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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #1
While we're waiting for a technical solution to the problem with the polling function, I thought that we might as well keep the discussion going around the possibility of getting another forum project started.

The idea surfaced during these recent discussions:
https://www.watchuseek.com/f72/group-discussion-perception-cmws-vcms-5080963.html
https://www.watchuseek.com/f72/chinese-micro-rotor-automatic-5086637.html
...and there seems to be a bit of interest, particularly around a micro-rotor powered watch.

Are you interested in participating in a forum project?
Would you like to assist in the delivery of a project?
What would you like to see in a Chinese Mechanical Watch forum project?
Are you wondering what exactly a forum project is?

This is the thread for you.

(And just to be clear; I am not running a project. I am just the moderator of this forum)
 

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When will the micro-rotor watch project start? Any projected date?
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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18,500 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
So far the buzz has been about creating an original design around the Hangzhou 5000 micro-rotor movement, and some investigation has been done around cost and availability.



The other idea was to do another new-watch-with-vintage heart, like the previous ST-5 project, but using a ZuanShi SM1A-K. Movement rebuild cost is unknown.

 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
When will the micro-rotor watch project start? Any projected date?
No. There is no project.

This thread is to discuss the possibility of a project and to see if there is any interest. And to investigate the feasibility of the ideas discussed.
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #5
For those who are not sure of what we are talking about, here is the first part of my unofficial Project Primer:

What is a Forum Project?
A forum project is a collaborative activity with the aim of producing a limited series of watches for forum members. Forum projects are hosted by Watchuseek Forums but are initiated and run by the membership.

Who can participate in a project?
Projects are open to all Watchuseek members. Watchuseek membership is a prerequisite of project participation.
Participation in a project is at the member’s own risk. Watchuseek accepts no liability.

How does a project get started?
For the protection of the membership and the reputation of Watchuseek, projects may only be run once the project proposal has been reviewed and approved by the site owners, with advice provided by the moderating team.
Approval should not be taken for granted. Watchuseek is a privately owned site in which the membership enjoys the services provided for free. The site owners determine what constitutes acceptable activity on the forum.
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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18,500 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Next, you'll want to know...

What kind of project is likely to be approved?

The following criteria is not prescriptive, but it should serve as an indication of the kinds of questions to be addressed in proposing a forum project:

Suitability
Does the theme of the project align with the theme of the forum in which it is launched?
Does it respect intellectual property rights?
Does it enhance the reputation of Watchuseek?

Originality
Does the project offer original design, style or conceptual elements?
Does it offer a unique opportunity to the members that is not available elsewhere?
Does it bring something new to the watch industry and market?

Viability
Is there enough interest from the membership to sustain the project to its completion?
Does the builder have an established reputation appropriate to the work involved?
Does the timing of the project avoid negatively impacting the viability of other forum projects?
 

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Chascomm, thanks.
This is a good start.
Perhaps when they get the polls working we can start with the choice of the two ideas that have been proposed and go from there.

1. A Hangzhou micro-rotor automatic. (I really like your idea of a minimalist design with the Hangzhou pavilion)
2. A VCM inspired watch using the SM1A movement.

Both are great ideas.
My two cents, we can do one this year and the other next year if there is enough interest in both.

FYI, I messaged the artist and directed him to the other thread about your design idea.
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #8

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I'm interested in helping with this project. I'm not extremely knowledgeable with Chinese watch manufacturing and movements, but this seems like it would be a great learning experience. I think if the price is feasible, we should go forth with the micro-rotor movement since it's (somewhat) unique and would offer a great viewing experience with a display case back.
 

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Is there enough interest from the membership to sustain the project to its completion?
What's the minimum kind of demand required to go forth with a project like this? I'm aware of the fact that factories probably will not make a very limited run of pieces, so my guess is at least 200 members signing up to say they want one?
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #11
What's the minimum kind of demand required to go forth with a project like this? I'm aware of the fact that factories probably will not make a very limited run of pieces, so my guess is at least 200 members signing up to say they want one?
That would be confirmed by the supplier, but I think your estimate of 200 sounds about right based on previous projects.

Over on the Russian forum we have been fortunate to occasionally work with suppliers offering sub-100 unit jobs for slight customisation over generic parts. I doubt that we will get so lucky with the kind of watches that are of interest to us on this forum.
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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Discussion Starter #12
Over on the micro-rotor thread, we started a conversation about dial art.

Beijing Watch Factory's 'Silk Whisper' embroidered dials were mentioned as an example of pictorial art on a dial, with the caveat that many of those designs seemed perhaps too 'feminine'. Still the idea was there of something simple, classic and cultural.

Circling koi was suggested...



...but it was pointed out that a certain famous brand had recently made a feature of circling fish. All the same, there is something there to think about, in my opinion.

Then I put up this:


(awesome photography by Ron Good)

This case back is from Hangzhou Watch Factory's original brand, XiHu (West Lake). The case back depicts a pavilion on the lake, lit by the full moon. I have often been surprised by vintage Chinese case back and pressed dial art, and the ease with which so much can be conveyed with so few lines. It is a rich heritage in its own right, but I'm sure have been informed by the traditions of monochrome ink and wash art. While I was thinking about that, I was looking at the dial of the Diamond micro-rotor, and the way the unusual sub-dial location draws the eye, and I wondered how it could be incorporated as a style feature, rather than merely minimised or balanced out.

So my idea is this: draw a horizontal line across the dial, bisecting the sub-dial. Above the line, to the right of the sub-dial, add a low, sweeping curve to describe a hillside. On top of that add two or three small brushstrokes to form a pagoda. Add some washes to fill out the shapes and you have the moon rising over Xi Hu.

An artist has been sought for input.


What other dial design ideas do people have for a dial having a seconds sub-dial at 7:30?

 

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Over on the micro-rotor thread, we started a conversation about dial art.

Beijing Watch Factory's 'Silk Whisper' embroidered dials were mentioned as an example of pictorial art on a dial, with the caveat that many of those designs seemed perhaps too 'feminine'. Still the idea was there of something simple, classic and cultural.

Circling koi was suggested...



...but it was pointed out that a certain famous brand had recently made a feature of circling fish. All the same, there is something there to think about, in my opinion.

Then I put up this:


(awesome photography by Ron Good)

This case back is from Hangzhou Watch Factory's original brand, XiHu (West Lake). The case back depicts a pavilion on the lake, lit by the full moon. I have often been surprised by vintage Chinese case back and pressed dial art, and the ease with which so much can be conveyed with so few lines. It is a rich heritage in its own right, but I'm sure have been informed by the traditions of monochrome ink and wash art. While I was thinking about that, I was looking at the dial of the Diamond micro-rotor, and the way the unusual sub-dial location draws the eye, and I wondered how it could be incorporated as a style feature, rather than merely minimised or balanced out.

So my idea is this: draw a horizontal line across the dial, bisecting the sub-dial. Above the line, to the right of the sub-dial, add a low, sweeping curve to describe a hillside. On top of that add two or three small brushstrokes to form a pagoda. Add some washes to fill out the shapes and you have the moon rising over Xi Hu.

An artist has been sought for input.


What other dial design ideas do people have for a dial having a seconds sub-dial at 7:30?

I like what you’re describing but I’d like to see some sort of illustration to fully understand what you’re going for. I’m a fan of the seconds dial and the unusual placement.

I have a slightly out there idea which may or may not sell, but how about we do Breguet hands but instead of blues ones, we make them red (in keeping with the East Asian theme)? I’m not sure if there’s a similar hand making process as seen with bluing hands, but I’m sure they can be painted.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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A few thoughts:

A microrotor seems likely to have broader appeal than a refurbished vintage movement.

On the other hand, a microrotor will bring in more WUS users from outside f72, potentially watering down the f72-specificity of a design. On a third hand, the f72 community isn't as big and active as it was in years past.

Re. dial decoration, I think a pressed/embossed design will go over better than a painted one. A microrotor will allow a very thin watch, and that thinness plays best in a dressier watch, IMO. Artwork pressed into the dial could work in that milieu, but a painted dial would tend towards a flashier watch where thinness isn't any particular boon.

I would be very interested in buying a microrotor project, but only provided I didn't find the result ugly, loud, garish, etc. Out of love of the forum and faith that the communal design method that did so well in 2011 and 2013 and less well (IMO) but still okay in 2012 would pull it off in the end, I stuck with the 2014 GMT project even as it veered - as I saw it - off into the weeds. Having now a watch I simply won't wear, I tend to doubt I'd do that again. Because I'd be prepared to step away, to what degree should I signal my interest, when it's "very" for some results and "not at all" for others?

Edit to add: regarding being part of the organization of a project: it's something I'd love to do, but it's also something I know I couldn't sustain the time for, so I reluctantly conclude I couldn't help with it. :-(
 

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I wouldn't know anything about helping facilitate this but after drooling over some of the other forum watches that I missed out on, I would love to be involved in this. Even if my involvement is just "That looks awesome where do I send my money."
 

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A very thin micro rotor dress watch with a small drawing in inkt style like the Hangzhou pavilion is sounding better and better.
I'm already trying to massage the bosses about me spending money on a new watch.
 

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I am on board with a forum project. Other than my remote location and inability to converse with the factory, I am more than happy to assist .
 
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