It is a real moment in our young history, it's something that we feel encompasses everything about Marloe. It's a very special watch for us and a very special time.
From the start we knew we wanted to involve our customers in the production of the watch, and that started with it's name - we ran a competition to suggest names and our customers needed to suggest not only a name but inspiration behind the name. The response we got was amazing - over 1,000 entries of differing names, and we were delighted when Coniston was voted in as the favourite. The story of the Campbell family's water speed attempts on Coniston Waters in the Lake District was exactly the inspiration we wanted to be behind our new collection.
It definitely felt like an eternity from the point we pushed the big green button to taking delivery of production. But production did arrive and the first port of call was to sort out the numbering. So once that was done, and it took quite a while, we then move on to quality control.
We take a sample of each colour-way and check for fit-and-finish, quality of parts, printing quality, things like that - things that the customer is going to be looking for. After a week of quality control we move on to the shipping phase.
What we perhaps forget is that the customer is seeing things for the first time, so we place a lot of emphasis now on the full experience, from researching our watches, to purchasing and then to the delivery. So from the moment that box is delivered it has to be an experience. And then the Coniston box itself - it's the same as the box that we originally had made for the Cherwell, but we've continually improved the box and adapted the colours to suit this new collection.
The shipping phase, even after a short pre-order, is quite an intense period of time where we have to get out of the door quite a lot of orders. The processes that we have streamlined over the past three and a half years help us to do this efficiently and effectively.
The most surprising thing we've gleaned from the Coniston project is seeing how much, people in general, want to connect with other people. Find out about them, find out about their story, where they've come from, in some way try and connect their story to them.
We headed down to Coniston for Speed Week and within a matter of minutes people were coming up to us and talking to us. Gordon was standing with his camera ready to film the boats and a man happened to pass and see the camera and immediately he was over asking questions about it - why he'd chosen that camera and why that one was better than this one - and that led on to his life history. It was really fascinating to listen to his story but also to see how quickly people connect with one another. And this goes back to the very start of the project where Gordon said "I think the goal of any designer is to resonate with people."
Meeting the competition winner, Alan, who came into the office to collect his prize; here's a guy who's supported us in the past and like everyone when they enter a competition doesn't expect to win, but he did! The emotional response to that was incredible. He came in to the office with his wife Anne; they both were wearing Marloe watches, and immediately they started discussing the memories that were connected to those watches; why they'd bought them, where they were when they'd bought them and what they meant to them. To think that you are creating an object that someone will attach a memory to; perhaps in the past we have always done things from quite a selfish standpoint - what we want to do and what we want to create. It's a lot more important for us now - we've become a company that creates objects that people use as a conduit for memories.
It's not about us anymore, it's about remembering that we have a support group; a community of people who are invested in what we do, and not forgetting that without them we have nothing - there is no company, no Oliver and Gordon, and that makes the next project, that we're about to launch, that bit more exciting.
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