Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by Lavaine » Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:01 pm

Watches continue to be a very popular product on Kickstarter, proving that the watch industry remains healthy. Unfortunately, a very large proportion of the Kickstarter watches are either incredibly boring, overhyped junk, or just plain awful designs. In reading the campaign materials for most Kickstarter watches, there is a lot of hyperbole and fluff. Buzzwords like 'disrupting' are used in almost every campaign. After seeing links to a couple of really bad watches recently, I looked through the current campaigns and selected these three to represent what I think are 3 cureent projects that cover the "Good" the "Bad" and the "Ugly". Your opinions may vary. I'm curious to see what others think.

The Cavetto, from Castle Watch Co. is a great example of the "Good". Titanium case, NH-35A (Seiko 4R35) movement, interesting dial, and reasonable 42mm size. Shipping with a leather and Nato strap, I think it is a great value at US$154.
Image

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ca ... escription


The "Bad" is represented by the Era Timepieces Prometheus Tourbillon. A "Certified Millionaire Watch under $1000".
The marketing for this abomination is so over the top as to be laughable. It was hard to pick a single paragraph from the page to highlight, but I think this one sums up how ridiculous this marketing effort is:
"And the reason is all too familiar; a small group is controlling nearly everything. There is actually a "secret watch society” actively price gouging high-end timepieces and stopping us from wearing what we want."
Yup. Secret societies. Really. They go on to tell us that only master watchmakers can build tourbillons, but the watch cartels control all the master watchmakers (Can you imagine how surprised Roger Smith would be upon learning this?). Lucky for us, Era "broke through the cartel wall" and has access to these same master watchmakers. Thanks to their daring efforts, they are offering us the "worlds first accessible tourbillon". Thank the Gods!
I'm not sure exactly what role these cartel controlled watchmakers played in designing this watch, since it uses a bone stock (and quite unattractive) Hangzhou Chinese tourbillon with a 24 hour hand and a day-night indicator. This can be all your for the low price of only $999.
Image

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/93 ... term=watch

Remember when they said this was the first accessible tourbillon? I guess they missed this $499 Seagull-based tourbillon also on KS right now:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/18 ... term=watch

Finally, the ugly. The Rarus Primus. Even the name is terrible. This rectangular monstrosity measures a staggering 50.5mm wide x 47mm long x 15.75mm thick, with a 57.5mm lug-to-lug.
I don't have the words to describe how bad the dial is. It looks like it was designed by a committee, with each member designing a separate element, and having no idea what the rest of the design looked like. Take a moment to take it all in:
Image

Look at how slim it looks on the wrist:
Image

All the models have their cuffs rolled up, because there is zero chance of this disaster hiding under a cuff.
Image



Good news though. It comes with 3 interchangeable straps. Did you know that if you buy a "Swiss High-End Watch", it will only come with one permanent strap? It must be true, because that's what Rarus wants us to believe. Your expensive Swiss watch also won't have a display back or unique design, and will only have 5atm of water resistance. Who knew?
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11 ... escription

Do you have some KS favourites (good bad or ugly) to share?
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by TheBeatles » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:18 pm

I like the look of the Cavetto, good spec at that price point
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by Dancematt » Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:24 pm

If it wasnt for the titles i would assume all three were bad and ugly.
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by albionphoto » Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:07 pm

Good candidate for post of the month.
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by KevinB » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:30 pm

I'll never be able to forget just how ghastly that RARUS is, but the videos are comic gold. :clap:

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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by 0uatiOW » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:58 pm

I’ve been following 2 Kickstarters. I’ve backed 1 (Maen Hudson), decided not to back the Meccaniche Veneziana Nereide GMT, even though I like it a lot.

The Maen was due in September but was delayed and was eventually meant to be shipping today (DHL doesn’t show any updates as of now). I am still optimistic that the watch in the metal will be worth the wait.

In both the campaigns I mention, some questionable actions were taken by the creators, which I felt soured the experience.

In one case, when the campaign completed, the item was offered even cheaper on the creator’s website. In the other, certain backers who pulled out were offered a special discount to come back in, and that offer was leaked.

The KS campaign of Filippo Loreti, which is well documented, seems to have been a marketing masterpiece but some backers were put off by fulfilment issues (their campaigns, still available on KS, show a lot of negative comments) and there are reports of some sharp practices in the marketing.

My take on this phenomenon is that KS campaigns are very much a hit and miss affair; as always there are good and bad. The process is very much different to the traditional etailing experience - as a backer you aren’t protected in the same way as a customer purchasing from a website, and therefore the onus falls entirely on the backer (you cannot withdraw once the campaign closes). The healthy discounts offered are meant to make up for the extra risk, and only each individual backer can decide whether it does.

I’m reserving judgement on whether the Maen Hudson lives up to my high expectations, but I am going to be more thorough with my research if I think about backing another campaign.
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by smegwina » Wed Oct 24, 2018 10:14 pm

Interesting thread.

I have a couple of kickstarter watches backed. (To be honest they were so long ago, I had forgotten about them until I saw this thread!!)

I must confess that have very little hope of them ever being delivered!

My record on Kickstarter is utterly pathetic. Every project I have backed has got tits up.

Some have been cancelled, some have never materialised and the chaps behind one project have simply bent me over, given me a damn good rogering without even having the courtesy of buying me a drink.

The owners of Kickstarter should be given a damn good thrashing in my opinion, as it appears to be little more than a den of thieves!!

Not that I am jaded at all!!

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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by theemaadhatter » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:51 am

^^^ Then don't go after this one...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11 ... me-engines

Unless you really want a "Time Engine" for $200 that you can pick up on Amazon for $20 or less.
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by Lavaine » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:02 am

theemaadhatter wrote:
Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:51 am
^^^ Then don't go after this one...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11 ... me-engines

Unless you really want a "Time Engine" for $200 that you can pick up on Amazon for $20 or less.
Wow! Not only is the watch hideous, but the campaign page is equally terrible. He does have an order for one watch, so I assume his parents have bought one... In the unlikely event this gets funded, I give it 30% odds of being delivered.
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by H0rati0 » Thu Oct 25, 2018 1:30 pm

Having been involved in a good number of start up and early stage companies over the years I have seen a lot of sharp practice and blatant fraud - it's not easy to raise enough money to deliver on promises and as time goes by the money shrinks and the promises get harder to keep, thus something breaks and integrity (if any) is usually the first casualty.

So by all means take a punt if that sparks, but do so fully beware.

Good luck.

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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by stijn_méraud » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:07 pm

Hi all,

I'm Stijn, the guy behind Méraud Watch Co. and I just joined this forum because I found a thread about my watches on here. I wanted to participate in the thread.
Now, while viewing the threads I noticed this thread.

Since the Méraud Bonaire is now on Kickstarter I thought I'd jump in the conversation.

I have been working on my pieces since December 2016. Distribution and sales for the first piece, the Bonaire was something I really wanted to think about.
One of the reasons why I did decided to launch on Kickstarter is the fact that I was fed up with all the bad & ugly campaigns, not to say utterly cr*p pieces.

While looking on Kickstarter I noticed that:

1. A lot of campaigns are marketing driven with a HUGE pile of cash spent on marketing (Think about Filipo Loreti, LIV' watches, many more)
2. A lot of campaigns are just fooling the customer, redifining luxury watches, this watch would cost you $1k from another brand etc. etc. Misleading and lies.
3. Not many of the campaigns are actually being created by passionate watch guys.
4. Aim for high volumes, low margins

I wanted to launch on Kickstarter because I genuinely believe in a good campaign, because I do like the crowdfunding idea, because it's a challenge, because it shows if a project/product is appreciated by the general public.
But also because I wanted to be different than most other campaigns and offcourse because I'm not able to fully fund the complete production by myself.

I'm very open about this, before I launched I contacted quite a few marketing agencies that were specialized in Kickstarter. Everything goes well when you talk with them until you ask budgets, pricing etc. for a marketing campaign.
Most of them start at around $30k. Others charge 15-25% on the capital raised by backers they were able to bring to the campaign.

In other words, impossible for a start-up.
Maybe not impossible, but impossible for me. I invested in the development of my watches. A good product is far more important to me than a good marketing campaign. Filipo Loreti thinks the other way. Did they get rich? Most likely, but did they fool people? Most likely as well.

I genuinely feel that is wrong.

I invested only €1500 on Facebook ads but I did spend time and effort in meeting fellow collectors by going to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, by going to a watch fair and just meet people. I'm sure it helped and it's a lot of fun as well. Grabbing a coffee or a beer and just talk watches.

Anyway, my reply is becoming a novel. And this for a first post...

Take care and have a good weekend.

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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by StrapMeister » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:15 pm

I appreciate that this is a bit of a thread resurrection but rather post here than create another Kickstarter thread.

So first of all, I have looked at and bought a number of Kickstarter project watches and, over time, due to trial and error, have become a lot more selective in what I'll back/buy.
Of the many that I have purchased, the only one that remains is the MAEN Hudson, seen here:
ImageMAEN_Hudson_001 by StrapMeister, on Flickr

However, I do have a couple more that I have backed and am now awaiting delivery:
FORMEX Essence Chronometer
ImageFormex-Blue by StrapMeister, on Flickr
Alexander James
Alexander_James.jpg
So, now I have spotted a field watch that I rather like the look of and thought I would post here to see other opinions.
The Arcadia G1.0 Graphene Field Watch
Arcadia_G1-0.jpg
https://arcadiawatches.com/
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gr ... rm=arcadia
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by TheBeatles » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:19 pm

StrapMeister wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:15 pm

However, I do have a couple more that I have backed and am now awaiting delivery:
FORMEX Essence Chronometer
ImageFormex-Blue by StrapMeister, on Flickr
I have the Formex shown on the blue leather strap (incredibly soft) awaiting SS bracelet this month too.

You’ll love it, it’s one of the best watches I have. Timekeeping is amazing. Currently on my wrist and running at about 1.5s per day.

I love it so much that I ordered another (different colour, but same price) for delivery later this month.

I posted my very first pic ever on Forum yesterday of this very watch, but wasn’t happy with quality so I deleted it. :problem:
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by TheBeatles » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:13 pm

Just managed to bag a Launch Day special for the Hamtun Kraken H2

Pledges currently going through the roof.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ro ... escription

Josh reviewed it here:-

https://www.watchitallabout.com/hamtun- ... ch-review/

I love the idea of a scratch resistant titanium bracelet.
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Re: Kickstarter: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Post by Bahnstormer_vRS » Tue Mar 05, 2019 7:50 pm

TheBeatles wrote:Just managed to bag a Launch Day special for the Hamtun Kraken H2

Pledges currently going through the roof.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ro ... escription

Josh reviewed it here:-

https://www.watchitallabout.com/hamtun- ... ch-review/

I love the idea of a scratch resistant titanium bracelet.
You did well Brian.

Apparently full funded in only a few minutes.

Seems as popular as the Halios Seaforth.

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