Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Mark 1


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 rest.

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.

Mark 1: proudly Australian.

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