SNGLRTY Prototypes – Where Are They? And Oversized Dates

SNGLRTY Prototypes – Where Are They?  And Oversized Dates

Last time Luc from Crystal Clear Watchmamking was taking us through how he would create a dress watch for SNGLRTY.  From what we can ascertain on Instagram and our other social media channels, it appears that he is on to something!  In this episode, we are looking at some of the details of the case, one of Daniel’s passions, how we name the various series of the SNGLRTY watches and what happened to all our prototypes. 

Crossbars And Springbars

Luc:

This is perhaps a random question, but as I look at the spring bar setup, how the band is attached to the case, I love that detail.  I have noticed that when they change a strap for themselves and are working with the spring bar, they tend to do it from the front, and then they scratch their lugs – a lot. The way you have designed the attachment system requires a hex key, you turn the key, and it opens up; this is so nice.

A spring bar is essentially multiple, fragile tubes of metal holding the band in place. I like your mechanism because it is a solid piece of steel all the way across, which is much stronger than a standard spring bar. So it is not only functionally more robust but also has an attractive aesthetic too. With the correct key for the crossbar, you are much less likely to damage your watch when changing bands. It is pretty darn nice.

Daniel:

Thank you. Every part of this watch has a story. First, you are correct, and it is a two-piece bar. It is constructed of a short piece, the male, and a long piece that is the female part. The female part is a big piece of cylindrical steel that goes through both lugs. When we initially tested this idea, it was challenging to put the male part into the female part, even though we carefully engineered the thread. The problem was that the male part was just too short. 

The SNGLRTY strap attachment bar dis-assembled showing both the male (short) piece and the female (long) piece
The SNGLRTY strap attachment bar was disassembled. The long piece is the female part and the short piece is the male part. The male piece was reengineered from the prototypes so that it can be inserted about 50% of its length before it engages with the threads.

Eventually, I realized that when people are trying to attach the male to the female part, if you have not practiced or are a watchmaker, there is a high likelihood that the male part would fall out. To prevent this, we made the male piece much longer, with a longer thread. Crucially the beginning of the screw has no thread so that it can be inserted into the female component and not fall out. This makes it easier to pick up the hex tool and screw it together without the male piece falling out. It is generally easier in practice as you can initially tighten the male portion with your fingers first and then use the tool for the final tightening. 

This was a tiny aspect of the watch, but it is essential to ensure our owners thoroughly enjoy wearing it. Every piece has a story like this. We are continually looking for improvements so that SNGLRTY owners have an easier and more enjoyable time with their watches.

Luc:

That is such a small detail, but it is such a good point.

Nothing Better Than A Reassuring Click 

Steve:

Another detail that Daniel incorporated, which is fantastic for idiots like me, is that when you are changing the strap and pushing the bar through, you know when it is adequately seated because it clicks in place. The bar clicks into a recess, and the female end will sit fully flush with the lug before screwing in the male piece. I find it satisfying and reassuring when it clicks into place.

It is not like using a spring bar, where you think the bar is attached correctly, but when you tug at it to confirm, the spring bar pings out. Most times, the spring bar has just not been seated properly. For our bars, just push it through the two lugs, sometimes you may need to move it a little bit to get it aligned, then you will feel a satisfying little click. This signals that the bar is seated correctly, and you screw the male piece into the other end. It is fantastic. It is a tiny detail but one we are we are delighted with.

Daniel:

We use the same bar for attaching the metal band too. The attachment bar has two millimeters inside diameter and four millimeters external diameter. This means it is very strong in comparison to a regular spring bar. We recently launched a metal band that is available for all our watches. The metal band attaches in the same manner as a leather band, and it can be shortened easily by removing segments of the band. 

We like this mechanical approach. It allows the band to be adjusted for anyone with huge wrists to those with tiny wrists. Steve and I have lived in Asia for a long time to we know that wrist sizes are generally much smaller there. We wanted to have a metal band that is very flexible, from very large to very small, so that our watch can fit all wrist sizes.

Metal Band Is Available!

Luc:

Does anybody else know about this? Is this new information that there is going to be a metal bracelet for this watch?

Steve:

We have posted several photos and short videos on our Instagram feed with the metal bracelet

Luc:

You did! I was too busy looking at the date display to notice that.

Luc:

Yes, you have sharp eyes. It is pretty impressive. There are several photos of the prototypes mixed into our Instagram feed. The prototypes have many defining features that differentiate them from our production models, but you are the first person that has spotted it and asked about it. But yes, we have posted some photos of the band prototypes, and they are now generally available.

Luc:

I see it now. Yes, those are very, very stylish. I like that.

Daniel:

There is also a story with the metal band too. Generally, people expect a metal band to come with an end piece. We did consider this with SNGLRTY, which is possible with the attachment system we have in place. The issue we had was using an end piece; we felt if the band goes to the case, it changes the design too much. With the band attached to the case with our unique bolt, keeping it authentic requires a little space between the band and the case. 

For me, the endplates did not work. Also, why do we need to fill that space? There is no function of an end piece. It can look fantastic with some watches, but with SNGLRTY, purely from a design perspective, it did not make sense because it would have changed the design too much to fill a space. That is the reason why we chose not to have an end piece. The added advantage is that it is also easier to change the bands without an end piece.

Luc:

I also noticed that the tops of your lugs are polished. That means the end piece would probably have to be mostly polished to match. And then once your end piece is polished mainly, then you probably need most of the bracelet to be polished, and most polished bracelets pick up scratches like crazy.

Big Dates And Intentional Errors 

Daniel:

Yes, that is a good point. By the way, you mentioned the date on our prototypes before. I was a bit disappointed that we did not do it on our production watches. When we made the design, we thought it would be good to make the numbers more prominent; it looks like they are trying to burst out of the date window. For me, it appears to make the date look more pronounced, but all we have done is redrawn it visually. I loved the idea, and I love to do things that have not been done before. 

The oversized date of SNGLRTY prototypes referred to as the Zero Series.
The oversized date of SNGLRTY Prototypes, referred to as the Zero Series, was ultimately not used in the final production. The oversized numerals are designed to be bursting out from the date window.

We hit an issue when we launched the watch and asked our backers about the date. Most of them said it looked like we did not know how to size the date numerals for the date window and felt it was a mistake. They thought it was a technical error; we either changed the date disc or could not print the numbers accurately. We realized that it needed too much explanation. The risk that people would think that we did not manage the manufacture correctly was too big, so we shelved that idea.

Luc:

If you were a super established brand, like, Audemars Piguet or something like that, everyone would say, “Oh, that is so different. That’s so amazing. What an interesting idea?” Because they would believe it is entirely intentional.

Daniel:

Yes, unfortunately, you are correct. Exactly.

Luc:

That is interesting, and I wonder about the psychology of it? Because once I realized that it was something that you guys had thought about but did not incorporate into the production models, I am now intrigued. If this is only available in the prototypes, perhaps I should ask if I could buy one of the prototypes? 

Daniel:

We had one customer request to have the big date. Unfortunately, there were too many technical changes between the prototypes and the production movements, so we could not make it happen. To do one date disc was just far too complicated, and therefore far too expensive. So we have not done the big date in production yet.

Luc:

What if someone wanted to buy the one that you guys are currently posting on Instagram? It is already assembled, and it has the correct movement.

Steve:

We can certainly have a conversation about that.

Luc:

I don’t know if you’re going to have that conversation with me or not?

Steve:

We made twenty prototypes at the beginning, and they are all still operational. We have sold two to very early backers. I think number seven and number 19 of the Zero series floating around there. We have the other 18 pieces sitting in various locations around the world. I have a few sitting at my desk, and I think Daniel has a few sitting at his desk. 

They are available and are exciting pieces because when Daniel made the prototypes, he made the cases in many variations. Some of the cases are all polished, some are all brushed, and some have polished case backs and brushed cases and polished bezels. Every single one of them, the cases look different and have all sorts of other weird combinations that we were testing to see what would work and what would not work for production. There is not so much choice in configuring the Zero series watches, but they are available if anyone is interested.

One thing to be sure of is that they are unique pieces. That is the Zero series.

The caseback of #2 watch from the Zero Series.
The case back of Zero Series 02 of 20. There any many differences between the SNGLRTY prototype Zero Series and the final production watches. Some you can see in the picture above include the polished case back and, at this stage, you can see we still had not determined the final branding.
Luc:

The Zero series, mine says it is the Premiere edition on the back. What does that mean?

Steve:

We have the Zero series, which is the original twenty prototypes. Then everyone who backed us at the crowdfunding stage received a Founders Edition watch, and then the next release is the Premiere Edition.

Luc:

Gotcha. So I am two editions away from where I want to be. That is what you are telling me.

Steve:

There is still time. There is still time. There are no more Founders Edition that is closed.

Luc:

It would be unfair for you to print anything that says Founder’s Edition now.

Steve:

Exactly right. So there are no Founder’s Edition watches left, but there are still 18 Zero Series available.

Where Next?

So if you are interested in  one of our Zero Series watches, you can contact us HERE.  Or if you want to take full advantage configuring your pwn SNGLRTY watch then please take a look at our online configurator , you can select from tens of thousands of possibilities.

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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.

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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.

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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.