Still working through that last list of assembly, but also getting some blasting, cerakote, and other experimental stuff going this week. I’m sure there are a few PF folks ready for some movement. And Tad, Leon, Andre’s bezel insert (finally), a couple Mk-Vs getting coated, a couple touch ups on Nick’s killer black Orions, too.
Email is getting there, slowly. Still have a few client emails to get through, and inquiry emails are caught up to early December.
This one is a #PVD #seiko SNZG17 with a shaved chapter ring for clearance, LE SRP451 dial, SRP511 m/h hand.
#Seiko #SRP777 s with the dial and hand sets from a couple staples, the SBDC0001 & SKX173, plus #sapphire crystals, and @monteurhorloges coin edge bezels. Kelly and Cameron are going to be loving life… Well, loving their watches, anyway.
#seikomod #watchmod #watchaddict #watchfam #watchcollector #watchesdaily #watches #watchesofinstagram #wus #wis #watchuseek #instawatches #wornandwound #wotd #artificehoroworks #customwatch #bespoke #divewatch #seikodiver #seikoturtle – – from Instagram: http://ift.tt/2junHiS
2016 was a wild year. A crazy, enlightening, overwhelming, chaotic year. A year that drew back several different curtains, and revealed what possibilities may lie in the future for AHW, particularly as the struggles of real life crept into this dream that keeps growing. Seeing as it is the beginning of a new year, and I have had to completely disconnect from the world since about 12/23, I’m going to take this opportunity to lay a few things out in broad strokes – broad because I honestly don’t have a full picture of what I want the future to look like, but I have had some very clear moments/days/weeks/months that illustrate exactly what I do not want it to look like. It brings to mind the year we gave my young cousin the game “Hungry Hungry Hippos” for Christmas. He had been playing with my little sister’s non-stop every time he was at our house, so we thought it would be the perfect gift. He opened it, looked at, and said, in his very matter of fact 4 or 5 year old manner,
“This is exactly what I didn’t want. How did you know I didn’t want this?”
So, here are some points of emphasis for the new year, and some product announcements, and other late night ramblings.
1. First things first- I am done posting about how overwhelmed and crazy and busy it is. You all get it, I’m sure. Unless there is something peculiar going on, it will be watch content. Also- I hate complaining, and I really don’t want to be the guy saying, “Woe is me- I have too much business.” I never imagined things would get to this point, so I feel quite fortunate that I have this very interesting and rewarding part of my life that I am privileged to create, often in concert with my clients, and produce one of a kind machines that are tangible, and used and enjoyed. In “real life,” my work is typically either printed on paper or viewed on a screen, so it is very refreshing to make “things.” However, it is a part of my life, and balance, which continues to elude me, is still the goal. I’ve said that I can live with someone not sending me more work in the future because I take too long, but I can’t live with sending out sub-par work. I would, of course, prefer to maintain positive relationships with everyone regardless, and that hasn’t always happened, which really bothers me.
2. I haven’t been posting much of anything over the past several weeks or maybe even a month, and email has suffered just as much or more, as I was hurling myself into finishing a pile of watches before we left town Christmas night (of course, we didn’t end up leaving that night). It was a flawed attempt to appease the watch gods by sacrificing all the time that I should have been focused on the upcoming celebration of the Savior’s birth, on family, on serving, and a hundred other things, instead that all was pushed aside so that I could finally finish this particular batch of assembly that has literally taken months. Not only did I not start thinking about Christmas, or even shopping for my family, until 2-3 days before the day, I didn’t even realize how quickly the days were going, and due to my lack of focus on what actual day it was, we were delayed getting out of town by a full 24 hours, so I could get the things done around the house I needed to, before we left. I had planned on getting through the email backlog while we were gone, but then realized how awful it was that not only did I cause my family’s trip to be a day shorter than it was supposed to be, I was planning on stealing the time I should have been focused on them, trying to get more work done. That was the moment I knew I had to disconnect while we were gone, and I managed to stick to it, for the most part. Anyway. I will be digging back through the client email first, then get to the new inquiries, which probably date back to mid-November. I have also severely restricted new orders, partly because I just haven’t wanted to spend the time emailing that I could be getting the current projects finished. That won’t continue indefinitely, but going forward, orders will be taken in a circumspect manner, with very clear qualifiers about the time it may take for your 1 of a kind, never been done before project. I used to say that I wanted the whole process to be awesome for my clients, and the watch would be the icing on the cake, but that hasn’t been the case lately, as projects drag on, and one expected completion date after another passes by. I also used to say that this should be fun. It’s about watches. Nobody’s life is at stake if a watch isn’t finished by a certain date. It’s not the IRS or cancer or death, so it should be a positive part of existence for those who participate in custom horological pursuits. I am aiming to get back to those sentiments.
3. I’m still working out ideas to streamline communication, but I think I will try posting the projects I am hoping to wrap up each week, and my email autoresponder will link to the blog, so perhaps people checking for status updates will see what they need. For example- this week, in addition to cleaning & organizing, I’ll be trying to get some of the projects that are at the cusp, but didn’t end up making it out prior to Christmas finished- Christians SNKs will be getting the 3rd set of acrylic (hopefully I can manage to keep them spotless), Jason M 007 (lugs needed a final touch up that I noticed during inspection), Tom B 009 (inspection), Daniel S 007 (one last inspection… just in case), Jon L SRP red, Simon SRPSG, Don SRP6105, Paul J (assuming I can find the blue minute hand that I was repainting for the 4th time), Stephen’s SKX013, Josh’s SWAT V2. There are some others… but let’s just start with those for now.
— As much as I have wanted to avoid becoming a parts seller, there are forces at work beyond my control (like manufacturer minimums), so there some things on the horizon to mention:
4. I’m super pleased with my Zero DD sapphire. I haven’t made too big of a deal about it yet, but it’s awesome. They are not for sale individually- they are probably the most difficult crystal I’ve every put in an SKX007 due to the profile, but the end result is totally worth it. I should have probably budgeted 2 extra crystal gaskets in the price… but oh well.
5. Japan made NH36s are in the house. If they don’t have Japan engraved on the rotor, they aren’t Japan made (despite what some sellers are advertising), they are Malaysia made. I have had, for the most part, very good luck with the Malaysia made ones, so don’t worry about the one in your watch. I don’t even have a Japan made NH36 in any of my watches yet. However, the one I put on the timegrapher was at 0.1ms beat error out of the box, and I often have to do a fair amount of adjustment to get the Malaysia made ones below 0.6ms (which is my unofficial personal standard for these movements). I may end up selling a few on the site at my usual price of $65 + shipping. They have black day/date. You’ll still need to transfer the taller movement spacer and get a 3:48 day wheel if using for an SKX or other 3:48 crowned watches.
6. New, re-engineered AHW crowns for screw-in stems (useful for the movement conversion with the aforementioned NH36s) for Seiko dive watches are in the works. The current crop of aftermarket crowns have been really shoddy, and I have actually had to pick up several watches that have had internal failures. This is UNSAT, so I had to take action. They will start sterile, but can be laser engraved, and will come in 2 flavors. They will be a bit more expensive that the other aftermarket options, but the reliability will be well worth the premium.
— end of high pressure sales tactics section
7. I don’t know exactly what the schedule will be, but I have to set aside some time for other things each week. The desks need to be cleaned, organized, inventoried on a regular basis. Same with the work bench & refinishing areas. Same with the car, the house, etc. The rest of the world is falling apart as I push day after day to finish watches, and disorganization only amplifies the frenzy. I need to play my guitar. I need to spend time each day working with our new rescue pup that is very shy (our last dog passed away mid-2016 in the midst of some miserable watch deadline that I missed to attend to the frantic vet ER visit & subsequent burial). I need to be able to whip my sons on the remastered COD4. I can’t drive around with my passenger door not locking/unlocking. It’s a 20 minute fix to pull the inner door panel off and reconnect the actuator, but it keeps getting pushed to the side… I should hook up those speakers, too… and fix the sunroof gears… and reseal the hatch glass. I should probably make some time to at least do some stretching, or perhaps even actual exercise. I used to actually do things other than hunch over dozens of tiny parts with rodico, tweezers, and finger cots.
7b. Along with time for other maintenance & general well-roundedness as a human, I have to use some time to develop parts, processes, and ideas, or even just build some stuff for my own curiosity. I still haven’t made the SS smooth bezel for my stargate- or 50 other things I want to try.
8. I am going to try and build up a small supply of nearly ready SKXs so simple mods don’t need to take so long. Also, when orders come in for certain models, I will start building several with similar specs, to offer up at the conclusion, so that when I post a picture, and the people ask how much/is it available, I can say, “As a matter of fact, yes, I do have another,” instead of, “Sorry, that was a commissioned project.” Particularly labor intensive projects where the tasks are simpler in groups. Though this wasn’t the original plan for these, it works out that there will be a Sinister SKX ready for sale here in the next little while, as well as an AHWSG9-E with drilled lugs.
10. I am working on some other stainless steel, brass, & aluminum refinishing techniques which I am hoping will make suitable, or even preferable, replacements for black Cerakote applications. More on that soon, I hope.
11. There may be someone handling some email for me in the near future, which I am hoping will take care of some of the simple quotes & simple questions.
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for spending your time reading.
If you are client, thank you for your patience as I work to figure out the best ways to make the process better, and the product the best it can be. Some of those watches that I am looking at again this week could have been shipped weeks ago, or longer, but I can’t part with a project until I am SURE that it is ready.