The Watch Site banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Summary:

Motivation:
- provide a final solution to the Calibre 56 QS issue
- profitability: recovery of funds invested mandatory, everything else optional

Funding:
- overall project costs < 1000 USD

Commercialization Strategy:
- distribution from within the project team is possible
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Gents,

one more chapter to cover before we finally get to working on solutions!

Please post your individual goals regarding the project as well as ideas regarding commercialization here.

I will start:

My personal motivation, goals and requirements for the project:
- I would like this project to provide a final solution to the 56 QS issue
- I am willing to invest a mid 3-digit sum
- I am not interested in making monetary profit other than recover funds invested (see above)
- I am NOT actually interested in doing the disassembly/assembly and distribution of the rocker complete

And also, I may add, I would like the project team to earn some "fame" for coming up with the solution - and maybe create a base for further projects to work on.


Commercialization:
- My main idea regarding distribution channel - at least as a first step, since it keeps efforts as low as possible - would be the internet, especially eBay and e. g. the SCWF market place

Please share your ideas, motivations and opinions!
As before, I will summarize everything in post 1.

Thanks and all the best,
Hermann
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,808 Posts
Hi Hermann,

My comments mirror your almost exactly.

My personal motivation, goals and requirements for the project:
- I would like this project to provide a final solution to the 56 QS issue and feel this is a valuable contribution to the Seiko community
- I am willing to invest a mid 3-digit sum
- I am not interested in making monetary profit other than recover funds invested (see above). I do not think any of us is expecting to get rich quick with this :)
- I am NOT actually interested in doing the disassembly/assembly and distribution of the rocker complete

I also think that distribution should be handled via eBay. Everyone has access to this and there is no need to devise a new payment system. Depending upon demand it might be possible to do this directly via the sales forum for higher quantities but this can be handled on a one by one basis.

Sorry for not commenting earlier but I am swamped at this time of year with work and personal commitments.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,016 Posts
Motivation:
Wait, I can't count on getting rich, quick? Count me out! Joking, as I see this as a labor of love, or at least a puzzle to be solved.

I too want a solution that we can be proud of, that is not a stop-gap measure until something "better" comes along; I want it done correctly and with respect to watchmaking tradition (to not look out of place with the rest of the watch, and to not irreversibly alter any existing part of the watch, i.e. to be a reversible procedure using the original, existing parts).

Providing such a solution to this achilles heel of the 56xx series will go a long way to allow deeper, wider appreciation of what is otherwise a very respectable caliber. Though that ultimately means prices on the watches will go up, I'm OK with that, I guess :)

Funding:
Whatever monetary investment I'd make (mid 3-digits sounds OK), I'd want to make back in short order (ideally within a year), perhaps with some working correctors to show for it at cost. I don't plan on making any money on my time :)
I hope we don't need to crowd-source this project's funding, as that seems messy, but since I have never initiated such a thing, I don't know for sure. I'd rather not have expectations from the public upfront and driving the project- too much pressure.
But in the back of my mind I'm thinking the financial burden may be too big for the casual investors that we are likely to be- no one should (and rightfully so) want to take on a large risk with this project if a large outlay is required for production of a custom-fabricated replacement part.

Commercialization:
The obvious choice in my mind is watch forums such as this, especially since you have a high likelihood of your target audience being present, and there are no additional fees. eBay would also work, but fees would need to be included into the pricing, as well as finding some one willing to sell via eBay (though the same goes for selling through the forum).
One other option would be approaching material houses in our various locations and asking if they'd be interested in buying them at wholesale prices. Not sure I've got those kind of contacts though, and honestly there isn't a clamoring market for such niche vintage Seiko parts. Yes, watchmakers need them, but I don't know if a critical mass of them do, enough to make material houses feel it worth their while to buy a bunch up front.

Thinking back to one custom-parts project I did a few years ago (on a much smaller scale, like 10 pieces), it was easier overall to make sure I didn't over-extend on investment, and if I sold some of them down the road (I haven't really), then fine, but ultimately I just had them made for the project's customer and myself. Perhaps we try to keep this as low-key as possible also, instead of creating a job for some one to distribute a large volume of these. Unless we were to approach some one in the Seiko collecting realm who already has the channels and system in place, such as Harold or Jake, to sell them for us. Though I'm not sure they'd be interested in taking on something like this- I do see potential for headaches when selling a product that requires technical skill to install to a customer base that does not necessarily possess that level of skill. It's not like bezel inserts where if you stuff up the first one, you may get lucky with the 2nd. You may not get that second chance if you mess up the corrector rocker trying to install a new wheel.

I don't think I'd have the time to devote to playing a part in the distribution- even if it was relatively simple like mailing out parts only. It'd be even more demanding on some one's time to do some sort of trade-in program (you get sent a bad corrector, you send a good one back). That I definitely wouldn't want to tackle, knowing how little money would be available for all the expended labor. Just not enough hours in my day, either. I can see where I have a conflicting view- wanting to share a solution with as many people as needs it, but also not wanting to/being able to do all the work with global distribution. I'm sure all of us have this quandary, no?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Many thanks for your elaborate reply, Noah!

A few remarks (my personal view):
- I would rather not take the project to outside funding. IMO, this will create undue pressure on the project, after all, it seems we do not expect a huge market/turnover for the part to be developed. I would thus consider it to be a prerequisite that we find a solution that we can pull of financially by ourselves (JMO!)
- Regarding commercialization we IMO have two options:
1. sell the wheels only to be installed onto an existing rocker by the customer/a watchmaker. This would make distribution easier, we might do a bundle sale (e. g., smallest order unit is a set of three wheels), for most of our customers it would however also mean that they cannot do the repair themselves. For us it would make things easier since we do not need to deal with some sort of rocker exchange program.
2. Selling repaired rocker completes. This might make things easier for the customer (easier to install) but complicates the ordering process (rocker exchange program) not just for us but to some extend for the customer as well.

Best
Hermann
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
3,016 Posts
QUOTE=startsomething

Many thanks for your elaborate reply, Noah!
You're welcome, though perhaps you just meant long-winded ;-)
A few remarks (my personal view):
- I would rather not take the project to outside funding. IMO, this will create undue pressure on the project, after all, it seems we do not expect a huge market/turnover for the part to be developed. I would thus consider it to be a prerequisite that we find a solution that we can pull of financially by ourselves (JMO!)
Good points, and I'd like to avoid crowd-funding as well.
- Regarding commercialization we IMO have two options:
1. sell the wheels only to be installed onto an existing rocker by the customer/a watchmaker. This would make distribution easier, we might do a bundle sale (e. g., smallest order unit is a set of three wheels), for most of our customers it would however also mean that they cannot do the repair themselves. For us it would make things easier since we do not need to deal with some sort of rocker exchange program.
My bias will show through here, but this is what watchmakers are for! While I understand that many Seiko collectors try to avoid repair costs on fundamentally lower value timepieces, I think it might be too much of a task to cater to them exclusively in this project. Rather, these could be sold with the understanding that they would need a qualified watchmaker to install them, and whatever other methods are tried are at the risk of the owner. If that cuts down on our market size (to only those who are watchmakers or who are comfortable in paying a watchmaker for installation), that may be a necessary downside.
2. Selling repaired rocker completes. This might make things easier for the customer (easier to install) but complicates the ordering process (rocker exchange program) not just for us but to some extend for the customer as well.
I didn't fully think out the logistics of how the old one would make its way to the exchange point (removal by owner and send it in before receiving a refurbished one, or send the old one back within a certain amount of time after receiving a refurbished one, how many refurbished ones would have to be in stock, etc... and that would certainly be a hassle for all parties involved. So I'd tend to not favor this approach even more so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
614 Posts
The only practical way I see the system working is if it's an exchange system, kind of like car engines and transmissions.

That's assuming we retain most of the components and don't re-invent it, which I think we've come to the conclusion is probably the most likely scenario.

This runs into the labour issue, who does it and how much of it.

I'm vaguely happy to do some amount of that work, but the system we devise to swap the parts would need to be fairly quick, as in can be done in around 20 minutes with the part removed from the watch.

I'd also be more than happy to do an entire swap on an unopened watch, at my normal rate for these kind of jobs + whatever the part cost is.

As for funding, I really don't have a lot right now to contribute. I'd want to avoid crowdfunding with prejudice, as I don't think we will achieve the goal we are after and there is a fair bit of admin overhead etc that I think we would rather avoid. I think getting the part made perhaps by photo etch or something would not be be dramatically expensive, so funding wise, you'd be in for 2-3 rounds of prototypes then a production batch. In any case, I don't think this would produce a huge development cost.

As for commercialisation, it's a little tricky until we have had a successful prototype made and have done some testing. With a working prototype we would have a few options -

1. distribute ourselves (I'd be happy to take some of this load as long as it can fit in a DL envelope)
2. Try and get some orders for parts from materials houses and get them to stock it (I would say it would be difficult to get traction here)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Many thanks for the replies, gents!

Funding is one issue, of course we do not yet really KNOW what the costs of the eventual parts and overheads will be but I think it is vital that we upfront have a ballpark idea of what we can do and what we cannot.

Same goes for commercialization: many thanks for chiming in on this one Adrian.

In a nutshell: we have discussed the amount of budget the project will roughly receive and we have established that the commercialization/distribution COULD be done from within the team.

Many thanks for that, I think we are now ready to move on!

Best
Hermann
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top