Thank you for following the development of the Wayfarer!
The Wayfarer’s campaign launch date has moved up to Q1 2019. This was done because of a supplier change and to avoid the busy Christmas holiday.
More on this and Wayfarer updates below:
Choosing the right supplier is extremely important – they source and assemble the components that go into watch prototypes and eventual industrial scale production. Initially, the first supplier seemed promising, but the closer the project moved towards manufacturing the physical watch prototype the more their limitations became apparent.
My vision for the Wayfarer clashed with their ability to deliver: Neither dial, rotor, nor bracelet could be produced at the complexity and fidelity necessary. It became an exercise in constantly trying to work within the framework of restrictions they set, which is a big hindrance when trying to create bring a new idea to life. One of the problems was a sales first, engineering second approach, which leads to misunderstandings when trying to create something technical and complex.
As I was simply not willing to back down on quality, it was time to move on.
As you may know, the market for crowdfunded watches, whilst competitive, often leaves a lot to be desired… It would be a disservice to everyone who has provided feedback, discussion and support to not make something better, something that stands out. If the design is great, manufacturing must be equally great.
Determined to act on that sentiment I started talks with the Hong Kong office of a Swiss supplier who has created watches for Audemars Piguet & TAG Heuer amongst others. They are class leading in designing and sourcing watches. From the outset I was connected to a sourcing expert instead of a sales person, which made communication much more effective. Their knowledge led to immediate improvements, like the Wayfarer’s thickness going down to 10mm, a better –bracelet, -rotor, -straps, etc. They are expanding what’s possible in terms of manufacturing rather than being a limiting factor – and this will continue to bear fruits going forward.
Lesson learned: If you want to work together successfully, find people that match your mindset and values. I’m glad the original design vision prevails, stronger than ever. 🙂
STATE OF THE WAYFARER
Following the supplier change, the Wayfarer’s first physical prototype is set to be completed early next month. Sample parts will be created first for fine tuning, before the final prototype assembly is completed which will resemble the production run. It’s important here to get everything 100% right.
Updated specs can be found here.
For everyone who has not followed Akura on social media, the main colours chosen from 20 preliminary versions are:
The colour renders can be found on the main page.
Two high quality calfskin leather straps will be offered – one nylon/leather, the other full leather. Both featuring quick release pins. The full leather strap will be a stretch goal.
Some design consultation was done on the bracelet: The previous sharp, tapering angles unfortunately wouldn’t have worked on smaller wrists: Bracelets angle sharply downwards on most wrists, almost 90 degrees from the watch case. This created a step-like problem area.
Two new flatter bracelet designs were made that fix this issue, with the community choosing a new design similar in looks to the old one.
WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA
Happy to see the new website online after substantial work on it in the past months! This blog also includes feedback functionality which you can try here. Akura’s social media following is growing with 5000+ people currently following; this will be expanded significantly once the videos/pictures of the physical prototype are completed. Can’t wait to capture the Wayfarer in the Highlands, it’s going to look fantastic!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT
I’m looking forward to sharing more progress with you, currently finishing the manual and packaging. Welcome back to all those who follow exclusively through the newsletter! 🙂