One thing I don't feel comfortable talking
about is my own watch: Mark 1. Yet funnily enough, this is a watch that
deserves much more attention in our newsletter than probably all of the
Here is why: Mark 1 is a watch designed and assembled in our Sydney
workshop, after two years of design and 18 months of waiting time for
components to arrive. It is a project literally 'locked in time',
meaning that if we were to do it again, it would take more time and
significantly more money to
release a batch of 200 watches. Travelling to Switzerland is a thing of
the past and we have no idea when we will be able to travel again. The
state of the Swiss manufacturing industry as a whole is uncertain and
small independent makers like Soprod (the maker of the Mark 1 movement)
are hit hard. Even Patek Phillipe's output is down 30% this year.
The first watch was assembled on April 26, 2019 and so far 135 watches
have been sold - and most of them are worn daily. Mark 1 is meant to be
worn - it is a comfortable 40mm timepiece of an unmistakeable vintage
look, yet a truly modern watch capable of chronometer certification time
keeping. It is an elegant 'no show off' unisex watch.
The quality of the Soprod movement is astonishing. Have a look at the
"cote de Genève" finish; the engraving, fine plating, the surface
finishing. This is the difference between a mechanism you find in a $500
watch and one fitted in a $5000 dollars watch. If you are into watches,
you will easily recognize those details.
However, the beauty of our project is in the fact that Mark 1 is not
just a great timekeeper: it is a very robust and highly reliable watch.
In the past year and a half, out of 135 watches only five have been
returned to our workshop: two suffered from being dropped on a hard
surface; two needed a very minor adjustment and one came back because of
a paint particle stuck on the glass. All five issues were resolved
quickly, at no cost to the customer - even in the two cases where damage
is caused by a customer's lack of care. This is what I am proud of and
this is what Mark 1 owners should expect in the future; the best service
experience possible on a watch built to last for generations. And this
is why - that, to my knowledge, not a single Mark 1 has been offered on
the second hand market.
And of course, there is a one major reason why you should add a Mark 1
to your collection: to help us grow. Each watch sold brings us closer to
that 'next level', a dedicated watch manufactory we intend to build in
Mittagong - a facility that will provide opportunities for learning and
making, an opportunity to train and employ young Australians in an
exciting field of micro mechanics and the art of horology.
Mark 1 is $2,800 and ready for immediate delivery. I challenge you to
find a better high grade watch for this money with better post sale
support by a more reputable independent watchmaker. If you do, then do
let me know: I'll buy one myself.