Posted on March 16 2014
Now that Smith and Bradley has successfully funded its second project on Kickstarter, the Atlantis american-built dive watch, we thought it would be appropriate to explain to our customers backers alike why the crowd funding process is so important to our watch development. While there are many watches that appear on Kickstarter and other crowd funding sites most of these companies only end up putting one watch out to backers for sale. The watch is nothing more than a hypothetical. At Smith & Bradley we believe the crowd funding process is extremely powerful in regard to our actual product development and in establishing more lines of watches, particularly in the tactical space.
The notion of crowd funding has taken the design world by storm and it seems as though almost every company from large corporate titans to small garage start ups have been trying to harness the power of Kickstarter or similar platforms. From many of these products the crowd funding platform makes a lot of sense in that it allows companies with limited funds and resources to,in essence, pre sell their products. Still other companies enter the crowd funding campaign with a little more and drawings to show for the product and hope that the funding they receive will allow them to complete the project and bring it into production. Still other companies, such as Smith & Bradley, use the crowd funding process to actually develop, test, and eventually market products that are truly useful to the target audience.
With our first Kickstarter project, the Sans-13, we directly used the input and feedback from Kickstarter backers who had ties to the tactical world. It could be military, law enforcement, firefighters, or those who wish to have a regular dependable watch that could stand up to the toughest circumstances. Unlike many companies, however, we actually made significant design changes to the Sans- 13 prior to delivering to our backers, and going into full production. We were able to use stretch goals to determine which features were the most important to our backers, and accordingly were able to provide sapphire crystal, as well as increased water resistance. Furthermore, based on the feedback that we receive from backers after receiving our product we were able to determine that the magnification over the date of the watch was a less desirable feature then we had initially expected in our production model deleted this feature.
We similarly used the same process to develop the Atlantis American built dive watch. We are already in development of our next product, a digital analog tactical watch with a Swiss movement.