By Gordon Fraser
22 Oct , 2020
So, it’s been a little while since the last part in this series, and that’s primarily down to two things - being incredibly busy, and COVID.
Being busy is mostly related to us getting orders out to you asap, but also generating the large amount of supporting material for each new range, as well as promotional content for our upcoming releases (of which we have some really cool stuff). We produce everything in house, which is a bit of a feather in our cap, and as a result we are all working together at full speed to make it things happen.
However, like many small businesses, Marloe hasn’t been immune to the impact of the Coronavirus. On March 23rd, the whole of the UK entered into lockdown and one of the restrictions put in place was the instruction for retail to close. Obviously this has had a hugely negative impact on the high street, but also a big, positive shift towards the e-commerce world, as we saw traffic dramatically increase, and in turn, sales.
It’s a complicated time when the world is being swept by a devastating and serious pandemic, yet your business flourishes - but we’re proud to be delivering little rays of light to people’s lives. Our office was run single-handedly by myself for 3-months, fulfilling orders as they came in fast and furiously. It was a trying time and as a result a lot of my typical day-to-day stuff was put on hold. However, as lockdown was relaxed, and the dust settled a little, our team has returned to a semblance of normality. Meanwhile the virus was busily impacting other areas of our business.
Production and assembly in both Japan and Switzerland has seen reduction in staffing and at some points halted altogether. We’ve been in constant contact with all our suppliers and they've been putting a brave face on - updating us that our production hasn’t been affected. But as we've neared the end of that process for various models we're seeing shifts in schedules - watches we’d penned in for Christmas have been delayed by weeks, even months. It’s an unfortunate position to be in - with a promotional campaign designed to drum up excitement only to find that the key phase of delivery slips with each week. It’s part of the reason why we’ve not announced any launch dates, to many people’s dismay, but while it may be frustrating, the more important issue is making sure Marloe weathers this storm - it has the potential to ruin businesses and has already done so across the world, but thankfully we’re actively managing risk, adjusting our plans and keeping up with the constantly evolving landscape.
So, now that we’ve weathered the start of the storm, and have many bruises to show for it, we’re on the verge of releasing some very exciting watches. Some were planned for 2020, which have now slipped into next year, and some are scheduled for arrival throughout 2021, but we thought we'd update you on all of them:
Solent - my love affair with the seafaring world and lighthouses, due in December.
Dart - our first ever design collaboration, due in December.
Coniston Black Edition - a watch we've had many requests for, hopefully launching Black Friday.
Atlantic - our our first aviator watch, inspired by the dawn of powered flight, is still hopefully landing in time for Christmas.
35mm - a foray into the smaller diameter watch world, due early 2021.
Haskell Global - a special 100 piece edition, due early 2021.
Bonneville & Eyre - using the chassis of the Coniston but adapted to the land speed records of the Campbell family, due early 2021.
Submersible - a version of the Solent with inspiration through submarines and the sub-seafaring world, due late 2021.
Pacific (Harport) - our most elaborate and high-level project to date, coming late 2021.
Apollo - our take on the Square watch - watch this space!
Over the coming weeks, as we find little nooks of time, we’ll be filming parts for the series for each model in the order that we're seeing them arrive - the Atlantic was due to be the first but that project has slipped a little meaning that the Solent and Dart will likely be with us first, in early December. So over the coming weeks we'll record videos that show how we arrived at the various designs, what inspiration fed into each project, and what the final prototypes look like.