Sunday, July 12, 2009

Swiss-Made Ocean Diver case sample pictures

As you may have already read on my blog, last summer the manufacturing of my Ocean Diver watch design was stopped because the quality of the watch samples that we received from the original manufacturer partner were just not up to our expectations.  It was extremely disappointing and frustrating for myself, Carlos the Prometheus Watch brand owner, and all of the avid watch collectors out there that had placed pre-orders with us.  As tough as it was to make that decision, it was the right one.

Swiss Made Deliciousness...
The original Ocean Diver watch line was going to be Chinese made and use the very best Chinese movements we could source, but it just didn't work out that way despite the vast improvements in the quality and reputation of Chinese watch manufacturing in the last several years. Now, almost a year since we had hoped to be in full production, we are back on track with a new Swiss manufacturer with the goal of being in full production by later this summer.

Below are some photographs of the Ocean Diver watch case that I have just received from the new manufacturer. As you can see the quality and finish of the new cases is exceptional! Below you can see that we are no longer using a display back for the Ocean Diver, we have a beautifully engraved solid case back with an Oyster style notch for opening. Each watch will be individually numbered and engraved on the case back.

New case back design (left) and front bezel - beadblasted finish

As you can see from the close-up of the case back below, the entire Ocean Diver model line (OD, GMT, and Chronograph) will have text on the back giving me full credit for my design - that's pretty cool.

Designed by Brian F. Green - nice!

The case finish has changed too. We had originally planned on using a brushed finish to the entire case, but the quality of the finish that we had seen in our original samples was very off putting. After the decision to switch to an entirely new manufacturer, we decided to step back and think again about how we would ideally like the case to be finished, and general consensus for a diver tool watch was to have a satin beadblasted finish. So the case body, bezel, lugs, case back, and crowns all have a very utilitarian flat satin finish.  As you can see from the side view below, the lugs are screwed instead of spring bars. Once you have a strap of this bad boy, there is no chance that the lugs are going to fail and send you watch to the bottom of the ocean while you're diving!

Detail of the OD crowns - individually milled on a CNC machine

I was asked to design an entirely new strap for the Ocean Diver instead of sourcing existing ones. In keeping with the retro design of the dive watch itself, I chose to design a modern day version of the classic Tropic dive watch strap of the 60s - made famous by Rolex Submariner, Blancpain, Lip Nautic Ski with compressor case, and Spirotechnique. It was also popularized by the many watches worn by Jacques Cousteau. The Ocean Diver version is made from high-grade silicone instead of rubber like the originals and sports the checkered grain pattern on the front with corresponding ventilation holes.  My hope was to provide a very practical and sturdy strap that was in keeping with the overall OD design. I think I've done that, and hope you'll like it as much as I do.

Custom made silicone "tropic" strap

It's very exciting to finally see this project going to serious production. For a very long time I've dreamed of having my watch designs made into real examples and had toyed with the idea of funding it myself on a limited basis, but I never imagined that I would get the opportunity that I now have to see the design and the subsequent variations (Ocean Diver GMT, Ocean Diver Chronograph) go into full-scale production - and best of all, be manufactured by a highly recognizable Swiss company that also produces watches for many of the top Swiss brands in the business and using genuine Swiss Made ETA movements.

It really is a dream come true for me and words can't adequately express my thanks to Carlos for giving me this fabulous opportunity.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Congratulations Brian, a crowning achievement!!! The only thing better is if you could have written your signature in cursive on the back of the watch, instead of it being printed…
Daniel M…

PS Love your stick pick. Reminds me of Survivorman…