• STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Atelier Wen: The New Chinese Chic - Quality Mechanical Watches - Official Affiliate Thread

Sam Hober

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
1,337
Reaction score
312
I very much admire the spirit of these young watch makers.

They have a vision of what they want to do and are following through.

When there is a problem they keep going and simply make it happen.

Good luck!
 

Fandegrue

Well-Known Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
153
Hello everyone!

Very much sorry for the lack of news lately; we've been busier than we ever thought we would be. This post will thus be a sum-up of everything that happened over the past few months; since there is a lot to cover, I will try to refrain from churning out some large walls of text, and I'll post more pictures instead.

So, where did I leave you guys?

Soon after that China Daily article got published, we paid a visit to our leather supplier in HK to talk about the possibility of making a leather NATO strap. Believe it or not, we got a lot of demand for the latter after an article in Les Rhabilleurs featuring Hao and a strap of this kind was published. So we thought, well, there's no harm in making a small batch of them.



Production was, back then, progressing smoothly (except for the dials), and we were very happy when we received the following pictures:




Towards the end of April, and after months of continuous effort, we were finally able to introduce the brand in Mainland China. To celebrate this feat, we held a launch party in Beijing!

It started with a small press conference.


Last preparations...


The journalists were starting to arrive... Wilfried and myself were revising our speeches. We're both a little stressed and super excited; this is the first time ever we're doing that! Fortunately, our friends from Tianshihui (T-Time, one of our sales partners in the country) were there to help us with all the small, last minute preps!


It went fairly well! Souvenir picture taken with a large print out of Hao's dial!


This is where the actual party took place... The shot was taken before the guests arrived.


Cocktail menu which we created specifically for the event!


With our mentor...


Around a hundred persons came... We were happy :)


We then came back to HK and most of our time was dedicated to managing the production and getting the Hao ready (the Ji still had issues with their dials) as soon as we could. Towards the end of May, things were finally nearing completion! We went to Fiyta's HQ quite a few times to oversee the process and speed-up things a little. We are in regular contact with the Dandong Watch Factory, which is very involved in the project. When they heard of us going to Fiyta's frequently they asked if they could visit once to check how the assembly was carried. We, of course, accepted, and both the Commercial Director and the Head of QC at Peacock flew from Dandong to Shenzhen just for the day. We are still stunned by their involvement in the project.



Fiyta Head of Assembly discussing our movements


Inspection and QC facilities


This day also proved the opportunity to have an in-depth look at Fiyta’s QC process for movements - and it is quite impressive! They have an array of high-end Swiss machines, and everything is computerised. Up to eight timegraphers are linked to a computer, and they will test the watches in different positions (automatically).


Lots of timegraphers :)


Visualising the results


Some level of timekeeping performances are entered in the programme, and then all the movements which are not within the range get automatically discarded. There is absolutely no tolerance in the process; if we input 10 seconds as the maximum daily variation, then anything above that will get rejected. Some movements failed the test because they were at 10.1 seconds…

So what happens to the movements which fail? They go back to Dandong for some light modifications and adjustments, and, in the meantime, so as not to accrue any further delays, Dandong sends us new movements.

Quickly after, we also received prototypes of the leather NATO strap I was telling you earlier on:




This prototype was not good enough as the leather was too thick. Back to square one!

Quickly, the day when we were able to ship the first Hao arrived!

One Monday, Wilfried went to Fiyta HQ in Shenzhen to pick up all the watches and to perform some last checks and controls. This took longer than expected as there was a need to review all the Hao pieces individually so as to ensure that no defects of any sort are present. This done, he went to a local SF Express branch to send watches to customers residing in Mainland China. The remaining of the watches were handed out to our logistics partner who sent them to Hong Kong. All these tasks took the whole of Monday.



At Fiyta's HQ




Boxes, boxes, boxes...


The next day, the watches had arrived Hong Kong and the first thing we did was to go pick them up. Most of the morning and afternoon was also spent editing customer details, ensuring that no info was missing, making sure that all the additional straps were duly recorded in the orders details, etc. At 6PM, we were finally able to print all the shipping labels. It was now time for the toughest part of the job to begin: assembling orders, packaging them and eventually dispatching them! We started at 8PM and ended around 1PM on the next day… God, it was exhausting! Here is how we divided the work:

1. Sorting the watches according to their serial numbers
2. Assembling orders + filling warranty papers + Putting the watches and additional straps in boxes
3. Bubble wrapping the boxes
4. Putting everything in shipping boxes and taping shipping labels
5. Bringing everything to the closest HK Post Office branch

A huge thank to Wilfried’s girlfriend who tirelessly helped us and without whom we would have ended a day later…


The watches had just arrived in HK!


Making boxes at 4AM...


We ABSOLUTELY had to ship before Wednesday 1PM as were due to take a flight to Vietnam later in the afternoon! Why Vietnam? A friend of ours invited us to join a Chinese delegation that would attend the 2nd Vietnam International Watch Fair! It took place in Ho Chi Minh Ville:





I wouldn't say that it was truly useful... But, well, it was fun, and we met some interesting people and companies :) We didn't stay very long, and 4 days after we left we were already back in HK.

Customers were starting to receive their Hao, and it was awesome for us to finally see people wearing "our" watches. It felt a little surreal too I have to say. We received quite a few nice pictures which really put smiles on our faces :)

A few pictures from some of them:


PC: Vincent S.


PC: Damien T.



PC: J.


PC: Dejinytravy


And your pictures as well, which are really cool!
 

Fandegrue

Well-Known Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
153
(CONTINUED)

Two weeks ago, we went to Mainland China again! There were mainly two reasons behind this trip: media opportunities and meetings with potential investors. We started with Suzhou, where we had been invited to join a TV show focusing on entrepreneurs in China! The show was akin to a Dragon’s Den witch Chinese characteristics; there was an inevitable romanticised and kitsch aspect to it! The way it happens is that you have five investors on one side and two “mentors” on the other one. You first pitch your project to the general audience, and then you select a mentor who will afterwards ask you a few questions and give you some advice. It is then time for the investors to chime in, and they will drill you on every points of the deck. We generated quite some interest with the investors present on stage, and I found out that one of the mentors had actually invested very early on in one of our key online sales partner!


Suzhou TV Tower






Show time!


The next stop for us was Shanghai, where we actually spent quite some time. We made a few investors, and, well, it was fairly productive. We also met with some "advisor" friends of ours, who gave us useful feedbacks. Our presence in Shanghai was also justified by the fact that a large fashion magazine had offered us to do an interview. The latter was not a traditional interviewas it also included a photoshoot, which was very fun to do! I'm still not fully convinced by the stylist's choice of clothes for us, but nevertheless it was a really interesting experience. The piece should be released in August.


We don't look smart...



The next stop was Beijing! The trip was really short; we arrived late one evening, started working early the next day, and then left at some unreasonably late hours the same day. The reason behind our presence had again to do with media; CCTV offered us to shoot a documentary about the venture! It is divided in two parts: one recorded in Beijing with our designers, and another one in Shenzhen focusing on the day-to-day of the company.


Warm and dry




Group pic: our designers, our mentor, a Canadian friend of ours and part of the CCTV crew


The shooting ended a little earlier than planned, so we had an hour or two for an afternoon coffee with our mentor and good Canadian friend.


Boiling... But for whatever reasons, I'm always under the spell of Beijing


The Beijing I like most: we're right in the middle of the city center (near Andingmen) but still there's no noise at all...


It was then time to head off to the airport to catch our flight to Shenzhen. Unfortunately there were some substantial delays and we only reached Bao'an at 5am (instead of midnight)... The shooting of the second part of the documentary the next was scheduled to start at 10am :) But, well, we're... young, aren't we? :p


Reverse of the medal: the sunrise is very pleasant to watch

After a short two-hour nap, we were shooting again!







In the documentary, this restaurant which had never heard of before is introduced as our favourite place in the city...

For our last day in Mainland China, we went to pay a visit to our porcelain supplier as well as to Fiyta to pick up a few watches.



It was then time to head back to HK. We slept a lot this weekend!

I'll reply to the other messages very soon!

Robin.
 

Fandegrue

Well-Known Member
Affiliate Vendor
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
72
Reaction score
153
@Fandegrue Robin/Wilfred, I received my watch yesterday and its very very nice. Although I disagreed with you earlier about the cardboard box, I have to admit the box was excellent! The pouch was well done and the book was well received as well.
So before I get to the unboxing to share with the thread, here are couple pros and cons from day one.
Pros- that dial, wow. the leather strap and buckle are nice as well. The design on the caseback is awesome. The additions you made to the case sides and the brushed angles on the lugs help make the case feel less plain. the build quality seems great.
Cons - its a bit thicker than I expected. Still fits under a cuff even though its a dress casual instead of pure dress. I think I prefer the indices to be applied.

All in all a good value for a unique product from a brand that is doing a great job and I am happy to support. Good work guys, let your team in China they did well. And HK post didn't mess up delivery!

Here are some unboxing pics:
Very glad that you enjoy your watch! Thanks for the kind words, pictures and feedbacks :) We'll aim to improve with the next one!

Received my Hao yesterday and finally got around to unpacking. My first reaction was Wow! My expectations were definitely exceeded. The leather pouch and box were impeccable. The dial is STUNNING, definitely better in person, as cliche as that statement is. Look at that buckle. It's a great watch at any price. The only shortfall as I mentioned a while ago is the case design. No issues on workmanship or execution. Just that the case design does not elevate the watch, merely decent.
Always a pleasure to read messages like these :) Duly noted for the case; we're actually working on something way more elaborate for our next series (and quite thinner too)! :) Enjoy it!


Awesome watch. Superb execution. Certain things can be improved:

1) Case should be thinner

2) Finished watch can be cleaned better prior to sending out.

3) Strap holes need to be bigger to accomodate the thick buckle tongue.

But overall super satisfied!
Not sure if it's because of the serial number 13 of my piece but the rubber seal wasn't installed all the way so it caught on the rotor preventing it from winding. Luckily the caseback is easy to remove due to the normal screws and I fixed it in 5 mins.

View attachment 1197626
Thank you Riva, glad to know that you're satisfied with the watches! Again, I'm noting the feedback points and I'll aim to improve with the next series. Regarding the rubber seal, I'm very sorry (and a little shocked) to hear this! Glad though that you were able to fix it quickly, and please accept my apologies. I've communicated with Fiyta on this issue, and they'll pay particular attention to how well the rubber seal is installed from now on.

PS: the engraving on the rotor wasn't initially meant to happen, but then last minute we asked Dandong to proceed with it... It doesn't add a lot of value (solid caseback) but it somehow made us happy knowing that if someone were to open his or her watch, he or she would notice the small, special touch :)

I very much admire the spirit of these young watch makers.

They have a vision of what they want to do and are following through.

When there is a problem they keep going and simply make it happen.

Good luck!
Thank you very much, that's kind of you to say so!
 

WilYa

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2016
Messages
459
Reaction score
658
(CONTINUED)

Two weeks ago, we went to Mainland China again! There were mainly two reasons behind this trip: media opportunities and meetings with potential investors. We started with Suzhou, where we had been invited to join a TV show focusing on entrepreneurs in China! The show was akin to a Dragon’s Den witch Chinese characteristics; there was an inevitable romanticised and kitsch aspect to it! The way it happens is that you have five investors on one side and two “mentors” on the other one. You first pitch your project to the general audience, and then you select a mentor who will afterwards ask you a few questions and give you some advice. It is then time for the investors to chime in, and they will drill you on every points of the deck. We generated quite some interest with the investors present on stage, and I found out that one of the mentors had actually invested very early on in one of our key online sales partner!


Suzhou TV Tower






Show time!


The next stop for us was Shanghai, where we actually spent quite some time. We made a few investors, and, well, it was fairly productive. We also met with some "advisor" friends of ours, who gave us useful feedbacks. Our presence in Shanghai was also justified by the fact that a large fashion magazine had offered us to do an interview. The latter was not a traditional interviewas it also included a photoshoot, which was very fun to do! I'm still not fully convinced by the stylist's choice of clothes for us, but nevertheless it was a really interesting experience. The piece should be released in August.


We don't look smart...



The next stop was Beijing! The trip was really short; we arrived late one evening, started working early the next day, and then left at some unreasonably late hours the same day. The reason behind our presence had again to do with media; CCTV offered us to shoot a documentary about the venture! It is divided in two parts: one recorded in Beijing with our designers, and another one in Shenzhen focusing on the day-to-day of the company.


Warm and dry




Group pic: our designers, our mentor, a Canadian friend of ours and part of the CCTV crew


The shooting ended a little earlier than planned, so we had an hour or two for an afternoon coffee with our mentor and good Canadian friend.


Boiling... But for whatever reasons, I'm always under the spell of Beijing


The Beijing I like most: we're right in the middle of the city center (near Andingmen) but still there's no noise at all...


It was then time to head off to the airport to catch our flight to Shenzhen. Unfortunately there were some substantial delays and we only reached Bao'an at 5am (instead of midnight)... The shooting of the second part of the documentary the next was scheduled to start at 10am :) But, well, we're... young, aren't we? :p


Reverse of the medal: the sunrise is very pleasant to watch

After a short two-hour nap, we were shooting again!







In the documentary, this restaurant which had never heard of before is introduced as our favourite place in the city...

For our last day in Mainland China, we went to pay a visit to our porcelain supplier as well as to Fiyta to pick up a few watches.



It was then time to head back to HK. We slept a lot this weekend!

I'll reply to the other messages very soon!

Robin.
What a journey! Add oil!
 

Featured Sponsor

What's your favorite type of loafer?

  • Tassel loafers

  • Penny loafers

  • Horsebit loafers

  • Kiltie loafers

  • I hate loafers


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
421,176
Messages
9,055,411
Members
190,620
Latest member
Dashing Chris

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Top