The majority of product-based Kickstarter campaigns would not give a production update, as production typically does not begin until after the campaign finishes. However, I decided to invest in the first production of 300 watches last October because (1) I believe in CuleM, and (2) I believe in the power of the crowd. If you haven’t been following CuleM’s, and my, journey to-date, I’ll give you a bit of insight now into the process that led me to set up CuleM and invest my own money prior to a crowd-funded campaign.
I believe in CuleM
When I started CuleM, I initially thought of it as an experiment to launch a travel watch, that I wanted to create for myself, on Kickstarter. However this soon changed as I visualised what CuleM could become, and I developed a business plan to create nine collections.
For this reason, I decided to invest the capital to produce the first 300 watches for the first collection - 220 of which will be available on Kickstarter.
The following is my vision for all of the collections:
1. The World GMT
6. North America
7. South America
9. Our World
I have also have new ideas for the 10th collection - but you’ll have to wait and see what that is!
First round of production - early July 2019 delivery
Watch Components & Movements
Aside from a few small components, the majority have been fabricated and our watchmaker, Walca in Switzerland, has already received the ETA 2893-2 movements. We were fortunate to get the movements with screws in CuleM blue, which is a nice bonus.
We will receive all components by 30th April. However, the watches will not be assembled until after the campaign, which finishes on the 6th June. Of the 220 watches there will be approximately 88 Blue editions, 88 Black editions, 22 Grey editions and 22 gold editions.
The reason for holding off on assembly is in case the Kickstarter customers (called backers) prefer one watch style more than another, then we can make more of that rather than simply dividing the number evenly. For example, there are 22 gold editions available in 2 designs. If we simply divide by 2, then we would make 11 of each design. However, if one design is backed more than the other, then we will assemble what the customer wants. This could be 15 Portal and 7 lights watches. Take note of this, as I am going to come back to this later in the power of the crowd.
2 Italian Leather Straps
Production of the watch straps are well underway and they will be delivered to our watchmaker by 19th April.
Watch Trunk Case
All watch trunk cases have been made and will be delivered to our watchmaker by 17th April.
We have the samples in hand and they look fantastic. Your personalised Watch Passport (watch book) will be printed after the campaign with your name, watch specifications and 24-month guarantee.
The assembly process will take 3 weeks and the first 220 watches will be ready for delivery on 28th June.
The watches will be packed and shipped via Fedex Priority on the week commencing 1st July.
The majority or all of the deliveries for the first production should be completed by 12th July.
Second round of production backed by Kickstarter - pre-Christmas 2019 delivery
After the Kickstarter campaign finishes, our watchmaker will make the exact number of watches ordered for the second production. Whatever the number, whether it is 200 or 2,000 watches, our watchmaker will specially make the order in time for a Christmas delivery. The second round production is normally 5 to 6 months, so a bit shorter than the first round.
The power of the crowd
When I read the book Bold (by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler), I was blown away by the potential power of the crowd and the idea of being connected to the 4 billions minds online. Essentially, this means everyone with a mobile and access to the internet - imagine what can be achieved as long as we are open to new ways of working and building connected communities.
The watch industry in general does not seem to be very transparent, but transparency is important to me. I am very open and I am passionate about connecting and collaborating. It is for this reason that I believe that I am achieving great results with my amazing team in all areas of the business.
Additionally, I cannot wait to see the result of the team’s work after our Kickstarter campaign finishes in terms of product validation, demand measurements and qualitative real data for market research. This is really important to me, as the results of the data will determine the creative direction of CuleM and the relevancy of each collection. Large organisations spend millions on this type of research, and yet with crowdfunding you get the data first hand. To me, this is just one of the amazing and invaluable aspects of crowdfunding.
On top of this which is the icing on the cake; the CuleM community. I cannot wait to build the CuleM community - building a family of collectors all around the world and welcoming them to be part of something they are passionate about, like travelling and watches. I will engage my community first-hand - researching what they want to have in each collection and arranging trips where we will travel together, tell stories and talk CuleM watches.
I’m excited for what’s in store - and I hope you are, too!