I finally have some news for you regarding the Project 300 watch. In short I have decided it best to incorporate some more expensive features into the project and as a result the price will have to go up for both the pre-order customers and general order customers.
Primarily the changes revolve around the competitive environment and the requirement that the Project 300 watch match the original watch as closely as possible. At the top end of the range the Project 300 watch will compete with WatchCo's kit watches using original Omega parts (priced around $1,900 (used) to $2,900 ("new")) and at the bottom end of the range by fake versions of the SM300 selling probably for a few hundred dollars. If this project takes off and sells well it won't take too long for an enterprising black marketeer to realize that all he/she has to do is remove the Omega logos and they will be able to under-mine this project in short order. The changes I have incorporated into the specifications have been designed to maxmize the value to you while minmizing the risk to your participation.
• Sapphire bezel inlay: My reasons for changing the specification to sapphire glass from acrylic are two-fold. The first is that sapphire will look newer longer and give the watch a richer appearance and feel. The second reason is that it will likely prove easier to mass produce than using acrylic. Over the years I have had quite a bit of experience using acrylic inlays and despite my best efforts with my latest supplier dimensional consistency continues to be a challenge. Sapphire glass can be made to tighter tolerances in smaller batches, which theoretically will improve manufacturability. However this also means using a more expensive supplier and handing off more of the assembly to the case supplier, which naturally also increases costs.
• High domed sapphire glass crystal: The first reason that I have selected this option is because it will enable the finished watch to more closely match the original SM300s dimensions. Usually incorporating a standard double domed crystal increases the thickness of the watch because the movement has to be set farther down in the case body. A high domed sapphire crystal resembles the shape, roughly, of a bottle cap, which is the most similar to the original acrylic crystals on the SM300s. A doubled domed sapphire glass is closer in shape to say a lens from a pair of glasses. Not only with the high domed sapphire crystal get us closer to dimensions of the original watch it will also be an improvement over the original watch's specifications.
• Case - from CNC machined to stamped/CNC machined: This primarily reason for the change is cost. Continuing the project in combination with the other two additions to the case specifications would have placed the retail price of the watch above $2,000. This I believe would have become an unacceptably high price in most people's view.
• Spare bracelet: We should be able to keep this option in the final package. The goal is to provide a solid-end link bracelet. However there is still a minor possibility that we may have to resort to using a folded-end link/solid link bracelet. This is because I will have to coordinate the purchase of the bracelet myself, rather than relying on the case supplier, which is the normal procedure. My own supplier can manufacture a bracelet closest to the original without the need for new tooling. The incremental risk is offset by the significantly reduced cost of using existing tooling.
It is important to note that there is execution risk associated with the sapphire bezel inlay. My guess at this point is that the inlay will cause delays in the manufacturing of the watch as it is something that I haven’t yet incorporated into one of my watches. I am currently in the trial phase with two suppliers. My best estimate at this time is that the project will take about 12 to 18 months from the time that we get enough interest. At this point we have about 50% of the required interest necessary to proceed with the project but at the same time haven’t done any promotion or advertising for the project in about 6-7 months.
Please follow this link so that we can get your feedback on the new structure of the project.
Thank you for patience during this process. It has taken quite a bit of time more than I expected to get the specifications and details finalized through the suppliers but I wanted to minimize the execution risk as much as I could before we begin in earnest.