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Ready-to-Wear Mk II Watches

We are pleased to announce the launch of the date and non-date Mk II Hawkinge™ with deliveries beginning June 25th, 2016. The Mk II Hawkinge is the first of what we hope will be an expanding line of ready-to-wear watches. Mk II was founded with the goal of designing and manufacturing high quality vintage inspired watches that would be inexpensive enough to wear every day. Over the last few years we have become known for our ambitious hand crafted limited edition projects. Projects such as the Kingston (and it would appear the Key West GMT and Project 300) have themselves developed into collectors items. More concerned with getting the watches right, we never anticipated that they would become collectible or quite so precious.

The challenging techniques applied to the Project 300, and especially the Kingston and Key West practically necessitate that they are limited editions. These projects expanded our knowledge of case design and watchmaking. Thanks to our supporters, we had the luxury of utilizing techniques that are rewarding to execute and gratifying for customers to experience. We wouldn’t change the way these watches are built or the attention that we pour into them. In fact, even though the nature of these projects limits their production volumes and availability, we want to continue to bring customers projects like these. However, for the last few years, we have been looking for an opportunity to return Mk II to its roots and more inclusive offerings.

The ready-to-wear line of watches is meant to leverage what we have learned in the last 12 years to renew our commitment to vintage inspired watches that can be used and experienced in the real world. We believe that we have learned enough about watch design that we will be able to offer customers an affordable timepiece that still delivers good value, design and performance. After years of searching for the right elements we have found a movement supplier and a case manufacturer that will enable us to realize those goals. The SII NE15 (aka Seiko 6R15) will enable us to offer functionality and accuracy that is comparable to a standard/elabore grade ETA 2824. In addition to Seiko’s reputation for building solid and robust movements the NE15/6R15 should prove to be more affordable and serviceable than a comparable ETA SA movement. For competitive reasons we can’t say much about the case manufacturer but we are pleased to announce that this supplier has enabled us to make the watches in Japan.

If you have followed Mk II for at least the last several years you may be wondering how this new development effected the Plankowners and pre-order customers of the Project GMT/Key West and the Project 300 Plankowners.

  • Plankowners and select backers of the Project GMT/Project 300: We are sensitive to and grateful for the time that they have invested in the projects. We have previously contacted them via email with a special offer as well as an explanation of the new line.
  • Funding: This first watch was funded using personal savings that were invested into Mk II and did not use funds that were allocated for the Project GMT and the Project 300.
  • The Hawkinge is “Made in Japan” which means that the quality control, assembly and testing were performed in Japan, allowing us to maintain focus on the execution of the Project 300 and the Key West GMT.

Thanks once again to our supporters and customers!

2016-06-03: Project GMT Update

I am working on the delivery schedule for customers today. Its more than just putting people into a queue. We will have to re-order parts in order to fill the orders and that means the possibility of a pause in deliveries later in the year. I am looking at the schedule today to see what we can do to minimize any pause in deliveries. We have on hand at the moment enough parts to deliver about half of the pre-orders, depending on the make up of the orders as they come in. So the key here is to prioritize which parts we need to order and see how fast we can move. I want to see what pace makes sense so that we can maximize the balance between shipping speed and minimizing down time.

For shipments:

  • We have shipped a few pieces. Please note that this was not a token effort. We have more pieces in the final stages of assembly.
  • We will resume shipments the week of June 6th.

2016-05-17: Project 300

Brief updates on the project:

  • 2nd round of dial samples are in. We had to go through another round of samples because the background finish of the first batch wasn’t quite right. In addition there were some other details missing from the samples that were detailed in the design. So far the 2nd batch looks good but we still have to study the samples some more.
  • Case samples: The samples are nearing approval. There are still a few details that I have to iron out with the case supplier.
  • Bracelet: We are re-designing the end links. The end links work just fine but based on my own impressions, as well as of several other people that have seen the bracelet in person, it lacked a certain consistency with the case body. The re-design isn’t going to be dramatic but is more of a refinement of the design. Since the bracelet and case body can proceed in parallel processes this shouldn’t significantly effect the timing of the project.

2016-05-17: Project GMT Scheduling

I know everyone, including myself, is chomping at the bit to see these start rolling out here. We are finalizing the scheduling for the Plankowners. This is what I can tell you at this point:

  • We will be scheduling shipments by dial type. So Key West 1001/1002s will scheduled as a group, for example. Trying to schedule the orders strictly by chronological order would actually slow us down since its faster to assemble in batches by similar parts. That being said we will do our best to follow the chronological order.
  • Right now we are trying to figure out how far in advance we can provide meaningful shipping estimates. This comes down to a matter of accuracy and how often we may have to manually revise and update the dates as a result of the pace of deliveries. The more we have to update this information the more time it takes away from actual assembly and shipping.
  • The summer: In order to stay focused on assembly and shipping I will be canceling my personal vacation this year. Normally I go back to Taiwan to visit my in-laws in July. Unfortunately the return leg of the trip is just too disruptive as I usually spend weeks trying to get over jet lag.

2016-04-29: Project GMT

Quick update:

  • The inserts that we have on hand have been QC’d and are ready to be used. We will have to re-order the inserts so this will increase the chances that everyone will get their first choices.
  • We have completed the inspection for the first 200 case backs. We had a few bad ones but fortunately those case backs were not allocated to Plankowners. So to re-phrase….all Plankowner case backs are present and accounted for. We had one Plankowner case back with some light scratches. We have emailed that Plankowner to notify them of their options and to invite feedback before delivery.
  • Scheduling: I will begin the scheduling process next week. That doesn’t necessarily mean that delivery dates will be published by next week though.
  • Shipments: We expect to begin shipments within the next 2 weeks.

Project 300: 2nd Stage Pre-order Opening

The following is the process that we will follow for the distribution of the remaining slots available for the Project 300.

  • 25 spots will be released each month for 10-12 months beginning in April 2016.
  • If the 25 spots sell out before the end of the month we will release the next 25 spots the following month. An email will be sent out each month to announce the release date and time. To add yourself the mailing list you can submit your email on the ordering page when ordering is temporarily closed.
  • If necessary we will be limiting customers to 2 reservations
  • Pictures of the prototype have been posted on the ordering page below.

The reasons for releasing the available spots in this sequence:

  • We want to spend the next few months QC’ing the parts we need for the build process. Collecting and processing the deposits does take quite a bit of administrative time. Spacing out the orders in this way will enable us to optimally balance our workload.
  • Email communication is not always the most reliable, spacing out the ordering in this way will allow time to compensate for this issue.

Price and payment schedule for the 2nd Stage Pre-Order:

  • Price: $1,645.00 plus S&H (MSRP: $1,795.00) on solid-link, solid end-piece bracelet with pusher clasp.
  • Deposit amount: $822.50 (50% of the above)
  • Second half of payment plus S&H due at time final order is placed
  • Our current estimate is that final model selection will take place during the second half of 2016.
  • The Project 300 will consist of date and non-date versions of the big-triangle dial.
  • Refund period: Your deposit may be canceled and refunded in full at any time before your final order selection is made and submitted.
  • Serial number preferences: Sorry but we will not be taking requests for specific serial numbers. This option was one of the reasons for the delivery delays experienced with the Kingston Project. You will be allocated the lowest number available at the time your order ships.

For the month of April ordering will open April 7th, 2016 at 9pm EST.

Ordering Page (If ordering is closed please add yourself to the mailing list by clicking the “Notify Me” button and submit your email address.)

Once again thank you for your interest and support of this project!