Thursday, January 31, 2019

The flying samurai

Not long after the first batch of manual wind rebelde with Swiss movements was assembled, I started toying with the idea of designing a 40mm stainless steel chronograph.  Nothing fancy.  The only requirement was that it would retail for between $2,000 and $2,500.

The obvious choice was a Valjoux 7750 movement, but at about that time Seiko released a new NE88 column wheel chronograph which simply kicked 7750’s bum.  I quickly placed an order for 100 movements but, by the time they arrived, I was already heavily involved in the design of rebelde Titanium, and for the past three years the Japanese Seiko movements were sitting in a safe deposit box.

Of course, our religion is Swiss.  And not just ours; the power of Swiss advertising, the lure of swissness and the arrogance of “no stock for you” makes us wanting that swissness even more.  In other words, we are not victims, we are active participants, and happy cult members.

Last week “with nothing better to do” – encouraged by apprentices’ curiosity – the batch of dormant NE88s was once again the topic of conversation. 
“What are we going to do with them? And when?
Probably nothing”, was my reply.  "If anything, ever, we will do a chronograph which will be a tribute to Japanese horology, yet in the style of 1960’s Swiss chronographs".

To my surprise, Michael took this passing comment seriously enough to start preparing some sketches.

So here it is, my subscribers, The Flying Samurai.           

Are we going to make one?  Of course not.  A batch of 100 watches is simply not economically viable, and with so many projects already competing with one another for our time, the Flying Samurai is grounded.


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