1) The Case
First cut of the case sampling arrived in the form of a case/ mold blank. The shape was consistent with our sketch designs but the height of the hooded lug was too tall making the case look bulkier than we had liked. So we will be revising the design to lower this part to make it more streamlined.
The width and height felt good on the wrist as it is nearly the same size as our divers. However since this was the first time we were designing a hooded lug case, we were quite suprised at how well it wore on smaller wrists due to the shorter lug-lug. Although the case was 45mm wide, it wore more like a 42-43mm case.
The dial samples arrived and I was not too happy with them. The Superluminova lume was not strong, and it was too green. Turns out that the maker did not apply a white base colour and hence covered it up with a green base instead, causing the lume to appear more green than it actually should be.
The lume was also applied very thinly as the maker did not want to increase the thickness of the dial. So we sent the dials back to be redone. The sandwiched indexes were now etched before luming so a thicker lume could be applied. A silver white base was also applied before the C3 Superluminova was applied. This was learn from our reissue of our military range dials which also had similar issues.
The first movement sample arrived and we were quite happy with them. What we noticed was the day discs still had some space so we are planning a surprise for these! The movements tested well at +/-5s, BE0.0 without much regulating.
4) The mockup
The sample mock-up was revealed at our moVas show 2 years ago. The flaws in the design that we were not happy with were the bezel and crown. The crowns were too small and not very comfortable. The bezel was originally designed to be bi-directional as we wanted the crowns to be screwed down to achieve water tightness. The Superluminova was printed so wasn’t very strong and was also too green just like the dial.
We had to redo the entire bezel and crown design which meant throwing away a whole batch of crowns and bezels. The crowns are going to be made bigger and the bezels are going to be redesigned to be uni-directional with 60 clicks, AND continue to be screwed down. It’s harder than it sounds as if you imagined that the crown needs to be screwed down WITHOUT the bezel turning, which meant the crown needed to have a release mechanism from the bezel ratchet as it gets tightened. The bezels are then going to be etched first, and the lume will be hand filled. This will increase the strength of the lume as a thicker layer can be applied.
We also realised that the bezel assembly had a slight play below the glass as the original design used the glass to hold the bezel in place. We thus redesigned this part and used a retaining ring to hold the bezel in place just below the glass.
The positives we took away from the mockup was how well the recesses on the side of the case reduced the visual bulk of the watch, and how well the size wore. Stay tuned for the final reveal where we showed the final prototypes at our moVas show last year.