Being faced with plenty of good challenges for the past couple of months, we are pleased that development is going on track and the watch is currently in production. Having mentioned challenges, I thought it would be great to share with you, our readers, a glimpse at the difficulties we faced so as to build a better and much improved watch.
Before we started developing ZERO Gravity, we were crystal clear that our mission is to create a very desirable watch for our customers, both in terms of appearance and technical aspects. Starting with the latter, the biggest problem we encountered was in the technical aspects of transforming a concept product into a real product. Based on the original design, we noticed that it was not possible to attach Silicone rubber to a piece of Stainless steel metal without the use of glue, screws or other gimmicks. Using screws seems the most obvious solution for most watches but we wanted to keep & improve our original idea of having zero loose parts. Adhesive glue was not an option either since the watch strap is based on a bracelet concept.. prolonged pulling and stretching will affect the stickiness and eventually tear the rubber and metal apart. There were many other options like slipping the metal through a channel in the rubber or hiding the metal entirely inside the rubber (like wearing socks). But none of these were convincing enough because it doesn’t provide enough stability to the watch and it changes our original design notably. Even if we manage to solve all these issues, how are we going to provide an easy way for our customers to change the battery or service the watch when there are problems? We made this possible by introducing an inter-changeable concept of the clock body. Simply remove the clock body from the rubber strap and you’ll have the luxury of changing multiple color straps to match clothing on different occasions. The problem regarding battery change was also solved by implementing a snap case on the back of the removable clock body.
Going deeper into the technical details, we had to choose between different types of rubber material such as Polyurethane (PU Rubber), Silicone Rubber and other types of rubber (list goes on). Being no rubber expert, we spent plenty of time researching and going through different types of rubber samples, each having their individual advantages and disadvantages. Our factory recommended us to use PU Rubber as it is the most commonly used rubber in watches and it is much cheaper than Silicone Rubber. However, we found out that PU Rubber is not protected against UV Rays, which means it will be discolored upon exposure to sunlight and could only last for around 18 months. So we asked ourselves: Is that what our customers want? To have a watch that could only last 18 months? Can we offer something better in terms of quality and value? The answer to that is Silicone rubber, which on the other has major benefits such as 1) Resists the deterioration effects of sunlight and rainwater, 2) Odorless, tasteless and does not support growth of bacterial, 3) Excellent resistance to tear & most chemicals, etc etc.
Apart from the rubber, choosing the perfect type of stainless steel is vital to the final product. Comfort and weight are the main issues here and the choice of metal directly affects these issues. If you ask me, I would definitely prefer wearing a light-weighted watch – compared – to a heavy-weighted stone watch. We had to make sure that the metal is thin and light enough so the wearer feels comfortable, and at the same time keeping the metal strong enough to prevent damages from prolonged pulling and stretching. I must admit that finding the correct dimensions to the metal was hard, but it was worth every effort when I know it will be comfortable for the wearer. There are many other issues not mentioned yet but I will leave them for part b of this post – to be honest, because it’s already 3am now -
Feel free to leave some comments or suggestions, we always welcome them!