Crowdfunding A Watch – Is It Worth It?

In this blog, the final installment in our interview with Crystal Clear Watchmaking Luc takes us back to do a bit of a forensic investigation into our crowdfunding efforts.  It is a bit of a love-hate relationship because without the crowdfunding platforms  Daniel and I may never have managed to get SNGLRTY up and running, but with all the information we have now, it is not something we would choose to do.  Here are our thoughts in the cold light of day. 

Luc:

We brushed on your crowdfunding efforts a few times in this conversation. I was not aware that you had crowdfunded the initial production. I would be interested in talking about that process and how it went?

Crowdfunding – In The Rear-View Mirror

Steve:

Yes, absolutely. I can only describe it as an interesting experience. Looking back on it, I am not convinced that crowdfunding is a good route for a new brand. If I were doing it again, I would take a very different approach to the launch process. The bottom line is the crowdfunding platforms charge an awful lot of money for not much value.

SNGLRTY Kickstarter crowdfunding page
SNGLRTY was listed on two crowdfunding sites during the funding period. This is a strategy I would not recommend!
Luc:

That is what I have heard over and over again.

Best Route Forward?

Steve:

Yes. Having experienced it, I would describe crowdfunding platforms as merely niche website platforms. We spent a tremendous amount of time creating a little website on their platform. The reality is, as a founder, we want to find interested people to come and engage with us. I realized too late that crowdfunding platforms will not give you an ounce of help to find your key audience. 

If you can create success for your crowdfunding by attracting followers, the platform will only start putting some effort into the process.  When they see your efforts are working, they will boost your efforts so that they make more money and will push more traffic your way. 

Focus On Your Crowd

Other than that, you are basically on your own in terms of getting support for your crowdfunding. With this understanding, if I were doing it again, I would just set up my website and focus on marketing into the mainstream watch enthusiast channels. I think with this approach it would be more effective and it would cost less too.

Luc:

So you suggest making your website, and maybe it has a crowdfunding vibe to it. Then you market it to the proper YouTube, Instagram, and podcast channels as a run-up to a big launch. Do you think that would be better than being on a crowdfunding platform? The benefit is that you do not have the platform’s ridiculous cut of the pie they take out of you.

Crowdfunding is not all the marketing would have you believe. If you are considering it I would recommend you do a lot of homework. Make sure you have a clear strategy from the beginning. Bizking2u, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Steve:

Yes, that would be the way I would approach it. 

The crowdfunding platforms would probably come back and argue that they give customers confidence that those on the platform will deliver something and bring some degree of trust to the transaction. The problem is, the crowdfunding platforms do not bring any additional assurance to the transaction. When you read their terms and conditions, the platforms take no responsibility for delivering the final product or service if you put money into a crowdfunding project. 

And Understand The Risks

So whether a backer is buying through one of the established platforms or buying off a website, the risk is the same. So I struggle to see where the crowdfunding platforms create value. That is why I think going it alone is superior, both in the short term and long-term.

Luc:

Yes. As you were talking about crowdfunding, I was tempted to jump in and say that crowdfunding platforms do not bring any assurance to the transaction. There are so many crowdfunding campaigns that have raised money through the platforms and then just disappeared. The crowdfunding terms and conditions explicitly say that taking the money and doing a runner is completely fine. So yes, I agree with you one hundred percent. Also, because that sort of thing has happened so much on crowdfunding platforms, being a crowdfunded brand is beginning to be seen somewhat negatively. People are thinking, “Oh, another Kickstarter watch, whatever.”

Steve:

Yeah. It has almost become a term of derision, I think.

Many Brands Have Started By Crowdfunding

Luc:

That said, many good brands started through crowdfunding, so it is not all bad. That includes SNGLRTY. We do not want this to turn into the crowdfunding podcast, but the platforms have problems, I think.

Indigogo crowdfunding listing
Being listed on two sites simultaneously just splits your focus. Not a recommended strategy!

What Of The Future

Steve:

I think they have had their time. There was a period when crowdfunding platforms brought something new to the business model and opened it up to a broader audience. I certainly acknowledge their efforts for that. I am not aware of anyone who was doing the pre-production sales process in a big way. The crowdfunding platforms opened it up and managed to make that process more mainstream. I think in the current format, it is a little bit past its sell-by date. As I said, if I were doing it again, I would do it all myself, set up the website, and manage the marketing to bring in the traffic. 

Luc:

We have talked left, right and center. We have covered this watch in-depth. Is there anything else you would like to tell people? Where can people find you? What is your website? All that sort of thing?

Steve:

Absolutely. So our website is snglrtywatch.com. We also have a blog where we blog about watches, the watch business, watch collecting, creating your watch brand, all that good stuff. The blog is blog.snglrty.watch. We are on Instagram, @snglrty_watch we are on Facebook @snglrtywatch and Twitter @snglrtywatch and LinkedIn. You can contact us through any of these channels.

Luc:

It was amazing having you guys, you have so many stories to tell, and I can imagine talking again in the future, especially with these new projects coming up. That would be exciting.

Luc:

That will be great. I would love to show you, hopefully in six months, our new creation so that we can discuss this together. That would be fantastic.

Luc:

And I know it will not be the dress watch, but when that comes out, let me know.

Steve:

We will do our best. Luc, it has been delightful talking to you. Thank you very much for your time. Thank you very much for having us on your podcast. And I thank you very much for your very kind compliments about our watch endeavors. It is great to have your blessings, and we appreciate it.

Luc:

Hopefully, Jay will come on next time, and he will not have work in the way. I know I missed him today as he is a great cohost. 

Final Thoughts

Thankfully Daniel and I have passed the crowdfunding stage.  As you can see from what we said above I would not want to repeat the experience. But what we are very excited about is creating individual pieces for our customers. If you are thinking about it or just looking for more information, all you need to do is book a call with either Daniel or myself.  Just click HERE and you can schedule a time to ask all your questions about SNGLRTY. 

Share this article

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

More Blogs

Swiss Made

SNGLRTY was only possible because of all the watch innovators that went before us and the accumulation of their skills and knowledge in Switzerland. We celebrate their achievements by being proud that each of our watches is “Made In Switzerland” so you can be confident that it is engineered and assembled with longevity in mind.

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

We are so confident that you will enjoy Seeing Time Differently every single watch comes with our Money Back Guarantee so you can buy with confidence. If you have any concerns after your purchase, just let us know within 30 days of delivery and we will refund your money. After all, Daniel and Steve want everyone to enjoy wearing SNGLRTY on their wrist.

Free International Shipping

UPS will whisk your beautiful new SNGLRTY watch from Bern, Switzerland to your front door – and you will be able to track it every step of the way and reduce your waiting to the minimum.

2 Year International Warranty

Where ever you are, if there is a problem with your watch (and we seriously doubt there will be), we will make sure it is put right so you can buy your SNGLRTY watch without any worries, wherever you live.

Hour Numerals Color

I like to think the color of the hour numerals creates the personality of your SNGLRTY watch. We have the basics, black and white, but if you would like to have your watch glow in the dark we offer a range of colors in Swiss Super-LumiNova. We always use Grade X1 for the best luminous effect but the daytime colors do impact the ultimate performance of the Super-LumiNova. If you want the brightest possible luminous effect choose Swiss Super-Luminova White, and if you want more please contact us.

Color Of The Hour Ring

The hour ring is the largest surface area on the SNGLRTY watch face so sets the tone for the rest of your design.

Date Display

Each of our watches can be configured with a date display, or without. Due to the mechanics this is the first decision you need to make in your journey to create your SNGLRTY watch.

Comparison Ohi2 vs. Ohi4

The OHI movements, or One Hand Indication, are unique to SNGLRTY. During the development phase of the watches Daniel and Steve used this moniker before naming it SNGLRTY. There are two distinctive movements to choose from, OHI-2 and OHI-4.

The OHI-4 movement is built on the Decorated and Fully Adjusted SW-300 tractor movement from Sellita. On top of the tractor movement the SNGLRTY complication plate is assembled and incorporates the “reverse minute gearbox” that is available exclusively from SNGLRTY. Depending on your selection, the complication plate will also relocate the date wheel from the top of the tractor movement to the top of the complication plate. Relocating it in this manner increases the size of the date disc and moves it closer to the top of the watch face improving its readability considerably.
The OHI-2 movement is the same as the OHI-4 movement except that it is built on a standard execution Sellita SW-200 movement.

Finally, depending on the movement you select the watch case will have a different profile as the OHI-4 movement is thinner than the OHI-2 movement. The key differences are that the case for the OHI-4 movement has a double domed crystal and a flat caseback. The OHI-2 case has a flat crystal and a curved caseback. All the details are in the product page.