Key West Update

My apologies for the long lag between updates. Part of this is due to the travel I had to undertake back to Taiwan to look in on my in-laws but the other part of the delay is related to the nature of quality control and tempo of the work. The last two months have largely been about quality control and paperwork. Since getting back from Taiwan in mid-August I spent several weeks trying to do enough paperwork (such as filing our taxes, which I punted on to ship Key Wests earlier this year) so that I would be able to work uninterrupted for at least 3-4 months. The reason for this is the assembly can be much more efficiently completed when time can be dedicated in blocks toward a project.

Finally over the last 8 weeks we have returned to working a 6-7 day per week schedule. Most of this time in September and October was dedicated to organizing the parts for QC, doing test assemblies, and performing QC. Parts, such as case backs are rarely delivered in sequential order and one has to spend time cataloging all of the parts in order to confirm what's in the boxes which can never be taken for granted, or sometimes understood. During this period of time we also performed test assemblies to check the fit and finish of the parts. So far the test assemblies have gone smoothly.

We had to perform QC on the 1003/1004 (black/gold) dials during this period before resuming deliveries because of the long lead times required if a re-order was necessary. For these dials the defect rate can vary widely from one purchase order to another and from one box to the next even within an order. We had to inspect enough of the dials to be reasonably sure we have enough to complete the delivery of the pre-orders, or if we did not have enough that we placed a new order ASAP so as to minimize delays, especially in light of the holidays at the end of the year. Fortunately it does not appear that we will need to re-order the dials and that we should have enough on hand to complete the pre-orders.

While I understand the importance of the updates they can be difficult to write because of the fast tempo of the work that we are performing. Each morning I wake up and I have to prioritize the day’s work often times based on new information or situations that arise. This kind of day-to-day existence takes time to summarize in a meaningful way. In the moment I make the best decision I can but without much thought to remembering why I made a given call on a given day. Other times you can be immersed in the QC and writing reports that you lose track of the time that has elapsed, which is moot anyway since it had to be completed.  More frequent updates would likely be counter productive since they would not provide enough context; like reading a book through a microscope. So for example this update took several hours to put together as I tried to piece together the how and why. I feel compelled to explain the lag between updates because I want to assure you it’s because of the volume of work rather than an insensitivity to customer needs for information.

Where we stand now:

  • Working on completing Group 5 and will be starting on Group 6 soon. Parts for Group 6-8 have been picked, organized and prepped for assembly. Assuming no unanticipated issues arise we expect steady progress with regards to shipments.
  • As for timetable...this is down to how much admin is required of us as we proceed. If we only had to assemble and ship watches it would be easy. We are reasonably sure that we can complete shipment of Groups 5 and 6 by year end. For the remaining groups we want to be completed as soon as possible before we have to travel for Baselworld in late March.
  •  With the exception of actually taking the day of Thanksgiving and Christmas off I will be working through the holidays (or as much of it as the family will allow). In short we will be pushing as hard as we can on shipments.

Again thank you to everyone for their patience and support! If we only have to make progress reports on group number deliveries, which I hope will be the case, the updates will be more frequent.