We hope that you are well.
Today, we have some exciting news to share with you all.
The 3D models for both the case and the bracelet are very close to being ready meaning that our manufacturing partner for those two parts will soon be able to create moulds, which is the second-to-last step before the actual prototypes can be assembled. We are hoping that they will be completed just after Chinese New Year, and, thus far, we are on schedule. As the experience manufacturing the Porcelain Odyssey pieces (especially the Ji dials for those of you from the Kickstarter days) has taught us, we are nevertheless never completely immune to the threat of unforeseen manufacturing delays (especially when it comes to dials and movements), so let’s not jinx it. We will anyhow stay razor-focused on the smooth completion of this step; to this end we are using our usual heavily hands-on approach and are in daily contact with most of our suppliers (for some of them it is not necessary – we wouldn’t have much to chat about with the crystal supplier for instance).
Here are a few shots of the 3D renders. They are not extremely attractive at the moment because no texture has been applied to them, but, well, at least, this can give you a more concrete idea of what the watches will actually feel like.
There is an interesting feature about the bracelet that you may not have noticed. Even though it looks integrated, in actual facts, it is not. Between the lugs you will thus find a “regular” 20mm inter-lug space meaning that you can fit on the watch any straps with a 20mm width. The rationale underlying this design choice is that, even though we are fond of the look of integrated bracelets, we are not particularly keen on the “dependency” to a brand they create, and, more importantly, of how they substantially limit your options when it comes to picking a strap for your watch. Imagine having to alternate solely between the different straps a brand would have created… It would not be fun, right? On the Perception, you will hence be able to fit any 20mm straps you please in addition to ours, which greatly improves the watch's versatility! This is one of the aspects of the case that required the most work as it is paramount that the actual bracelet integration is visually perfect. The solution we picked is not very commonplace hence we had to think rather thoroughly about how to make our vision a reality. We are very much looking forward to seeing what it looks and feels like in the metal!
We have not mentioned it yet, but the manufacturer we are working with to create the case and bracelet is not the same one which manufactured the cases of the Porcelain Odyssey models. We wanted someone with thorough experience of complex integrated bracelet and case manufacturing and our current partner is known as one of the best in the space. He'll guarantee amazing execution. What is more, and as mentioned a few lines above, we are heavily involved in this process: we chat with him on daily basis and continuously give feedback on every aspect of the manufacturing. For instance, here is a quick one we gave him about the bracelet buckle finish:
We had not mentioned it yet, but production pieces will have a micro-adjustment system with the buckle. Prototypes nevertheless won't have it: it would have added too much to manufacturing time and the rather steep cost would have forced us to do less prototypes. But fear not, production watches will come with it.
Last topic for today: series name. We chose “Perception” but never really explained why. So here are the few reasons that underlies this choice:
-One of the watch’s most interesting aspect will be the contrast between the dial’s striking depth (thanks to both the unique nested Sunmao structure and the 3D effect stemming from the guilloché) and the case’s thinness (9.4mm, but it should actually feel less than that on the wrist due to its construction);
-The watch’s appearance will be able to change quite substantially as ambient light varies: white gold-plated hands and indexes will contrast with the more brushed aspect of the rest of the dial and the guilloché part will alternate between “highly visible with a lot of volume” and “smoother and more metallic”;
-There are a fair number of aspects of the watch that contrast with one another: the case and bracelet are very modern, almost brutalist, yet the dial is paying homage to a very traditional craft. Some of you will have noticed that there is a slight Hysek/Genta influence, which is very European, yet at the same time you have strong references to traditional Chinese aesthetic concepts. On the top part of the case, there is a certain sobriety yet at the back things are buzzing with the deeply embossed guardian lion and the heavily decorated movement.
In a nutshell, this is a watch that can convey a wide pallet of emotions, that can be seen and understood from many different angles, and, therefore where everything is a matter of perception.
Thank you for your time.
See you soon with some more exciting news!
Wilfried and Robin