Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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.


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.

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