What Are We Up To?
A few weeks ago, Daniel and I shared our thoughts on what #SeeTimeDifferently meant to us, how we perceive this notion, not just simply as time is presented on a SNGLRTY watch but also how we consider it philosophically. Some have commented that it is strange to bring watches together with a philosophical outlook on time. Daniel and I see it as a very natural combination.
Let’s face it; a watch is there to measure your progress through time. Or maybe more precisely, where we are in the time sequence. The problem is when measuring time, productivity becomes the mission in and of itself. The question is how productivity is defined, and we tend to get captured in the micro-tasks of the productivity cycle. Ultimately very few goals should be measured exclusively in time, and in many cases, time is a very poor metric. The goal should be the most fulfilling use of our own time. And that can be anything, provided that you make the choice in a thoughtful and considered manner with a full understanding of the tradeoffs.
Why Have We Been Thinking About This?
We have come to a big evolution point with SNGLRTY. We have been going over as much of our history as possible. You may have noticed quite a bit of it in this blog. When Daniel and I set out with SNGLRTY, we had not defined our mission very well. We saw the potential and went single-mindedly after going through the steps to create our watch. Together we hit the road to crowdfund the first production run and then take SNGLRTY to the world. It was a very simplistic view; we had a cool watch that presents time like no other watch available. This required us to create a new watch movement that incorporates a complication never before executed.
Time For Evolution
We are in the process of developing our next SNGLRTY watch. Our starting point was to do all the soul searching and reflection of where we have been. There have been plenty of mistakes. Or perhaps I should say learning experiences?
The next stage has been to go out into the world and ask our customers. See their thoughts and experiences. We have started this process over the last few weeks and have been speaking to several SNGLRTY owners. Checking in with them to ensure their watches live up to expectations and looking to understand what they like and dislike. This is so we can have a good starting point for designing our next range for SNGLRTY. Just like checking the time on SNGLRTY, this time, we are checking the minutes metaphorically speaking.
Some Conversations Are Transformational
Last week Daniel and I had the opportunity to catch up with one SNGLRTY owner who is one of our earliest and most enthusiastic supporters from our crowdfunding days. The conversation was a lot of fun as he took us through his journey with SNGLRTY. It was a more remarkable conversation because we had exchanged many emails over the years, but this was the first time we had all spoken face to face. The conversation went something like this.
Where Did Your Story Start?
A colleague introduced me to watches, and over time, Google started to make suggestions of watches that may interest me. I had previously used a smartwatch, but I eventually found it very frustrating. It was difficult to tell the time, and it was infringing on my life.
I saw SNGLRTY on Google and just wanted to have it. It was exactly the watch I was looking for, it was unique, innovative, and personal. My biggest concern was whether it was the correct size. I have particularly small wrists, so I wanted to see it and try it on. I was concerned it would be too big for me.
It was fortunate that I was working in London at the time, and there were a few SNGLRTY prototypes in London. I arranged a time to see the watches, as soon as it was on my wrist, I was more convinced than ever and ordered two – I felt my Dad should have one too.
What Was It About SNGLRTY That Captured Your Imagination?
One of the influences for me to buy SNGLRTY was my smartwatch debacle. A year or two before SNGLRTY arrived, I had been using a smartwatch but eventually got rid of it. When I first put it on my wrist, I immediately became a very enthusiastic proponent of smartwatches. It was quick and convenient to keep up to speed with emails and text messages and my schedule.
Unfortunately, it was not long until I started to discover the downside of the smartwatch. The first was very practical and maybe unique to me. The problem was that I was working in an office and I had to wear long sleeves. The result of this was that I needed both my (human) hands to tell the time. One hand had the watch on its wrist, and the other was required to pull up my shirt sleeve. This was manageable, and I even wrote a new time display for my smartwatch to tell the time on half the smartwatch screen (I work in IT).
Who Controls Time Controls Life
But there was a far more insidious drawback that eventually revealed itself. I started to realize that my smartwatch was dictating my life. It would beep and buzz all the time and demanded my attention regardless of the importance of what I was engaged with. I felt like my smartwatch needed attention all the time. I began to get the impression that I was there to take care of it. This smartwatch was not empowering my life; it was ruling my life.
The breaking point came one evening when I was playing with my son. I had deliberately left my phone in another room, but then a message came in from work, and my smartwatch buzzed. I ignored it, but then there was another buzz. A few minutes later another. I kept trying to ignore it, but the continued buzzing had distracted my attention away from playing with my son. After a few minutes, I was so distracted that there was no point in ignoring it. I just had to take a look and be done with it. I checked the message. All these messages were just administrative emails from some people who were working late in the office.
What Should Have Your Attention?
I was frustrated the smartwatch had distracted me from what I should have been doing. I knew that playing with my son was the most important use of my time. Frustratingly, I was distracted by the constant calls on my attention from my smartwatch. And to make the situation worse, it won and robbed me of that precious time with my son. Technology was dictating my life. I had lost control of my own time.
That was when I gave up on wearing a smartwatch, and on wearing any watch for almost a year. Now SNGLRTY is the watch from my collection that I enjoy wearing the most, especially as it has been such a conversation starter. Whether it is chatting with the mechanic at the car workshop or the watch counter at Dublin airport, people are fascinated when they see SNGLRTY. It is the surprise in people’s eyes when they suddenly understand how to read the time with SNGLRTY that I particularly enjoy.
This is the value for me personally. I see many watch brands out there where the value of the watch is merely the cost. For these watches, all you need is money; nothing else is required. For me, there needs to be more value in the watch. In SNGLRTY, it is the innovation, the personalization, and the visualization of time where the value lies for me. This value is priceless to me and transcends other watch brands that rely on massive marketing budgets.
What This Means For SNGLRTY
It was a delight for Daniel and I to listen to this gentleman’s story. We could not have been happier. If we had written the script, it would not have been even half this good. But then, a few hours later, this conversation started to sink in, I had this sinking feeling. And I can sum it up as follows.
The first was Why? Why had it taken so long for us to have this conversation? Why had it taken us so long to go out and have a conversation with our customers? The fact was that we have documented the twists and turns of our journey to #SeeTimeDifferently. Over this period we have struggled to crystalize our ideas. This process was to help us explain how we saw SNGLRTY in the world. Then, in one conversation, one of our most incredible supporters had told us everything we ever needed to know with his own personal experience.
And so why should you care? Well here are my takeaways so far. The first is that when struggling with a challenge it is best to seek out those with experience. There is a lot of value here because if you struggle with the same problem day in and day out you can get too close to the problem. As they say, “You cannot see the forest for the trees.” Our conversation with that single owner has moved us forward a huge leap in a matter of a few days, and there is still more to learn.
So, if you currently own a SNGLRTY watch, you can expect a call from us very soon. I am sure that every single owner has something to teach us, and we want to learn. As we move forward designing our new watch(es) we do not want to repeat past mistakes. That is our goal and we hope that you will all participate in helping us design our next watches.
One of the best aspects of running the crowdfunding process was discussing with our backers the best way to design certain aspects of SNGLRTY. There were particularly heated debates around the date and aspects of Swiss Super-LumiNova – we hope we can do that again.
If you have thoughts, suggestions, and feedback please do let us know below. We do enjoy receiving all your thoughts. We will be most attentive to our owners and their comments and concerns, so if you really want to have influence and do not have your SNGLRTY watch, well you know what to do. Head over to our configurator and get an original premier edition SNGLRTY watch on your wrist and enter the debate.