Friday, July 13, 2018

MK1 winding crown problem solved

It was clear: the 6mm crown was simply too small. And a number of you jumped in saying the 9mm crown on our current models was simply too large for your wrist, literally begging us not to go XL. I agree.  Well, it's either going to be 7mm or 8mm. And, then, after putting our thoughts on paper, it became obvious that there was no way for us to figure out which size is going to be perfect. Solution: we are now commissioning both sizes - 7mm AND 8mm - so MK1 owners will have the option to select the perfect size for their wrist. The overall cost increase to the project is $24 per watch which I believe is a small price to pay for such a brilliant solution.
We ask, we share, and, most importantly of all, we listen - and we do what you want us to do. And this is precisely what micro watch brands are all about.
And while we are still on the Mark1, I would like to share a photo of the calendar wheel cover plate just to demonstrate a simple point.  The mechanism that we will be fitting in Mark1 is custom-finished in Switzerland by one of the top movement manufacturers.  While the rotor side is as finely decorated as the movement that IWC uses in their watches, it is the reverse side that shows the attention to detail and the overall quality.  Our calendar wheel cover plate is hand-decorated with a perlage finish.  A small, but not unimportant, detail and certainly not something that anyone will ever see except the watchmaker who will assemble your watch.  And here is another detail which is actually very important.  Our movement is fitted with 25 jewels while IWC count is 21.  Plus our movement is adjusted to pass Swiss chronometer certification but the fact that the watch is going to be assembled in Australia, it won't come with a piece of paper saying so.  But you do know that and that is the only thing that matters.
Nevertheless, as an owner of an MK1 you can be proud of the fact that no-one can say that your watch is inferior to an IWC. In fact, the contrary. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

What a night

A mixed crowd of watchmakers, machinists and watch enthusiasts gathered together once again, this time in Brookvale, for a night of horological fun last night. And what fun it was! We started at 6:30 with dinner, then proceeded with 3 presentations - then mingled together, and finally enjoyed a CNC mill demonstration, with the last guests leaving close to midnight!  Actually we were so busy that none of us even thought of taking a photo or two. In one word: a success!
Since our intention is to keep our workshop doors open and continue with horological gatherings on a monthly basis, our next gathering will take place on a Sunday, at 11am (date to be confirmed, most likely the end of August).  Switching from Wednesday to Sunday will allow us to be more flexible with time. Obviously, we are proud of the fact that we can offer such a unique opportunity to colleagues and collectors - so if you are interested to join us next time, RSVP early. Email us directly for programme details and to RSVP your spot.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

New financial year - same goals

A small business is like a living organism: constantly changing, evolving, growing - or at times stagnating or shrinking.  For us, the past few months stretched our limited resources to maximum – and it was all about just two things: setting up the workshop and learning how to use machinery. The good news is that we are entering a new financial year feeling relieved, knowing that the workshop is (almost) completed.
On the other hand, the side of the business which suffered was the assembly of rebelde watches. Only 20 watches have been assembled in the past 6 months.  In some cases, the waiting time was 3 months rather than the 3 weeks promised, but rebelde owners were very sympathetic and supportive so delivery time was not an issue.
However, my intention is to spend more time behind the bench and increase output to at least 10 watches per month. As far as range is concerned: I am running low on cases for classic Pilots (ribbed bezel, $2,500) steel model so when the current batch is completed there will be at least a year before new cases will be manufactured and delivered. The time to order one is - now.
Our flagship model F ('fifty' $5,000) has been almost sold out. This piece is the only watch in the world guaranteed for 50 years where all servicing, labour and parts are included in the purchase price. Less than 10 pieces are still available and there are no immediate plans to offer another batch any time soon.
The situation is bit more 'comfortable' with W batch (steel, smooth bezel, $2,500). The latest Titanium batch is the only Titanium model D in production. It comes with black dial and red seconds hand at 9 o'clock. It is fitted with a 'premium Swiss movement, swan neck regulator and gold balance wheel - same as in the fifty model  - with a price tag of $3,500. There are plenty of available serial numbers! 
Finally, I am yet to assemble the last couple of 18K gold pieces. I’m definitely not in a hurry to get rid of them! When sold, there will be no more 18K gold watches any time soon: the minimum batch run is 20 watches which would require an investment of $148,000 in gold alone!   Price: $13,980 and your pick: rose or yellow gold.
To say that we are very proud of our rebelde project would be an understatement. Over 600 rebelde watches have been assembled in the past 4 years, and to my knowledge, each and every one is in good working order. As we proudly say: there is no such thing as a broken rebelde! So if you decide to invest in a masculine, robust, reliable and fully reparable watch, designed and assembled in Australia, then I can't think of any other watch that would fit your requirement than - rebelde. 
It has been 2 years since we've stopped selling Panerai watches. Today, we made one final, symbolic gesture: we have removed the Panerai category from our website. Instead, you will find in its place a permanent listing of 7 rebelde models we have on offer. While our watch is no substitute for Panerai, it has stood the test of time and deserves every right to stand on its own.
Click the link below to be taken directly to our Nicholas Hacko watches:

Perlage - the art of hand finishing

Perlage - a traditional watch part decorating technique - consists of small, overlapping circles, achieved with a rotating, grinding tip.
Yesterday, Josh designed and made a jig, and then had a first attempt at perlage on our own main plate. I say not a bad job - actually, much better than one found on mass-produced Swiss plates. There is something special going on here: a CNC machined part receiving the final touches by hand, in the old, traditional manner. Stay tuned for more!