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ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

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ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#1

Post by ManOnTime » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:08 am

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ManOnTime's Watch Deal Forum is thrilled to announce that Brice from Time Locker has agreed to do an "Ask Me Anything" style event for the members of ManOnTime.

This event will run a little different than other AMAs you may have seen on Reddit and the like. We will be opening this thread at noon (12:00pm) central time on Wednesday, March 4th. At that time any member is welcome to post questions for Brice about the history of his love of watches, experiences in the watch industry, challenges with Kickstarter projects and other, on-topic categories. Because of time zone differences, Brice may or may not be able to reply "live" to the questions, but we have a solution!

At noon central time on Monday, March 9th the thread will be closed so Brice can answer questions and offer his personal insights. Then, on Friday March 13th (again at noon central) the thread will once again be opened so members can ask Brice follow-ups and just converse.

Brice gave us a brief introduction to share with this announcement:


Brice wrote:
Hey everyone!

I am a French / German citizen, who was bitten by the watch bug thanks to my father’s collection of military wristwatches. My passion for watches led me to create my own timepieces, which are inspired by military divers from the 50s.

Last year, I quickly aborted the launch of Time Locker on Kickstarter due to some overall watch industry issues which would have slowed down the delivery time to backers. The lead time to get my movement from Seiko increased kept getting longer and longer and I knew that this timeframe would not be well received by people wanting my designs.

Taking this set back as an opportunity to improve the Time Locker watches, I am working on its relaunch on Kickstarter.

Ask me anything!

Brice


This is the first time MoT's has hosted something like this so it's an experiment! All we request is the questions remain on-topic and banter kept to a minimum. We'll be monitoring the thread a bit more closely than we regularly do, just to keep it steered in the right direction.

Think up some great questions, have fun and please feel free to share this announcement on your social media pages and anywhere else you discuss watches!
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Re: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#2

Post by ManOnTime » Thu Feb 27, 2020 11:09 am

Timetable:
  • Wednesday, March 4, 12:00pm (noon) Central Time: Thread opens for questions.
  • Monday, March 9, 12:00pm (noon) Central Time: Thread closes so Brice answer/finish answering questions.
  • Friday, March 13, 12:00pm (noon) Central Time: Thread re-opens for follow ups/conversation.
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#3

Post by ManOnTime » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:58 pm

@Brice , thank you for taking part in this!

Can you go more into your personal history with watches, the particular styles you love and perhaps list three of your all-time favorite watches?
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#4

Post by DocGonzo » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:17 pm

Hi, Brice. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

I'm curious what has been the biggest surprise for you when moving from being a watch hobbyist to a watch maker? Did anything turn out to be a bigger hurdle than you'd expected?

To sneak in a second question, are there any vintage dive watches that you think go underappreciated? You see tons of love online for certain early divers, like the 62MAS, but I'm sure there are some gems that have been mostly forgotten over the years.

edit: I've only lurked up until this point, but thought I'd jump in on the AMA. Hope that's okay.
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#5

Post by TheJohnP » Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:27 pm

1) What was the key learning from that first challenging Kickstarter campaign?

2) Once this first dive watch is released, do you have thoughts on the next model you hope to produce?

3) Anything interesting that you were surprised by from the pricing and design surveys you posted?

4) Are you connected or talk to other watch brand owners to share experiences, suggestions, frustrations, etc?
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#6

Post by Sporkboy » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:12 pm

While going through the design and manufacturing process, is there any part or element of watch design that you had taken for granted before, but for which you now have a greater understanding and appreciation?
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#7

Post by Boourns » Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:43 pm

What goes into design/specification decisions? I am most interested in case size.

It seems that in our "New Release" thread, lots of new watches that are 42mm elicit the same comments: "I wish that was smaller." Anecdotally, this seems to be a majority sentiment among enthusiasts, at least on this board, reddit, WUS, etc. Obviously this is just unscientific observation (or maybe confirmation bias on my part), so I suspect maybe there is data that establishes the opposite.

Is this feeling just among a vocal minority? Do the watch buying masses actually prefer bigger cases? Is it just personal preference of the creator? Maybe it's simply easier to source 40mm+ cases?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Thanks for doing this!
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#8

Post by ManOnTime » Wed Mar 04, 2020 4:42 pm

DocGonzo wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:17 pm
I've only lurked up until this point, but thought I'd jump in on the AMA. Hope that's okay.

All are welcome here.
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#9

Post by Elkins45 » Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:19 pm

In your conversations with potential watch buyers are there any requests, desires, complaints or themes that are common across many different demographics?
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#10

Post by Conchita Turtle » Wed Mar 04, 2020 11:03 pm

Salut! Grüß Gott!

Why an airplane logo on diver watches? Will there be pilot watches soon?
The lead time to get my movement from Seiko increased kept getting longer and longer and I knew that this timeframe would not be well received by people wanting my designs.
A real pity. It's weird. In times of smartwatches and the fact that many people no longer wear watches, Seiko is not able to supply so much NH35 that has become ubiquitous. Maybe it would have been an opportunity to put in a Miyota 9000.
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Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

#11

Post by Brice » Thu Mar 05, 2020 7:43 am

ManOnTime wrote:
Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:58 pm
@Brice , thank you for taking part in this!

Can you go more into your personal history with watches, the particular styles you love and perhaps list three of your all-time favorite watches?
Thanks, @ManOnTime and @watchpalooza as well as the MoT community for giving me the opportunity to have this AMA with you all.

I have always been ‘’around’’ watches as my father collects military timepieces. When I was a kid, I was following him to flea markets, to look for watches. It was like going on a treasure hunt.

My love for watches really began with an old Seiko dive watch given to me by my father as a gift. This might explain why dive watches are my favorites timepieces, especially the military type.

My all-time favorite watches are:
    The FF
      The Ralf Tech WRX « A » Hybrid
        The IWC Mark XI
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        Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

        #12

        Post by Brice » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:07 am

        DocGonzo wrote:
        Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:17 pm
        Hi, Brice. Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.

        I'm curious what has been the biggest surprise for you when moving from being a watch hobbyist to a watch maker? Did anything turn out to be a bigger hurdle than you'd expected?

        To sneak in a second question, are there any vintage dive watches that you think go underappreciated? You see tons of love online for certain early divers, like the 62MAS, but I'm sure there are some gems that have been mostly forgotten over the years.

        edit: I've only lurked up until this point, but thought I'd jump in on the AMA. Hope that's okay.
        Hi @DocGonzo, thanks for your questions.

        Biggest surprise
        I was really surprised to see how much is manufactured in Asia for well established EU/Swiss/US brands. These big brands get parts produced in Asia before doing the final assembly in EU/Swiss/US. One manufacturer from the Far East had even its own workshop in the EU, taking care of the final assembly for a well-established watch brand.

        Biggest hurdle
        The biggest hurdle for me was when starting the first version of my watches. When I approached manufacturers, not all of them took me seriously.
        In November of last year, when I looked for new partners for the updated version of my watches, things were different. This time I had more than a design brief and renderings to show. It was easier for me to open doors.

        Underrated vintage dive watch
        My answer here is a little bit different from what you asked.

        Most underrated vintage army type watches:
          The Glycine Airman Special (not a dive watch) → I love the design of this Vietnam war era timepiece.
            The Panerai Mare Nostrum from 1943 (not a dive watch) → a sleek and modern design. It’s a real piece of art.
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            Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

            #13

            Post by Brice » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:22 am

            TheJohnP wrote:
            Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:27 pm
            1) What was the key learning from that first challenging Kickstarter campaign?

            2) Once this first dive watch is released, do you have thoughts on the next model you hope to produce?

            3) Anything interesting that you were surprised by from the pricing and design surveys you posted?

            4) Are you connected or talk to other watch brand owners to share experiences, suggestions, frustrations, etc?
            Hi @TheJohnP! Thanks for your questions.

            1) a. Gain more visibility before the launch to attract more potential backers.
            b. Have everything ready in advance for the 30 days launch period. For instance, I schedule my social media (Instagram/Facebook/Twitter) once a week. During the launch, I had so many other things to do (on top of the social media scheduling). For the relaunch, I will try to have as many tasks as possible already scheduled in advance or automated. This will give me more clarity during the crucial 30 days of the KS campaign.

            2) The next model would be a ‘’dress watch’’ type. I wish to keep the military influence in the design. The third model would by a ‘’pilot’’ type watch. Again, with a military influence. The design pattern would be water-land-air.

            3) Pricing survey: a friend of mine who is a pricing analyst crunched the numbers to take out invalid answers. This helped me to get more accurate results. I found out that there can be a big gap between person A and person B in terms of value perception for the same product. Some people were ready to pay a price way lower than the production cost, while others were ready to pay a much higher price than what I offered on Kickstarter.
            Design survey: this is the most tricky part for me. Often, the ‘’negative’’ feedbacks I received had a completely different outcome in the design survey. For instance, some people asked for a smaller case or that I remove the branding from the dial. So far, in the survey, I don’t see this.

            I will have to make important design choices. I might reduce the case size to 41.00mm and change the font of ‘’Time Locker’’ in the dial, or write ‘’TL’’ instead of ''Time Locker''.

            4) Yes, I receive the support and great advice from watch entrepreneurs in Singapore, France, and the UK. I was really moved by their willingness to help me.
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            Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

            #14

            Post by Brice » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:32 am

            Sporkboy wrote:
            Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:12 pm
            While going through the design and manufacturing process, is there any part or element of watch design that you had taken for granted before, but for which you now have a greater understanding and appreciation?
            Hi @Sporkboy, thanks for your question. My answer is the watch case. The price difference between low quality and a high-quality case can be up to 3X-4X. A low-quality case will not have an accurate and neat built. It is even more flagrant when you look at the brush finishing. For example, a low-quality case will be polished in about 5min. The polishing will be uneven. On the other hand, it will take about 20min to polish a high-quality case. If it’s a really nice quality, the case manufacturer will create a custom tool to maintain the same amount of brush pressure. This is to guarantee the same quality of brush finishing on the entire case.

            When I look at a watch now, I always look first at its case.
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            Re: Open Now: ManOnTime Exclusive: Ask Me Anything with Brice, founder of Time Locker!

            #15

            Post by Guyinwatch » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:33 am

            There are 10 times more search results for "automatic watch" than "quartz watch" on kickstarter. Please share a little bit about why this is so and whether or not you have ever considered producing a quartz watch.
            Thanks for your time.
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