The Bali Ha'i Project
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008

    The Bali Ha'i Project

    Soooo.... for a while now I've been in discussions to produce a small run of divers' watches, and the project is slowly taking shape...

    As I near the critical juncture, I'd very much like to have some feedback from all you expert WUS folk... first, is it too late? I see lots of people creating these boutique runs. My focus is a bit different, want to have a vintage/tool feel with a bit of a sense of humor (but subtle, maybe a funky case-back pic or similar, very vintage/classic dial & outward appearance), but I worry that maybe the marketplace is getting crowded.

    Here's the now-revised [early/original] specs/features list:

    -Swiss watch, ETA 2824-2 automatic mechanical movement

    -chunky/substantial boat anchor-sized case, 44 mm [orig. sought more classic size 42 mm, suitable for under-shirt cuff wear when unavoidable; still possible future plans on that one, but movements avail now with larger case, so I jumped]

    -[22 or] 24 mm strap (and probably strap with avail bracelet)

    -classic, simple dial - circles and bars, but not a mere sub clone

    -strong lume a must - I'm a lume fan

    -solid high-quality 316L stainless, preferably beadblasted or brushed/matte finish

    -oversized crown, signed, at 3 o'clock [orig thought 4 o'clock crown]

    -HRV [orig unsure about HRV, considered eschew for more vintage feel]

    -solid depth rating, tested - 1000m [or 500m]

    -new custom bezel / diver numbering [?possible countdown style (numbers reversed)]

    -sapphire crystal, flat (?or slight dome), 4mm+ thick

    -hands (saving this one... I have some very specific ideas, tribute to classic Omega divers)

    -nice package for delivery with real Pelican case

    -Italian NBR (BC) strap - (what do folks prefer - black, orange, Panerai-style, or dive/corrugated?)

    -funky cool tiki back

    -some of edition available in black PVD? (interest?)

    General thoughts? My working name for the model is the Bali Ha'i, which captures the relaxed Polynesian feel I'm after...I might be more of an "enjoy-a-cheeseburger-on-the-dock" kinda guy, but I want to know my watch would perform at 500m., even if I might not... call it overengineering. It'd be important to me that this thing actually be used for its intended purpose, though, and I'm thinking of ways to encourage that, too. (Free accessories for sweet dive shots?)

    What do you guys think? Probably numbered engraved edition of 100, would try to keep pricepoint aggressive / close to cost, land in $800-900 range (with bracelet; slightly less if without). [Oct. note - still on target here, looks good w/ bracelet included; some sort of advance order / WUS discount in the works]

    Yep. [yea or nay?]

    Chris "Darkman" Cihon
    Dallas, TX
    Last edited by Darkman; October 11th, 2008 at 01:40. Reason: rev specs Oct 2008 (leaving original in brackets)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    It sounds like you have some good ideas there. It would be cool to see a cushion case, or one with hooded lugs. Those are designs that don 't get made much anymore, even though they look awesome.
    I would vote for a standard bezel instead of the countdown style. Maybe you could have the option of both?
    Good luck, post pictures when you have them.

  3. #3
    Member Guido Muldoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Illinois, Texas

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    I like it. Especially at your estimated price point. For a case back design suggestion, in keeping with your off beat or funky design, how about a bare breasted Polynesian girl sitting on a rock looking out to sea? Or maybe on the beach under a palm looking out to sea?
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    Ah, you anticipate me! Yeah, I was thinking sort of a cartoony bikini / pin-up polynesian mermaid hula type babe on the back :)

  5. #5
    Member sukispop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northern California

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    Hi Chris,

    Your concept sounds very intriguing, and I would definitely be interested. I especially like the idea that you want to go a slightly different path, than the one that's been chosen by recent offerings. Not that their path is a bad thing, but imho going toward a vintage/tool "feel" may bring something fresh to the table.

    Good luck, and please keep us posted.

    I also found Guido's suggestion to be..uhm...very interesting!
    Take care,

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  6. #6
    Member drummerdan's Avatar
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    Feb 2006

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkman View Post
    but I worry that maybe the marketplace is getting crowded.
    The market is never too crowded for excellent products. Keep things high quality and there will be a market, especially in that $ range.
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  7. #7
    Member UltraMagnetic's Avatar
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    Jun 2007

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project


    I wouldn't worry about over-crowding, your ideas sound great.


  8. #8
    Member dbluefish's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Tallahassee FL

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    Hard to add more than what has been suggested until the idea gets fleshed(lpun intended)out more. But I would definitely want brushed as it is easier to finish on the fly(damn) than bead blasted. If cost goes up to go to 500m go for 300m. Hell 1000+ ft is more than most all of us will do except in telling tales at the local pub.

    And would part PVD and part brushed SS be too expensive?

    Anyway it sounds exciting especially at the price.

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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    Excellent input, thanks! I think brushed is probably still doable, instead of bead blasted, & ability to self-repair is probably a plus. And don't entirely discount pub tales...

  10. #10
    Member UltraMagnetic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Re: The Bali Ha'i Project

    blasted would be my vote

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