Despite the overwhelming sentiment right now that things are definitely not looking up, some things are looking up, tentatively. We are witnessing a multi-faceted crisis of our generation and, if global warming, inflation, cost of living and a very distressing conflict in Ukraine wasn’t enough, for us as a business, the retail landscape is becoming increasingly delicate. However, we've had a wonderful reaction to the repositioning of our pricing (for the Atlantic and Pacific collections) and despite the months of discussion around the decision, we feel it’s been worth the time spent to get it right - we want to give you guys the best value for money we possibly can.
Moving forwards, we're building upon this new foundation and strategically planning our pipeline - the Astro collection will be appearing soon and all the supporting collateral is being put in to place as we speak. I’ve loved this project from the very first sketch, mainly because it’s steeped in a subject I adore: the Space Race. I can’t wait to start showing you all the launch range and speaking about why the Astro is designed the the way it is.
In addition, over the past few weeks some really interesting things have arrived at HQ - from dial samples to final prototypes, it's all very exciting. We’ve signed off on the final 35mm collection, the next Coniston iteration (which I think is looking particularly swish) and a number of other new models you’ve yet to hear about. The Sceptre is being made as I type and will be with us in a few months time - the 2nd half of the year is going to be a busy one!
Straps have been a high priority for us lately; choosing how best to attach these little steel wonders to our wrists is a difficult and often divisive process, as we try to marry up what will best accentuate each different watch. The Astro has been really interesting, because I know exactly what I want this range to have, but making that a reality hasn’t always been forthcoming. I hope you like what we’ve done, but if not, we’ve also made sure there’s many alternatives to choose from. Straps are such a personal choice and what I love isn’t necessarily what the next person will, so having a varied selection is very important.
The land of manufacturing at the minute is very shaky. Coronavirus has rattled the core of the supply chain and is, I’m sure we’re not alone in this, becoming a very different landscape to what we’re used to. Being small, like us, is a huge advantage in times like these as we can duck and dive quicker than most - it’s stressful and every day is a new problem to solve, but it keeps things exciting and, with Oliver at my side, we always manage to navigate the turbulent waters. Chatting to suppliers and understanding their situations is key to keeping our production flowing and it’s a comfort knowing that they have our quality expectations and requirements in hand.
It might not look like much is happening on the outside, for we’re a bit quiet on socials, but our focus right now is on getting our productions through the network and out onto the wrists of you all. We’re soon to be opening a small satellite office in Henley-on-Thames, which will allow all you southerners to “drop in” and see our range. We’ve settled into our Scottish HQ really well now and we’re starting to hang pictures on walls, welcome guests back for visits and can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive so we can start eating lunch outside! We have an enviable location here, and when the sun is shining, there’s no better place to be - today we watched four hares darting around on the grass outside, with one even coming up to our window to say hello. Hares are bigger than you think! How lucky we are to have a place like this within which to design our watches and ruminate on what’s important in life. Long may it continue. As we say in Scotland, we just need to keep the heid, and we’ll be ok.
Can’t wait to drop into the new place sometime, great to hear that Henley will soon host watches to go and see. I’ll definitely drop in there!
The news that you’ll be opening a Henley office (again) is music to this southerner’s ears!
Glad to hear some things are looking up and looking forward to the new releases.