FRASER TIMEPIECE COMPANY
LIMITED EDITION AFFORDABLE TIMEPIECES
WATCHUSEEK MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE
UPDATE TO LIGHTHOUSE ALLOCATIONS & COSTINGS ON PAGE 6
This is an announcement for all Watchuseek members, in particular those who are looking to purchase a new timepiece or invest in a new company, with the potential to be a highly rewarding and extremely exciting experience for all involved. It has taken a lot of time and effort to get to this point but if you take a few moments out of your day to read through the proposals, you will hopefully see that it is something that could be a great thing to be a part of.
Hello one and all.
Hello one and all.
My name is Gordon Fraser, I am 28 years old and I am a product designer moonlighting as an architectural model maker. I was born and bred on the East Coast of Scotland and I spend my days running the Rapid Prototyping & Model Making facility for an International architectural practice in our capital city of Edinburgh.
I have been designing many things including timepieces for the past 10 or so years, throughout my degree in Innovative Product Design up until now. It’s taken me a long time to settle on a design that I believe has the essence of what I love in a watch. I’ve been through so many iterations and versions including some Tokyo Flash type gimmicky watches all the way to complications of wild physics bending faffage. Every single one just never quite had the look or feel of what I like, so were all quickly archived.
To stop this long line of also-rans, I decided to get right back to basics, into what fundamentally excites me in a watch. What catches my eye and makes me take notice? Is it materials? Maybe colour or texture, maybe weight? I have many watches, mostly sub £200 quartz and Chinese mechanical watches that I thought satisfied my desires but always failed. The closest I have come is my current daily beater, my Citizen Nighthawk, which on a scale of visual faff is very near the top. I love wearing it and my eye has quickly become accustomed to reading the time through the visual clutter. But the answer to my question – what excites me in a watch – is quite the contrary. Simplicity. Yeah, a bit confusing.
I have created a core design which places the focus squarely on the aesthetic qualities of metal and glass, proportion and space without trying to get too complicated, clever or swayed by common design trends. I’ve refused the temptation to add in clutter for the sake of it and have strived to make a legible yet elegant and original watch. I want a timepiece that looks great on the wrist but also looks beautiful on its own, and one that’s beautiful to touch and hold. It should be enjoyable and simple to use.
I am a big fan of proportion and what looks right in relation to what’s around it, and I’ve fallen prey to many a watch that looks great in a picture or shop window but just doesn’t work when it’s on my wrist. For that reason I have been very careful to design a watch that is what I believe to be correct in proportion to a generic male’s wrist size, and stay very far away from the dinner plates/central clutter of Nixon, Welder etc. 44mm is the golden number and I am delighted to announce the ONE44 Series from the Fraser Timepiece Company.
• Stainless Steel Case – Sand Blasted incl Crown & Pushers
• 44mm Diameter excl Crown
• 22mm Lug Width
• 11mm Thin
• 8mm Crown Diameter with concave Polished Icon
• Sandwich Back-Lumed Dial
• Custom Fraser Timepiece Hands with Icon Counter Weights and Slice Lume Tips
• Sapphire Flat Glass, AR coated
• Engraved Case back with Serial and Signature
• Raw Gunmetal Leather Strap
• Eco-Box & Paperwork
The ONE44 CHRONOGRAPH is the mainline timepiece. It is powered by a Ronda 8040.B swiss made quartz movement, an accurate and reliable large diameter movement which was chosen specifically for its dimensional proportion. The sub dials are spaced apart enough to let each dial breathe and increase clarity. The Big Date complication is beautifully big, offering great legibility and quick referencing.
The cases, dials, hands and assembly is all being controlled by Fricker GmbH, one of the finest boutique watchmakers to be found, and the most reputable. German Precision Engineering – Swiss Precision Timing.
A huge effort has been put in to making these watches affordable and available globally. For that reason I have went to great lengths to make everything as efficient as possible, from the timepieces themselves to the presentation packaging to the overheads, all so we can best serve the people who make or break the operation – the customer. The boxes aren’t huge lumbering wooden behemoths that could fit a small family inside. Why would we create such a scenario where we are trying to make these affordable to everyone and then charge £100 for shipping this heavy chunky box to the other side of the world. It doesn’t make sense especially when most, if not all of us take the watch out and put the box in a drawer, never to be seen again. So instead I have created an eco-box – an efficient but gorgeously presented small box
that has everything you need inside, but is small enough that shipping costs are greatly reduced.
FROM 1 to 500
Everyone likes to know the reasons behind things, the justifications, what goals and achievements we have etc. I’ve spent a long time contemplating these points, my goals, my achievements and where I want to be in 4-5 years time.
My main goal is to offer simple, elegant and beautifully finished timepieces that are affordable for what is realistically a very limited run product. I don’t want us to be a company that sells millions of watches a year, I would be quickly swallowed up in the gaggle of the big guns. Instead I want us to be a company that stays true to the roots of why I started this. I have a question I keep coming back to and that is, what if I could spend the same amount of money that would buy a fairly basic level Omega, Tag Heuer, Breitling...and get something that is unique, Limited Edition and as good, if not better quality? Would that appeal to me?
What would I like to achieve? Well I’ll say this right now – I am not looking to become a millionaire by doing this. It is not my golden ticket to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I set out to produce 1 shunky timepiece for myself using local machine shops and see where I ended up. But through the passage of time and seeing the restrictive and frankly obscene cost to get 1 or 2 parts made locally, I came to the conclusion that instead of trying to get one made that isn’t really that great or rough round the edges, why not approach a proper manufacturer and get it done right? More than that, why not get some more made and make them available to the watch enthusiasts across the world? That way everyone could have the chance of owning it, and as a result the timepiece and the experience of wearing it would be all the better for it.
From a purely personal standpoint, I am at a point in my life where I have accrued vast amounts of experience and knowledge through my education and profession relating to manufacture, design, material properties and prototyping, graphic design, web design...and I’ve not done anything with that knowledge. Why can’t I take that and apply it to something I am so passionate about and see where I end up? That’s what is driving me forward and giving me hope for success.
My company is founded on the basic principal of offering Limited Edition/Low Volume timepieces at the same price as the current mass-produced alternatives. Not only does this set us apart immediately - it benefits the paying customer by having an uncommon and unique timepiece that has been manufactured with absolute precision, but it also benefits the company by allowing the space to serve the customers better, keeping the attention on them and the costs of running the company lower.
The Fraser Timepiece Company will operate on an “Always Limited Edition” basis by only ever releasing 500pcs of a design and offering them through a staggered release of 250pcs per year. I aim to release 1-2 new designs each year. There will also be yearly Special Editions, timepieces that offer something more than the standard versions, whether bespoke movements, more luxurious materials or different features, and these will be available in quantities of 50-100pcs/year.
THE WATCHUSEEK MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE
With the approval and support of Watchuseek Founder Ernie Romers, it is with great excitement that I present the following offer exclusively to the Watchuseek family: The first 200 ONE44 CHRONOGRAPH Limited Edition watches will be offered to WUS members exclusively - Our Lighthouses. By becoming a Lighthouse for our company you will be assisting in the development of the Fraser Timepieces and will have a direct input in to the R&D of future releases. Who better to guide our company than the very people who share the same passion as us.
The Lighthouse Exclusive package will have something a bit more special over the standard versions, to reward our early adopters:
- Discounted Watchuseek Lighthouse price
- Become a Lighthouse Lifetime Member – offering lifetime discount of 10% on any and all future Fraser Timepiece Company releases including Special Editions*
- Limited Edition Lighthouse Case-Back with numbered editions of 001-200
- Automatic Entry in to a random draw to win 1 of 2 timepieces from next year’s Special Edition timepieces. In particular the very first 2 – 001 and 002.
- Special Edition of 50 pieces
- Titanium Case & Crown
- Hand-winding ETA6498/DEPA movement with custom coating, engraving and colour (Still being confirmed)
- Special Edition exhibition case-back with engraving wrapped around Sapphire Glass
- Numbered 01-50
- Custom branded Toshi Strap, tailored to each individual‘s wrist, hand made from bespoke leather and sand-blasted Pre-V buckle.
- Become a Lighthouse Lifetime Member – offering lifetime discount of 15% on any and all future Fraser Timepiece Company releases including Special Editions*
- Automatic Entry in to the random draw for 2013 Special Editions.
The most important part of this announcement is the pricing. So here it is:
For the exclusive benefits and rewards, Lighthouse R&D input and the satisfaction of being part of something fresh, unique and different,
The ONE44 CHRONOGRAPH will cost £650 excl Worldwide Insured Shipping
The ONE44 MECHANICAL will cost £1200 excl Worldwide Insured Shipping
The standard price of the ONE44 CHRONOGRAPH will be £1000 excl Worldwide Insured Shipping.
THE BIG SMALL PRINT
This is a new company, a new venture and a new experience for everyone. There’s been a vast amount of time poured in to getting things off the ground and I’ve got so many people to thank for where I am at today. But the most important people are yet to come - You.
I have geared the introduction of my company into the world around the Watchuseek members and your impeccable taste in watches and more-so your unrivalled knowledge and eye for quality. I’ve spent many a night loitering around the forum, reading posts from thousands of members and one thing always shines through every single post - the love for all things wristwatch. So its only fair and right that I come to the biggest place on the web to offer the chance to become part of my vision, in return for rewards and input.
However, as this is a startup company, and having witnessed the obscene amounts of red-tape that there is to deal with and even though all budgets are in place and manufacturing is prepared, financing the launch is the tricky part. It’s for this reason that in order to become a Lighthouse and lift this bird to the sky, that I am asking for an up-front, pre-order deposit of 70% of the Watchuseek Exclusive price. This is a big amount to pay out, especially for what is a new company’s timepiece. But knowing that it is Fricker taking the reins to manufacture these timepieces means that the risk for you, the end consumer, is very small. Those who know Fricker and their capabilities will reassure you that you get a vastly superior product to most out on the mass-market today and it’s all because of the incredible amount of knowledge, skill and talent that Fricker employs to bring bespoke, boutique timepieces to the market.
Couple that with the design, rewards and unique position our Lighthouse Package offers, it is a small price to pay to get on board and become part of the extended team.
Of course to rely solely on Watchuseek deposits leaves both you and me at risk. I cannot and will not get in to the position of having Watchuseek members out of pocket with no end in sight because I don’t have enough deposits to cover manufacturing and overheads. That will only lead to a situation where you want your money back and my company and potential reputation are in the toilet before things have even begun. So I am securing financial backing that can step in to cover the potential gap between manufacturing cost and deposits taken and get the ball rolling. I am becoming VAT registered, hiring business advisors and accountants and investing a lot of personal finance in the company. I am doing everything by the book in order to make this as safe as possible for everyone, in return for your commitment to the Fraser Timepiece Company goal.
Some other official things: I am based in Scotland, UK and for that reason anyone purchasing within the UK and EU will be subject to VAT of 20%.
All shipping will be at the buyers’ expense and any customs/import duties will be the sole responsibility of the buyer. If you have any questions relating to VAT/Import/Customs get intouch and I will endeavour to assist as much as I can. Shipping prices are looking circa £18.50 to USA, £13.30 to EU and £6.80 UK, all registered insured trackable mail.
The target to get the manufacturing underway is the end of March/April and there is a 24-week turnaround from Fricker. This should bring the timepieces to you by the end of October/November 2012. The goal is to have the Lighthouses out before Christmas 2012 but will obviously depend on uptake and deposits being paid etc.
Should the 200 ONE44C and 50 ONE44M Lighthouse allocation not be filled, then the Lighthouse Edition numbers will be adjusted and the remaining Lighthouse versions will become standard versions, still available to Watchuseek Members and public, but at the standard price and without the additional rewards.
So there we have it. I really hope you have made it this far and are now considering your place in the Fraser Timepiece Company history. My hope is to make this a collaborative journey for a select few, the early adopters, and reward your choice to bring this company in to the world. Without the people investing in our vision we are and will always amount to nothing, and we will always recognise that fact - by offering the people who do invest healthy and sustained benefits.
Please get in touch either through the announcement thread, through Watchuseek Private Message or using the contact details below. I am available to answer any and all questions you may have and if you would like to register your interest or reserve a number, please do so again with the details here.
I will be updating the website to show The List and the allocations etc.
Thanks for reading. If you want to download the official PDF announcement, go here.
gordon [at] frasertime.co.uk
gordonfraser182 [at] me.com
*Lifetime discount remains valid even if you decide to move on, but is non-transferable with the timepiece, it remains exclusive to the original purchaser. The Lifetime Membership starts from the moment you receive your first order and can be used on any and all future releases from the Fraser Timepiece Company, including accessories.
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