake, a “racing” Omega evolved, no rocket, but the red and white stripes remained. This piece is a great addition for any collector. The story behind the watch adds enormous value; it is physical proof that Omega cannot stamp every ‘moon’ related event as its own. Adding to its value for a collector is the fact that that the case back insciprion is red, the only Speedmaster Moon watch to have this detail. Snatch this one up while you can! Price on inquiry.

Happy collecting, Nick

Gold rebelde, finally!

***Rebelde gold takes its first breath

After 7 months of development, the rebelde gold watch took its first breath yesterday afternoon. The emotion that we felt collectively in the workshop was not one of joy or celebration, but rather of relief. The gold case passed the water pressure testing of 10 ATM with flying colours. This is a big step for the world’s smallest watch brand, and also a major investment in not only time and engineering, but also in raw materials. With the price of gold at $40 per gram, extreme caution had to be put into construction, so no material is wasted. On the other hand, no compromise to the water resistance and robustness was made. The total weight of the watch, including the movement, is 135g, and I can tell you that it feels good. Style-wise, it is identical to the rebelde N Pilots series, with its trademark ribbed bezel.

Note that this piece will come with a Horween Shell Cordovan Horse leather strap. Because of this, the limited numbers of these straps we have are no longer for sale, as they must be reserved for rebelde gold.

Of course, there are still things to be done. We have just ordered a gold maker’s punch – a tool that we will use in stamping our initials on all gold components. The tool will be laser-cut in England by a toolmaker who has been in the business for decades. The gold buckle is not done yet either. But then again, we don’t expect any surprises there.

***Production time frame The first batch of rebelde gold will be 10 pieces in 18K yellow gold, followed by the batch of 10 pieces in 18k rose gold. Since each case is individually manufactured, piece by piece, we believe that the gold watches will be completed in around 3 to 4 months from now. The gold finished Geneva waves movements are already in stock.

***Price This has been the most frequently asked question so far, and the one for which we still don’t have a definite answer. The reason for this is that the gold price is fluctuating like crazy, and so is the exchange rate between the AUD and USD. While we are unable to speculate on what the price might be in 3 to 4 months by now, we are very confident that $11,500 is likely to be the price.

We are now ready to take your order. It is obvious that numbers 1 and 10 of each batch will not be available for sale, which leaves us with 8 pieces of each available to rebelde comrades. To reserve your piece, a $1,000 deposit is required, with the balance payable at the time of delivery. We will do our best to accommodate your requests for a specific serial, but really, any number is as good as it gets.

If you are interested, the next step is to check out the watch in person by making an appointment. I would be more than happy to show you the watch, let you try it on, and assess it for yourself. The other question that may be on your mind is: Are we going to do any more gold watches later in the year? The short answer is that we don’t know. To start a new batch is not just a simple step of clicking a ‘re-order button’. We need to start again completely from scratch, which will take time and be a substantial financial investment in the project. At the end of the day, it will always be up to you. I have always said that on the day that the last order comes for a rebelde, our brand will end. The brand will only remain alive as long as your orders are coming in. We have no intention of having watches sitting around in stock collecting dust while they wait for potential buyers.

My apologies for the rather poor quality images. As you can imagine, I am really rushing to share this good news with you, but rest assured that the watch does look better in reality than in the photos. Once again, we thank all rebelde owners and those who follow our project with interest for their support. We are enjoying this journey and we hope that you’re having as much fun as us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Clash of the Titans

It is pretty well known and obvious that Swiss watchmakers work hard to maintain their position in the very top segment of global watch production. While the volume of watches produced in Switzerland is only around 1% of global stock, they enjoy 90% of global watch value.

What is less well known is that at the same time, Swiss brands heavily compete against each other. If you attend a watch fair like the Basel Fair, you might be under the impression that there is some grand plan behind all these Swiss brands – a conspiracy that keeps them working together. But nothing could be further from the truth. These brands actually hate each other’s guts.

You may believe that the battle of Titans is between brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe. Again, the situation is a little more complex. The battle is actually between the House of Swatch and the House of Richemont. The best way to describe this fight is not between two warriors but two armies who spend a great deal of time strategizing and executing their game.

The best example of this fight is the Basel Fair. Held annually in March, it is the largest horological show on the planet, so naturally anyone into watchmaking wants to be present, displaying their latest watch.

Deep down, however, the waters are fairly murky because the Basel Fair is practically owned by the Swatch group, which means that the most prominent display areas at BaselWorld are reserved for brands from the Swatch stable. So when you walk in and see brands such as Omega and Longines with large presentation spaces, you would believe that they are the biggest brands.

Of course, the Richemont group was not happy with such an arrangement, so a few years ago began their own fair in Geneva, Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), in the first month of the year featuring only their own watches. While the SIHH Fair does not have the volume of Swiss exhibitors that the Basel Fair enjoys (only 16 brands are on display), it certainly makes up multiple times for it in the glamour department. It is very hard to describe to someone the prestige of the event, from flowing champagne, free food and entertainment by international stars, to after-party VIP night clubs which spill over into the evening.

However, there is one major difference between the two. While Basel is open to the public, SIHH is primarily designed to entertain Richemont stockists and dealers, as well as a select few journalists who attend the fair by invitation only. A well-oiled machine.

Of course if you happen to be in Switzerland from March 19-26, do not miss an opportunity to attend Basel Fair, as it really is a life-altering experience.

Happy collecting,

Nick

Rebelde on tour

Great customer feedback

"Took my new Rebelde to Hanoi and snapped this photo outside the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. Seemed appropriate.

Thought you might like a copy.

The watch is perfect – a real pleasure. Best wishes, Ric"

"K16 and I have been on vacation to Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. Here are some photos of the experience.

I can report that K16 captured the attention of some of the good folks manning the counter at several watch dealer and boutique stores. Aside from that, a couple of colleagues were intrigued and you should also receive an enquiry from one of my cousins in HK!

All the best for 2015. Regards, Jason"

Watch winders are here!

If an entrepreneur goes out and makes claims about their product solving a problem or being better than their competitors, it can be so incredibly powerful to offer proof. When it comes to our watch winders, the proof is in the pudding. Since we sold our first winder in mid-2013, we haven't received one back, from the single to the divorce-maker (9 watches).

The watch winders are finally back in stock. We are selling single winders at $240, double at $390 and the triple at $550. They look fantastic, come with a dial control system, and can rotate bi-directionally. Two colours are available: black and brown. Delivery: $25 Australia-wide, except for WA, which is $35.

These prices are unchanged from mid-2013, when the Australian dollar was equal to the USD, and will remain so until further notice.

rebelde titanium update II

Let’s start with the most commonly asked question: Why titanium? It is a long story which could be best told by watching this video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLLFNmTVmpQ

After watching you should have a fairly good idea on what is so special about this unique metal. Actually, if you skip this video and continue reading, then the rest of the project update will make very little sense.

***The timeline***

Last night I assembled the first 2 pieces of rebelde titanium. The watches were assembled from the prototype components. The case is slightly larger (45mm in diameter not including the crown) yet rebelde Ti is lighter than the current stainless steel model. After experimenting with various finishes we have settled for the high-gloss polished bezel, brush finished middle case, and gloss and sand blasted case back.

The rebelde Ti is not a copy of the stainless steel Control Tower model. Actually, not one casing component is interchangeable because we started the new design from scratch. Copying the existing model would be too easy and, in a way, like cheating our existing customers. Creating the new piece from scratch enables us to demonstrate maturity. In other words, we are trying to say, “Hey, we can do this. We can design a watch completely on our own terms, and rebelde is here to stay.” It also demonstrates a maturity in relation to our component manufacturer.

***Preliminary assessment***

To say that we are proud of coming so far is a bit of an understatement. Based on preliminary testings, the titanium case is fully waterproof and fully water resistant to 10 bar. There were no surprises in assembly, and each and every casing component fits as it should. It is important to remember that the case itself is assembled from the components manufactured by 11 individual makers, and getting them to work together in the first go is not a small achievement.

***The design***

At this stage, the case design has been completed and in the next few weeks we will start the design of the dial and hands. Taking into account the popularity of the Control Tower and Pilot’s dial, it is fair to say that there will be no drastic changes to the style at least for the first production run. We expect the dials and hands to be ready in about 4 months’ time. Also, rebelde Ti will have its own leather strap and matching titanium buckle.

***Production batch***

For 2015 we plan two production batches. The first batch, Ti45-A, will consist of 50 pieces and will utilise the Unitas manual wind movement with a very unique ‘checkered’ finish. We sourced 50 pieces of this unique movement in 2013. I have not seen another movement with a similar finish and I feel that our first titanium model deserves to be different. The Ti45-B batch will consist of 75 pieces. It will feature the Geneva stripe finish movement. The total production of 125 titanium pieces will stretch my assembling capabilities to the limit, but the first pieces should leave our workshop on June 1, with the 125th piece to be delivered around Christmas 2015.

***Price***

Assuming that the Australian dollar stays where it is, the price of the rebelde Ti is $3,000. It is fair to say that we had some heated discussion in regard to price, and my partners believe that this price is too low. However, I am of the opinion that the price is just right. In 2015 my goal for rebelde is to remain the smallest watch brand in the world, which means robust, reliable, repairable, but also exclusive, and affordable.

***Taking orders***

We have received a number of inquiries about rebelde Ti and while we are still 5 months away from delivery of the first piece, and while we still don’t have a dial design locked in, we should not test your patience any further. Should you wish to put your name down and reserve your piece, then please send us an email to order@rebelde.com.au with the subject line ‘Ti45’. As in the past, we will give you the option of choosing your serial number whenever that is possible. Please provide three choices in order of preference. The Ti45-A batch of 50 pieces is reserved to our existing rebelde comrades, and the Ti45-B batch of 75 pieces is open to both existing and new customers. No deposit is required; you will be invoiced once your rebelde is assembled.

As stated in the beginning of the report, we now have 2 titanium pieces at the workshop. They are fully functional, so we invite you to come and visit us, and check them out in person. Please call for an appointment.

If you’d like to do us a favour, then please visit our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/rebelde.watchmaker?ref=br_tf and of course www.rebelde.com.au. We don’t want you to stop enjoying your Swiss watch, and even if you are not going to buy a rebelde, we hope that you appreciate our project from the perspective of a humble Australian story. This is something worth sharing with your friends and fellow watch aficionados.

rebelde titanium project update

In one word: so far, so good.

On the left hand side of the picture below is the 3 piece blank titanium case which just came out of the first prototype run. On the right hand side is the same case after the first attempt to polish it. The bezel is gloss and the case is brush finished. Of course, a titanium alloy is not the kind of metal which can be easily polished to a mirror finish. This is precisely why every titanium watch manufacturer opts for a brush or matte finish.

I am still to make the final decision for which way rebelde Ti will go. Over the Christmas/New Year break I will also experiment with sandblasting the case. Sandblasted titanium looks magnificent. However, the sandblasted finish almost amplifies the presence of any scratch. What is important to me is post-sale service, which would be a nightmare with this kind of finish. With each repair/service, the case would have to be taken apart completely for sandblasting. Another problem is that the sandblasting equipment is large and could not fit in our city workshop, not to mention the dust generated in the process and the noise of the 5hp compressor.

What I’m really excited about is the fact that the case passed a strict water resistance test, which is certainly good news.

Once again, we are not taking any orders yet, and it will be at least a few weeks before we tell you more.

Stay tuned for more rebelde titanium news.

I would also like to say a special thank you to all of you who replied to yesterday’s offer. The response was truly overwhelming. Not only did we sell 6 rebelde pieces from the first and second batches in less than 45 minutes, but we received dozens and dozens of inquiries. We really appreciate your support and for those who are on the waiting list, we ask for your patience.

Visitors

Yesterday I had two young visitors - men in their early twenties.

They represented a business which 'specialized' in watches. Namely, consignments. In essence, they needed someone who could provide valuations for the watches they accept for sale, verifying that the watches are genuine.

"So you are licensed second hand dealers, right?" I asked. "Yes" said the one on the left. "No" said the one on the right. "And you collect, record and submit the details of the customers and of the watches to the Police, every day, as per your requirement as second hand dealers?

This time the man on the left said 'no' and the other one said 'yes'.

The situation was seriously comical. At least for me.

"We can pay you for your service" said both, in unison.

But dealing in second hand watches is not just about money. It has lot to do with responsibility, expertise, building your own reputation and above all - doing it right way. I tried to explain that having a second hand dealers licence is an absolute must. Licensing and record keeping is not optional. It is the way how the NSW Government keeps the bastards honest - me included.

Somehow, my words got lost in translation. Based on their facial expressions I think they thought I was not interested because I fear competition - or something along those lines.

I grew up in a city of 50,000. And the city was cursed with no less than 7 watchmakers, each of them trying his best to make an honest living, heavily competing with each other. Competition is good. Actually competition is the best thing that could ever happen to a watchmaker or a watch dealer. I wish there are not 3 but 30 dealers in Sydney. Thirty registered experts that is.

"So you can not do valuations?" asked the smart one.

Yes I can. But doing a valuation for the competition does not make sense.

When you pay money to watch Nadal playing Federer, you don't expect to see Novak Djokovic serving of behalf of Nadal. That just does not make sense. People buy watches from the Rolex Boutique because they love Rolex boutique. They buy watches from NH because they trust NH. And they will buy watches from YOU because they will trust you. It's simple as that.

Learn, struggle, sweat and make mistakes. Learn fast and become an expert. Life is not a Hollywood show where you can call in an expert or friend to verify and tell you how much it is worth and what to do. That is YOUR job. And whatever you do, and before you do it, register yourself properly.

They left empty-handed and disappointed. But they are young, and hopefully one day, they will get it.

Happy collecting,

Nick

A welcome respite

As you already know, nothing keeps us more motivated or on-track than your feedback. We have two to share today, from K55 and K28. The reason why we publish these comments is that they very aptly summarise the general feeling behind the watch.

Thank you for your on going support!

*** "I have had K55 for a week now and it is all I had hoped for.

Winding each morning, first thing out of bed, takes me back to the sixties of my youth and is still enjoyable: as is it’s time keeping qualities. While it is being wound allows one to look with pride at it without being seen to be gloating. I have no unique experience, job or address to tell about and the best I can do is quote the poet John Keats. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever: It’s loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.” Amen. Thank you very much for a lovely job.

Norv Simpson

PS As a collector of fountain pens I am definitely interested in the proposed Rebelde fountain pen."

"I have been meaning to write and express my admiration for your work since I received K28. I also tried without success to resist ordering a Rebelde pen, but could not. The 2 go very well together and are on my person every day. I cannot wait for a fountain pen as well to complete the collection!

The workmanship, design and execution on the Rebelde watch is outstanding. I have not looked at another watch since receiving it, which as my long suffering wife will tell you, is no mean feat! The ritual of winding the watch every morning is a calming one, I find myself deciding every day to "be a Rebelde".

The watch itself is at once stunning yet unobtrusive. It is always interesting to see who actually notices it. Very few people do, which is strange. Those that do notice it are blown away though, and I am sure you now have another couple of people on your waiting list because of that.

I love the retro look, I love the robust feel.

I would urge you to consider doing a women's line as I would love to buy one for my wife who insisted that I out my name down for one in spite of me owning 6 watches already (all of which are not getting a look-in for a wear).

Please keep up the good work!

Regards" - Pieter K. K28

The rise of the rebelde pen

Thanks to your feedback, we know that the rebelde pens are being put to good use. The images are from an architect and a pilot:

***Another happy customer***

A couple of weeks ago we had a visitor – a legal practitioner from the building across the road. He had heard about the rebelde pens and badly wanted to acquire one. He had a hard time hiding his excitement and an even harder time choosing between black or burgundy. Obviously it wasn't hard to close the deal, except for one minor detail: he was unable to produce $99 in cash, and he didn’t have his credit card handy.

“I’m going to fix you up tomorrow,” he said on his way out. We exchanged glances amongst us, and while I don’t allow store credit, I had no choice but to make an exception. Then he continued, “Actually, I’ll be away for a week, so I won’t be able to pay you tomorrow. However, please call me in a few days’ time to remind me in case I forget.”

The week passed quickly, but before we could send that reminder notice, he appeared again. “I just love the rebelde pen, and I would like to buy one more." While my policy was strictly one pen per customer, I made yet another exception. This time, however, I boldly asked that he pay for both pens without any delay. “Well, since I’m buying in bulk, I should expect a wholesale price, shouldn’t I?”

I pretended that I didn’t hear that insult and he mistook my kindness for weakness.

“Send me the bill,” were his last words and in a split second he left the office. Needless to say, I was pissed. This is simply not how I do business. Another week passed. It was now obvious to everyone in the office that two rebelde pens will most likely be written off as unrecovered debt. However, I did try one more time.

I sent my assistant to personally hand deliver a note to our neighbour, instructing him not to leave his office until he got paid. The note reads:

"I beg you sir to settle your account so I can pay my workers who laboured hard this week. (They have bills to pay and I am worried they may quit if unable to feed themselves.) Thank you kindly, Nick. Thank you again. = only $198"

However, he returned empty handed. While the note was read aloud, it produced nothing but light laughter. “Boy, I’m on my way out,” said the ‘customer’. He disappeared like a ghost behind the lift doors. To be continued...

The king is dead. Long live the king!

When we heard the news that the Omega Moonwatch 3570.50 has been discontinued, we couldn't believe it. It was too ridiculous to believe. Why would you discontinue your most iconic watch? So we had to have a chat with the Omega Boutique in Sydney and it turns out the 3570.50 is no longer in production.

However, the new Speedmaster Professional is now available and comes with a Ref. 311.30.42.30.01.005. Below are the photos of both Moonwatches.

So what is the difference? If you can't spot any, then you are almost right. It is basically the same watch with a different box and a new reference number. It also comes with a new price tag.

For the first time in many months, I am speechless.

Captain rebelde reporting to base

"Thought I would send you a note. Received my watch just over a week ago. Been wearing it every day. I love it, I have received several compliments on it. It has about 12,000 miles on it so far. The K37 flying a Boeing 737. Thanks again for making an excellent watch.

Cheers,

Bill T", Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Message from President of American Watch and Clock Institute

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

~John F. Kennedy

One day King Solomon summoned his goldsmith because he wanted a special ring made. Upon arrival, the goldsmith asked, “What can I do for you, old wise one?” The mighty king responded, “I want you to make me a grand ring, one like no one has ever seen before. Make it of the finest gold you can find. I want it engraved with the most prophetic statement you can think of.” What a charge to be given to the goldsmith. He thought, “Wow, what can I as a goldsmith do to honor such a mighty person as King Solomon?” He gave it a lot of thought. After hours of thinking, he came up with “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.”

In the late 1800s and early to mid-1900s, America was the premier watch manufacturer in the world. They made watches by the thousands from 1852 till 1957. American Waltham Watch Co. made 35 million watches from 1867 to 1956. Elgin produced 55 million. Hamilton, from 1893 to 1942, produced almost 4 million. After 1942, they changed their numbering system. They continued to make watches until 1969; their last model was the 992B. They stopped manufacturing at Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and so ended the era of watch production in the US. “THIS TOO SHALL PASS.”

During the heyday of American watchmaking, the Swiss were getting on the bandwagon with watches whose names sounded American-made, such as Hampton Watch Company [not Hampden], Rockville Watch Co., H.W. Co., or W.W. Co. These fooled many customers into thinking they had bought an American watch. The Swiss started making better-quality pieces, and so they made an inroad into the US market. Bulova, Gruen, Omega, Font, Felsa, A. Schild, ETA, and many other brands and ebauches came into being during those years. Parts were readily available, both genuine and generic, from your local material houses. After World War II many people went to watchmaking School on the GI Bill. This produced a flood of watchmakers in the marketplace, and as a result, watchmakers cut their prices so drastically that it was hard to make a living.

In the 1960s the Accutron and the electric watch came out, and then the quartz watch made its debut. That was the end of watchmaking to many craftspeople, so they left the trade and sought other ways to make a living. Those who stayed with it found that the quartz watch needed repair, and there still was Uncle Joe who liked his watch that ticked, and the family heirloom that needed restoring. And they found that they could charge a fair price for their labor.

With the manufacture of so many cheap quartz watches, many people said it was the end of the mechanical watch. “THIS TOO HAS PASSED.” The mechanical watch has made a strong resurgence in the marketplace. Thus the need for a watchmaker who is qualified to work on these timepieces is stronger than ever. The parts issue will be with us until the demand from the customer is so loud that it starts to hurt the sale of watches. In time “THIS TOO SHALL COME TO PASS.”

This short overview demonstrates the challenges in the ever changing world of horology which we are all to face, watchmakers and collectors alike.

While our American colleagues are clearly disappointed with their loss in horological dominance, I doubt that they will ever rise back to their previous glory. The reason is not a lack of skill or enthusiasm, but the dramatic change in horology. It has been at almost a decade since we switched from mechanical timekeeping to smart phone clocks. To be dominant, you need to produce in volume. And that volume will come from Asia, not the US.

Of course, for watch owner, maker and repairer, a mechanical watch will remain a source of inspiration. We already see a number of micro watchmakers entering the market, especially in the US and Europe. Their challenge does not lie in their ability to capture market share, but to produce a quality watch. In any case, the next decade of horology will be the one to watch, and then, this too shall pass.

The Invisible Force

A couple of hours ago a parcel arrived at our workshop. It contained a rebelde watch from the very first batch, assembled on June 24 this year. The watch was performing fine until recently, when unexpectedly it started to gain 4 minutes per day. Obviously, everything else was put aside and I was extremely curious to find out what went wrong with this rebelde.

The watch was placed on the timing machine which detects the ‘heartbeat’ and measures its 3 vital parameters. It is an irreplaceable diagnostic tool, and yes, the watch was gaining a considerable amount of time and the amplitude was very low. To put it simply, it performed like a runner struggling to race while carrying 2 cement bags on his shoulders.

There are a number of causes which could translate to such a poor performance, but all of them point to the balance wheel assembly, which is the heart of the watch. A possible tangled hairspring, a cracked jewel, bent balance staff: all of them are shock-related issues.

I started disassembling the watch looking for an obvious mechanical problem, and to my surprise, I just couldn’t find any. Mechanically, the rebelde looked perfect.

And then something unexpected happened. After removing the hands, the hour and minute hands appeared to be stuck together held by an invisible force. The watch was possessed. MAGNETISM!

Magnetism is a nightmare for watchmakers because it is the only problem you cannot see. The magnetized hands was not the problem in itself, but rather a symptom that the entire watch had become magnetic. Thankfully, there is an easy remedy – it just needed to be passed through the demagnetizer and once again it was performing perfectly.

The entire repair process took 60 minutes, and half of that time was spent looking for my demagnetizer, a tool for which I rarely have a need. What we can learn from this is that like any mechanical device, watches are sensitive to strong magnetic fields. Sources of that field could be large speakers, power supplies, large TVs or MRI machines. No watch, regardless of brand, is immune to a magnetic field.

Of course while this is not a manufacturer’s problem, I was more than happy to restore the rebelde free of charge. My reward is this opportunity to talk about the problem and educate our customers – which is priceless. Rebelde: robust and reliable, like many. Repairable like no other.

Rebelde has done it again

A few weeks ago we shared with you a story about the tannery/leather manufacturer from Chicago, the Horween company. It has been producing the finest leather for four generations and it’s now one of the last remaining tanneries in the USA. As you know, we are just days away from the delivery of the first Rebelde Horween straps.

While we are waiting for the straps, we continue to explore other materials for Rebelde and have come across Horween horse leather.

“Genuine Horween Shell Cordovan is the art of tanning at its finest. More than just a color, it is a very specific leather, from a particular part of a horsehide. The irregular oval shaped shells are tanned, stuffed, shaved, and then polished – a process taking at least six months. Each shell is slowly steeped in gentle vegetable liquors. The shells are genuine hot stuffed then slicked onto glass frames to dry. Each shell is hand curried and shaved by highly skilled artisans to expose the shell. Dyes are hand rubbed on for a deep aniline finish. Finally, the shells are hand glazed to achieve the rich, glossy look and feel prized by fine craftsmen.”

It is not only the process of tanning the leather that is special - it’s the fact that a leather strap made from horse can last for many years. The watch strap can be buffed and re-stitched so it looks and feels better with age. At the moment we only have four black and three brown straps. This is all that we were able to secure so far.

This leather strap is for those Rebelde owners who want nothing but the best. The price is $199 with buckle included.

At the moment the strap only comes in a Long size to fit 19-22cm wrists. We expect another delivery in about three months but the quantity will always remain as a few pieces per delivery.

Once again, we are extremely proud that we can offer our Rebelde customers unparalleled horological experience in Australia.