You may have seen some pictures of the Wayfarer’s first prototype come up on your social media feeds, email and in your forum of choice. Seeing the first watches in the metal was an amazing experience, the transformation of design drawing to the real deal went very well.
The quality is there already, it could be sold without hesitation, but there’s still an additional layer of polish that I know the Wayfarer can achieve. Carefully inspecting every surface, angle, font and colour led me to jot down over 20 adjustments that will go into the next batch of prototypes. They range from improved finishing to better luminescence, to improved dials, straps and bracelets. With five initial prototypes now having been manufactured, ten final prototypes are on the way that will incorporate these changes and will be shown in the Kickstarter.
The final prototypes will be ready in about a months’ time due to the manufacturer currently being on Lunar New Year holiday. This allowed time to thoughtfully go over the adjustments that will be implemented. However, whilst the final prototypes will be completed in Q1 2019 this would leave very little time to plan the campaign. Producing proper images/video for the Kickstarter will take a bit of time, and it is important to get some reviews in before the Kickstarter launches.
I am confident in the quality of the Wayfarer, but having independent reviewers go over the product will allow for a more informed buying decision on your part and for those still on the fence. Therefore, the Kickstarter will launch towards the beginning of Q2 2019. I will announce a final date once the details have been worked out with reviewers and those contributing work towards the campaign.
(This webpage also has a notification feature now that will send you one in-browser notification when the campaign launches. Desktop only.)
Here is a macro shot showing how light affects the dial. With its multitude of angles, chamfers and the concave outer layer, seeing how the Wayfarer slightly shifts in character depending on incoming light has the original design idea become reality to great effect.
This subtle complexity is also inherent to the case & bracelet, with an interplay of brushed and polished surfaces. Layered dials often use flat layers, or 45° at best, whilst the Wayfarer’s dial uses one complex outer part that leaves precise space for the inset hour indices. It breaks new ground in the price range with its approach to “understated complexity”.
Here are some of the notable changes that are going into the second prototypes. I will highlight others next month once they arrive:
The text on the dial will be re-balanced with some font sizing increased on the turning bezel for greater readability. The same goes for Automatic on the dial, which is slightly larger. Gone is the so-tiny-it’s-hard-to-read WR100m text – it will be replaced by a luminescent bar. This then indicates 12 o’clock at night.
The lugs will be polished on their outer edges, with the right side polished edges going all the way to the crown guards. The lugs will also be shaped at an angle to be more aligned with the wrist.
We are looking to print the logos on the dial instead of using the current small parts. This gives greater control over the microscopic details. The parts couldn’t quite reach the logo’s exact dimensions, printing is more precise in this case.
A small frame will be added to the date window on the inner dial, it will be the material/colour of the pattern. Currently the pattern is a straight cut, as can be seen in this macro shot, making small ridges appear on the edges. The frame will even this out:
The packaging will be completed with the next prototypes. It features the Wayfarer pattern, connecting it to the watch inside. The text and logo are embossed, providing some 3D detailing. The background pattern on the top surface will only be slightly visible.
The packaging contains two compartments: One for the strap + bracelet, and another for additional straps.
Whilst the pricing is still not completely finalised it needs an update: The reference early bird pricing should be around ~500USD+/-, at the moment that is around £399. The final pricing structure will be announced preceding the Kickstarter.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Congratulations if you have made it through this entire update – consider yourself more than well informed on the progress of the Wayfarer! It’s been fascinating turning this design into reality, and the pursuit of creating something truly special is nearing the finish line. I am looking forward to sharing the final prototypes and preparing the crowdfunding campaign for Q2 2019.
Thank you for the fantastic reception on social media and the forums, and to everyone who I’ve had a chance to show the Wayfarer in person.
Great things ahead!
FOUNDER/DIRECTOR AKURA TIMEPIECES LTD.