000E - Project THOR - Manufacturer
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  1. #1
    Member CzechMate's Avatar
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    Off Topic post 000E - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    OK guys, it is time to start preparing for the major change in the course of this project, that might not happen at all, but it is better to be ready, than sorry.

    Let me explain the situation:

    At the beginning of September (3rd of September to be precise), following up on Ralf's phonecall to Günther Steinhart himself, where Günther promised to work with us, I have sent an email with several questions relating to our future design options. You can see the email in the attachment of this post.

    Since I have not received a single word back, I decided to send a reminder to Günther, which took place on September 12th. Again, no response.

    Then I have asked Ralf to call him again, which happened somewhere at the beginning of October, where Günther again promised to work with us, but said that he is busy with some internal processes (SAP deployment I believe or something like that).

    I have sent another email October 26th, this time in German to make it easy for Günther. No response again.

    Another email went in Günther's direction on November 2nd. No response.

    Then I got an advice to contact him via Facebook, which I did. He replied within two days expressing surprise that he did not get any email from me (I need to say that I did not mention anything about the project or about my identity - he might have not realized immediately that my Facebook profile has anything to do with our project and I only said that I sent him an email with no response, nothing else). He asked me to resend my email.

    I then resent my email and sent him a heads up on Facebook, mentioning my project email address. This was on November 14th, 3 days ago.

    Until now, I received no reply to my email and no reply to my Facebook message, although Günther was active on Facebook at least.

    This leaves me with almost zero hope that we will ever get a response and worse yet, that we will ever be able to work efficiently on this project with a company, that has no interest in project involving 60+ loyal customers.

    It is quite possible, that we will have to shift our project elsewhere, but before that happens, I would like to discuss all the options with you. I don't want to give up on Steinhart yet. It is possible, that they are just SOOOOO busy, that they are unable to reply at all (please note, that some of my emails went to general Steinhart address in CC, which means I got ignored by whole Steinhart company, not just the man himself). But in case the worse scenario is the right answer to their silence, meaning that they are not interested in our project at all, I would like to hear your proposals:

    1. is there anything we can do to save our cooperation with Steinhart (and let's all swallow that bitter pill of humiliation that we have to beg for attention)?
    2. would you be willing to continue with another company?
    3. do you have any ideas which company could replace Steinhart?

    Please, this is a discussion, not a decision process yet, but we might end up in a situation, where your input will serve as a base for a vote regarding our transition to another company.

    Thank you all for your valuable input!
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    Last edited by CzechMate; January 29th, 2017 at 12:54.
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  2. #2
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    998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    I don't care about Steinhart, any other manufacturer is fine by me, except Laco.

    E: Kemmner? :)

  3. #3
    Member JSal's Avatar
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    I have felt that they were uninterested in continuing the project for a long time as my emails of many months ago were, at your request, the first to be sent to Günter at his personal email address and went unanswered.

    The emails going unanswered was actually a loud and clear statement to me that they were no longer interested as Günter had always graciously responded whenever I wrote him.

    As you know Frankie we spoke about this in private and I expressed my doubts, but I never mentioned anything about it on the forum because I did not want to hurt moral.

    I personally feel it is finally time to come to terms with the fact that this thing is just about dead in the water.

    Although I feel it is dead and that it will never be made by Steinhart, I am not leaving the project or giving up on the last tiny bit of hope until we get official word from Mr. Steinhart that he no longer supports the project. But I also believe we may never get that either.

    So I am here until you say it's over Frankie. Personally I am not interested in having another company make the watch.

    This is also a blessing of sorts for me as financially things are getting extremely difficult for me as I am still home in pain and unable to work since May 2015.

    Thank you for everything you have done Frankie. You have put in a massive amount of personal time and I know you will feel this the most should the project die.

    I would also like to thank Claudio for his time and talent. We haven't spoken recently but I hope things have gotten better since we spoke last. My prayers are always with you, your wife, and your daughter.

    Lastly I would like to thank all the wonderful members who's input and time I will always appreciate, and most of all the memories you have given me and friendships made.
    Last edited by JSal; November 17th, 2016 at 11:38.


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  5. #4
    Member koolpep's Avatar
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    It baffles me.

    Everytime I picked up the phone, it was the same cordial and friendly Günter I knew from when I discussed my first watch purchase from Steinhart more than 6 years ago and I received a clear indication that he does want us (THOR) to succeed and help us getting this project over the finish line quickly.

    I did receive an answer to one email September 19th - when I asked Günter for the Soprod movements. I shared that email with Frankie and with you guys here. He apologized for the delay and again re-iterated that they are quite busy and still have a lot of staff on summer vacation etc. and that he will re-visit the email from Frankie and answer it "tomorrow".

    Well two months later, I am a bit disillusioned. I still doubt there is any ill-will at work. Probably just too many things going on and, as we all know, things with lower priority always get pushed to the bottom. And while I think an enthusiast project like ours should not be the lowest priority - it looks like it is...sad but true. Especially since most of us don't own only one Steinhart but multiple....and we certainly can be considered brand ambassadors that proudly show off their limited edition and forum watches we helped design...

    Anyhow - I don't know what else to do - am happy to throw any pride over board and call again and beg for attention - but to be honest - am not sure if that makes a difference. I have a feeling that the X-mas time coming up won't be a quiet time for Steinhart either - so....

    Let me know your thoughts and if I can be of any help.

    Cheers,
    Ralf
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  6. #5
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    It's sad if we lose Steinhart, but if we need to move, we move. I have no objection to using another company, my only thought is Christopher Ward. They have made limited editions in the past which have been designed in their own forum, but these tended to be slight tweaks on existing models.

    That said, they do have an aviation history, for example using material from a Spitfire in a very beautiful and limited edition pilot watch and I think the ACW angle may be of interest to them.

    They may be worth a shot?

    (I don't want to tread on anybody's toes, but if the time comes, I'm happy to fire off an email and see what happens)
    Last edited by Macdaz; November 17th, 2016 at 13:27.
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    Collection In order of acquisition: Omega SMP 300 | Accurist |TW Steel | Breil | Victorinox Groundforce | Orient Mako |Orient Mako XL | Steinhart OVM | Suunto ambit 2R | Smiths Everest (Timefactors) | Christopher Ward C60 Trident 600 Pro | Christopher Ward C3 Malvern Chrono | Seiko Recraft SNKN01 | Christopher Ward C8 Pilot Mk2 Vintage U-2, And that's it. NO MORE. Vostok Komandirskie 1965 | Laco Aachen | Christopher Ward C8 Flyer Mk1 | Seiko SRP315K1 Monster | Christopher Ward C7 Automatic | Steinhart Aviation Automatic | Christopher Ward C65 GMT.

  7. #6
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    I don't see how we can proceed with the project, as it is, without Steinhart. We have already choosen the movement, a quite uncommon one at that, and I doubt any other company will be able to provide this movement, at least not within our budget. We also have Steinhart's case, so this would have to be changed.

    And let's not forget that we still need 50 more potential buyers.

    As for the potential manufacturers that could take over - how about Davosa?
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  8. #7
    Member CzechMate's Avatar
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    Thank you all for your input so far... I don't want to part with Steinhart. It would mean complete makeover of the project from scratch... Not to mention, that I am somehow emotionally attached to them, especially thanks to Günther himself, who I consider very generous and honest man... And that puzzles me most...

    I too don't want to allow any ill will to take over my thinking. I believe it is just a too much on one's plate case. But we might be faced with a denial from Steinhart and in that case, we need to know what do we want to do next...

    Any idea what we can do to save the project with Steinhart? Ralf could call them again and this time maybe be more open and tell Günther what is the atmosphere here on the forum. But that alone might not help... How about a letter signed by all of us? I don't mean literally signed, but with all your names put on it...

    I appreciate all your ideas and comments! And just so that you know: I will never give up, until there is no manufacturer to make it and no participant to buy it... And so will Claudio! We won't give up!
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    Having purchased up my first 'real' watch (back in 2011), directly from Gunter's hands, after he picked us up at the bahnhof in his cool car, having spent over two hours chatting with him that afternoon in his office... I also feel that this is just the circumstances against us.

    If his habits of spending so much time on small details have not changed, until this project works it's way up in the queue, we might never feel we are moving forward.

    For me, another manufacturer is not an option.

    As mentionned by Okapi001, the issue of having another 50 buyers is as pertinent and could discourage a potential manufacturer.

    I feel we are stuck in an infinite loop.

  10. #9
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    Considering he is the ceo of an international watch retailer, I'm pretty certain that he is really busy.

    90% of the time, I assume, someone in his position would delegate a task as this to a trusted staff member..... But there is a possibility that the rest of the staff might not be as keen to be part of the project after our experience with the last steinhart designer.

    Fingers crossed we get a response soon, but if not.... There are many fish in the sea.


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  11. #10
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    Re: 998 - Project THOR - Manufacturer

    Quote Originally Posted by CzechMate View Post
    I would like to hear your proposals:
    1. is there anything we can do to save our cooperation with Steinhart (and let's all swallow that bitter pill of humiliation that we have to beg for attention)?
    2. would you be willing to continue with another company?
    3. do you have any ideas which company could replace Steinhart?
    Baffling, puzzling, rude...I just don't get it.

    1. I think we should all send a note to Herr Steinhart via the website's contact form. It should be polite, concise and ask him to respond to your email request CM.
    2. Yes!
    3. Chris Ward is a great suggestion. Two other companies that come to mind are Janis Trading (Chris Vail) and Manchester Watch Works (Doug Kim). Agree, this move would most likely result in a restart, but I believe all of CM and Claudio's work would enable us to ramp back up quickly.

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