Originally Posted by mimo
B, I love your colour ideas. As soon as you said "colour suggestions" my first thought was a deep blue. I kind of have a thing for blue, and it has a magical affinity with all the usual watch metals colours, especially if it's very dark. Ruby red and emerald green are really original, and I think they will work the same magic. Well done!
To be brutally honest, and with the caveat that I am not at all knowledgeable about watches. I have an automatic prejudice that gives me reservations about a luxury product from China. Rightly or wrongly, as a businessman I imagine myself telling someone that my new product is high-end and artisan crafted...in China...and I expect the customer's face to fall. But you know what? People used to say that about Japan. In watch circles, it seems that feeling is still there, ever so slightly. But "Jap crap" is no longer an expression you hear, especially when you're wearing your Koji Suzuki bespoke shoes and climbing into your Lexus. So what I'm trying to say is that I think you have a mountain to climb, and the weight of a million shitty factories on your brand's shoulders! But I really, really admire what you're trying to do, I believe that you'll succeed eventually. There are guys on this very site selling shoes made in Taiwan and Vietnam to impossible shoe snobs. Because, I'm told, they're pretty good.And for what it's worth, you're winning me over as a potential customer some day. I love the integrity of your process, I love the way you're keeping your product very Chinese while looking for the best technology from anywhere - as opposed to making a replica of another product while taking the cheapest technology in China, as so many others do. I love that you're trying to get input from the experts, afficionados and opinion formers from other places like this. Your product looks better all the time, and I'm impressed. I wish you the very best, and hope that one day I'll be boring someone about how I used to read about your design ideas on StyleForum when you were just getting started!
Mimo, thank you very, very much for your kind words. I can't tell you how encouraging it is to read stuff like that from fellow watch aficionados!
I think a very dark blue like what you envisioned is a great idea. A lighter shade blue is fairly common among watches and to me, looks common and boring. A midnight blue on the other hand is something very unique. Could almost be worn with black tie if you wear a midnight blue DB shawl tuxedo!
Please be as brutally honest as you can and wish, and I can assure you that you're not the first person to tell me that. The thing is, I know it is a mountain (more like climbing the moon sometimes!) but I have a dogged determination and passion to achieve what I have set out strategically 1, 5, 10 and 50 years from now with regards to my CELADON brand. People forget that in the late 19th century, Europe was going crazy over China's artisanal wares (porcleain teaware, plates, vases, and artisanal tea for example) and that it was Britain that started industrial production and the advent of machines. Chinese porcelain had always been artisanal and benchmade but to sate the European appetite for porcelain, homegrown centres like Limoges, Worcester and Meissen started using the applique technique, a fancy French term for pasting a sticker of a design on porcelain, to substitute the Chinese method of painting by freehand. In my opinion, artisanal, luxury craftsmanship of goods is an ancient tradtion in China made possible by a resource-unlimited patron, the Imperial Court. What I am endeavouring to do is simply to reawaken the sleeping dragon.
To give another example, I could go with Fricker in Germany who is well-known for the quality of their cases and watch production. But their prices are not cheaper than my makers in China, in fact they are about the same. The difference is the materials and workmanship they deliver is of lower quality than what my Chinese makers are capable of doing for me, and the selection of materials is much more limited. Having examined their cases, I do not find their quality to be the equal of my Chinese cases. In China we have an equivalent saying to "you get what you pay for", I think this is very true. I could reap a much larger profit margin by going for the cheapest materials and movements my maker has, but instead I am using the very best movement and the very best workmanship/materials, out of simple pride in my own products and to safeguard the honour of Chinese crafstmanship. That is why I engrave on all my watches - "Made in China with Pride". It is my wish and dream that one day "Made in China" will be synonymous with great quality.
At a pre-order price of 418 USD, I can think of no Swss/German watches 2-3x this price that can compare in terms of quality - polished/brushed 5atm steel case, manufacture ultra-thin high-grade auto movement decorated with perlage, guilloche dial, and lifetime discretionary warranty, to name a few characteristics.
You have correctly identified other parts of my brand philosophy. I aim to be transparent with my processes and makers. I do not conceal where I source all of my production from, in contrast to the rest of the watch industry. Because my brand is started by a watch collector and not a businessman, I can understand what fellow collectors desire and yearn for, and hope to deliver it. And I am proud of the provenance of my watches, therefore my designs do not deny their Chinese heritage. All my designs are original or inspired by 100% Chinese designs as you can see on my tumblr, and I tie my products with other ancient forms of Chinese culture such as porcelain, furniture, ink brush painting and architecture.
Thank you once again for your words of encouragement! I can assure you all that I take all feedback to heart and into consideration.