Making a watch isn’t all that difficult; sure it’s enough work, but relatively easy to accomplish. Making a GOOD watch, however, is a totally different game. Details matter and – believe us – a good watch has a lot of details. We (Stefan & Marc) have adopted the slogan “If it’s not perfect it’s not good” and apply it to the development of the TiMe22 Robusto.
In our original planning we would be ‘live’ on Kickstarter by now and you would be able to pre-order your watch… but… we feel that the TiMe22 Robusto isn`t ready yet: 90% (maybe even 95%) of the watch is ready but there are improvements that can be made to the details. So here is a promised update on the progress:
The Watch Case
As you – probably – already know we have chosen to CNC machine (mill) the watchcase (and bracelet parts) out of solid blocks of grade 5 titanium. After machining the titanium parts are to be blasted with glass beads to create a non-reflective surface that doesn’t easily show stains and fingerprints. We will no longer glass bead blast the titanium but give it a brushed surface finishing. Why? The blasting causes imperfections to the design and makes the colour a bit too dull:
Also the glass bead blasting has a negative impact on the perfect details obtained with machining and turns them into blurred lines:
The bracelet that was delivered with the latest prototypes has still too many details wrong and we have decided to redesign a few parts. The problem lies in the fact that grade 5 titanium is hard; so hard that drilling tiny holes is a challenge and one that has taken a lot of effort to get right.
The bracelet we currently have on the prototypes has still too many tolerances on the holes: not all holes are perfectly aligned and this causes the chains to be too loose or too stiff. Also it messes with the design: the bracelet has a perfect radius (each chain has a little rounding) and with a mal-aligned set of holes the 3 parts that create a chain distort the radius. Some of the edges off the parts have too sharp edges and we will need to round them to create a smoother feel.
There are a few more details which we are improving on, but mostly these have to do with the process part of the project (think of optimizing assembly, quality control, etc.). The good news is that we have 2 working prototypes: a TiMe22 Robusto Precision Mocha (with the ETA 955.112 quartz movement) and a TiMe22 Robusto Automatic Royal Blue (with the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement). The colours of both dials are fantastic: