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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought some of you might be wondering what the current status is on my Minuteman watch brand effort.



Currently many of the needed parts for the watches are here in house. We are now awaiting shipment of our watch cases. We are going to start mating up the dials, hands, and movements on the 2nd week of December. This will allow us to get more watches completed than we would otherwise be able to complete in December had we waited for the cases to arrive.

To date we have pre-sold about 150 watches which is much better than we had hoped. We will start shipping completed watches in December and hope to have all of the pre-orders filled by the end of January 2014.

Originally we had planned to have our watches built by Lum-Tec in Ohio. For several reasons along the way this has changed. At this time we are going to have the watches built by some top notch watchmakers that have their own shops. The watchmakers we have selected actually conduct certification testing for the AWCI. The work will be performed in multiple shops at multiple locations. So this is very much a cottage industry you could say.

We will be testing each of our MM01, MM03, and MM04 to a water resistance of 300 meters. This despite the fact our current Minuteman watch models are rated for 200 meters. Dry tests, wet tests, and humidity tests will be conducted on each watch. We are testing to the sort of standards Rolex for example requires on their dive watch models. We do want to point out our watches are not dive watches. Rather they are what we call tactical watches, or what some call “Tool Type” watches.



As part of our on-going effort here at Minuteman we plan to increase our American content by sourcing more and more components from here in the U.S. At this point the 1st thing that will change is that starting the 1st part of next year our PVD coatings will be done here in the U.S. by one of the best companies in the world. Next on our list is to find a source for dials here in the U.S. We have also learned others in our business are working on producing watch cases in the U.S. Due to the higher cost of producing watches here in the U.S. We may opt to offer a higher end model in the future in order to offer Minuteman watches with U.S. sourced watch case.

For each watch we sell 25% of the profit will be going to charities that help veterans who need a helping hand. In fact the reason we created the brand is to raise funds for veterans. If any of your readers know of a source for watch components made here in the U.S. We would greatly appreciate it if they would be so kind as to contact us.

Finally we currently plan to halt our pre-sale pricing and switch to our regular retail pricing Jan 1 2014. For those who are wondering where the money we raise will go here is the break down.

25% to charities that support veterans.
25% to pay for our employee’s.
50% will go back into the brand for future growth.


We hope to be able to eventually build watches in house, and print our dials in house. With changes in technology and our growth we may be able to produce watch cases in house at some point.

We would like to thank all of the people out there who have supported our effort for believing in our brand and its effort.
 

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Looks good so far, I'm a little curious if you could elaborate on why you aren't having lum-tec build the watches? Feel free to PM me or not respond at all, I understand that based on the reasoning it might not be good business for a budding watch brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Regarding Lum-Tec Pricing was a big factor but there were several reasons for the move which I am not going to discuss. As a dealer I still proudly carry the brand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We are using a Swiss Ronda 715Li currently which has a Li battery rated for 10 years. We are toying with the idea of a model with a kinetic for the new year, as well as one with a 9015. But a lot of things would have to fall into place for either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Tomorrow my wife and I will be off to one of the shops assembling our Minuteman watches in N. IL with a load of parts to start assembly. Though it looks like we will not have cases till the end of next week.

At present two shops will be doing the build out here in IL.

This particular gent is the Chief Examiner at American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute.

As you can imagine that skill does not come cheap but we want the best result we can while still being able to raise funds for our veterans.
 

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Tomorrow my wife and I will be off to one of the shops assembling our Minuteman watches in N. IL with a load of parts to start assembly. Though it looks like we will not have cases till the end of next week.

At present two shops will be doing the build out here in IL.

This particular gent is the Chief Examiner at American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute.

As you can imagine that skill does not come cheap but we want the best result we can while still being able to raise funds for our veterans.
Wooo!!! I hope I win one with my entry, otherwise I may be too tempted in a few months ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·


Just got back from Wesley Grau and his shop. Dropped off lot of parts and he put together our 1st PVD Minuteman watch which is an MM01.

Wesley Grau in action on our 1st Minuteman MM01 PVD watch!

This particular gent is the Chief Examiner at American Watchmakers Clockmakers Institute.

As you can imagine that skill does not come cheap but we want the best result we can while still being able to raise funds for our veterans.

fyi one of our goals is to have the date change spot on or damn near which is something you expect in Rolex but you don't see it in a $500 watch. I am told with our movements that the point the date changes may very well drift a bit as they run in. But it should still be better than most watches you will find at our price.

Oh if you forget to screw down our crowns I can tell you the watches are still good for at least 100 meters. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just an update we started assembly of our Minuteman Stainless models. =)



The photo shows a batch going into the Roxer for a 30 bar wet test. Even though these are not dive watches and are only rated for 200 meters. We are going that extra mile on testing.

Oh and our Minuteman PVD models. We were not happy with quality of the PVD on our cases when we got them so we are not going with Ionbond’s Diamondblack™ DLC. Below is a watch we had done with the DLC coating.

 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This am we filled all of our orders for our Stainless Steel models. So folks should be able to get them for Christmas. =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for the kind words. =) Will be sending out watches to the blogs most likely 1st of Feb if not sooner. We will be sending out samples of our DLC models. At this point I don't plan to offer a watch that is not coated. To get that SS look there is a DLC stainless coating. Great thing about that is if you were to get a scratch in that what's underneath? =) So I would thick a scratch in that finish would not be very noticeable.

The person at Ionbond we have been working with has told me that he has yet to get a scratch in something that he's coated with their DLC. So I would say chance are that ours will hold up quite well. =)
 
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