Hi everyone, and welcome to the first edition of our brand-new blog, Behind the Curtains. Through this series, we'll share our insights on designing watches and running a watch brand. Today, we'll discuss reflect on our first release, the Retter 22 preorder.
For those of you who don't know, the Retter 22 is our take on the stainless steel sports watch, featuring a 40mm case, integrated steel bracelet (with a rubber strap option), and a Sellita SW400 movement. We ran our preorder in August 2022, with shipping taking place in late June 2023.
Firstly, the obvious question is, *why did it take so long?* There were a few different issues that we encountered, so I'll tackle them one-by-one.
When we first negotiated prices and drafted contracts with our various factories and suppliers, we were mostly focused on who could deliver the best quality and value out-the-door; we didn't consider an important factor: MOQ, standing for minimum order quantity.
The Sellita SW400 movement, bracelet, and custom pin-buckle clasp.
When we provided our final quantities to our suppliers--many of whom regularly receive orders in the tens of thousands--many were unwilling to support our comparatively low quantity. Our core case and bracelet and movement partners stood with us, but we spent some time testing out sample parts from new dial, hands, and crystal suppliers.
We learned a very valuable lesson; picking suppliers was less about the immediate output of a factory. In fact, almost all of them have the ability to create top-notch product. However, fostering relationships with these suppliers is equally important in making sure the final product is something that both parties are excited about.
Onto the next -- iterations are a part of any good design, and we made over 100 of them over the 2-year design process of 22. However, as we launched the preorder and the associated press coverage came flowing in along with it, we received loads of feedback and constructive criticism.
I (the founder, Deep!) have spent most of my design career creating products for hobbyists and enthusiasts, and I'm not one to push back improvements for a later model. Between the initial preproduction prototypes and the final production units, there were another 33 design iterations made.
We're not exaggerating those numbers - this is a snapshot of just a few of the various iterations made to 22.
We simplified certain fillets for smoother geometries, added in bevels to the bracelet for better flexibility and finishing consistency, swapped out the screw-in endlink solution for a more flexible springbar, and loads of other QOL improvements. These improvements definitely made 22 a better watch once it arrived, but it's hard to deny that we could have likely shipped the watches sooner had we not opted to do so.
All this being said -- we are incredible proud of the work that our superstar team of suppliers put in to creating 22, and grateful to all of the people who supported us on our maiden voyage. We're working with our partners on some really exciting watches, and we can't wait to share more with you over the coming months.
That's it for today. Thank you for reading, and as a reminder, you can follow us on Instagram for more updates at @retterwatches and join our mailing list below to receive updates by email.