Note: This is a repost of an update to the Alberta Watches Kickstarter campaign originally published on July 12th, 2016.
This is a cool week. It has been one year since Alberta watches was funded on Kickstarter! This anniversary also happens to coincide with the Calgary Stampede which was an unplanned but welcome coincidence.
A lot has happened in the last year for both the company and me personally, so I thought it was high time to send an update.
Good Press and Reviews
First off, we've had some pretty incredible press since launching. We were briefly mentioned in the New York Times (that one made grandma proud). Also, while being interviewed for CBC's Q, backer Clive Thompson mentioned he was sporting an Alberta Watch. Thanks for the shout out, Clive! We were also finally able to give Calgary's Mayor Naheed Nenshi a watch in person after he so kindly tweeted about it when we launched.
Much more important to me, however, are the many testimonials and experiences that I hear about, both in the comments on Kickstarter, and in my inbox. I am so humbled that for many of you, your Alberta Watch is your daily driver. I've seen pictures of the watches everywhere from Indonesia to Australia, the hills of Scotland to ranches back home. It's pretty amazing to see!
After the campaign, remaining stock sold out way sooner than I expected. Many who wanted an Alberta Watch were unable to get one. Luckily, our second production run is under way, and new stock will be available quite soon.
Of course, a numbered run should only happen once, so we have an updated caseback design. Between floods, fires, and a low oil price, Albertans have been through a lot. Our province has a little-used, but official motto. Fortis et Liber means Strong and Free.
Another design decision has been a revision to the standard strap. I wanted to bring it a little closer in line with the well loved Saddlemakers. Full pictures on watches will be released shortly on www.albertawatches.com, but for now a little sneak peek. I think it looks quite sharp.
A personal update
Soon after launching Alberta Watches, I was accepted into a Masters Program of Industrial Design halfway across the world: I have spent the last 10 months living in Helsinki, Finland! Naturally, I miss home dearly, especially my family, friends, and the mountains, but some opportunities just have to be pursued elsewhere.
Of course, this has also meant that I have been running Alberta Watches from abroad. This often means long phone conversations with my team (ahem, mom and dad), and I can't thank them enough for the work they've done and their patience.
One thing I can do from here in Helsinki is design a new watch. Finland and Scandinavia have a rich design history and it's hard not to be influenced. I've got quite a few ideas cooking, so stay tuned.
Lastly and most importantly, I want to thank you all for your support of Alberta Watches. Seeing your pictures and hearing your stories is incredibly fulfilling. My goal was always to make a product that people enjoy, and achieving some success in that has been satisfying. I look forward to do more of the same: good products, well designed.
Thank you so much,