We had ended 2013 very strong and very upbeat. So far 2014 has been a serious of body blows to our humble brand behind the scenes. Today we found out that the massive ad push we were going to get on T.V. etc is just not going to happen.
It seems outside the watch world the average consumer finds what is a common practice for we micro watch brands to be confusing and maybe even not acceptable. That practice is pre-selling product in order to get that product into production. Not only do brands do this to raise capital to get the product out but another big reason is to see if the product will sell at all and if it will to get an idea as to how well it will sell. That way you don’t end up making far more than you could ever hope to sell. Which making too much of a product for a small business like ours spells doom.
As part of our push in a more main stream market with the T.V. ads etc we decided to green light our “Liberty” model which was seeing much early interest. This despite the fact that this despite the fact that these will only have lume on the hour and minute hands and not on the dial. Reason being is the cost to get lume on the dial in the right color was several times higher than without. Also we were and really still are convinced that the performance of the lume in that green color would be such that. Many people would not be happy with the length of time it would glow, and how bright it would be when it did.
We also Decided to offer it in two different case colors and with a date and no date option for each of those colors. Thus far we have not had any orders for the model. Also we just learned that we would not have the advertising in the market that we felt that design would do well in. So a decision had to be made to either drop the model totally or reduce the versions offered. We have decided to cut the versions offered of that model in half and just offer the Minuteman Liberty with no date for a nice clean look in your choice of Diamondblack DLC or Flat Dark Earth FDE. To make that model work we really will need to sell at least 100 of those combined. Our guess is very few will opt for the FDE model which will make it a very rare bird.
Based on the way things are going now the “Liberty” model may be the only new design we offer for 2014. We do have a design we call the “Desert” model which might make it into production in the last half of this year. We are also looking at offering our most popular MM01 dial in a Flat Dark Earth case. We will be building out a prototype to show that off. Here again we suspect only about 50 of those would sell.
Currently we have our Stainless Steel MM02, and MM03 models in stock and ready to ship. In the month of February we will also have the remaining of our 1st generation DLC models the MM01, MM03, MM04, and MM04 Phantom. We are almost totally sold out of the MM01, and MM04 Phantom models.
For those of you that ordered a 1st generation Minuteman PVD model. Sorry for the delay the good news your going to get a watch with a better DLC coating from the best in the business Ionbond. Tomorrow they will be shipping the now DLC coated cases to us here at Minuteman HQ. Next week we will get those in sort them to see if there are any quality issues. Divide up the cases into 2 batches and then off on another long trip in the car to each of the 2 shops building the watches.
Thus far we have had lots of positive feedback from those that have already taken delivery of a Minuteman watch. We have also had repeat business from those that have already gotten a Stainless Steel model. Thus far the only returns we have had were from non watch collectors who were not really ready for a watch of our size. Which to be honest the size of our watch to the hard core watch enthusiast is actually on the smaller end of the spectrum when you look at the sizes that are popular currently.
We had hoped to sell at least 1,000 watches in 2014 which would have generated a substantial amount for charities that assist veterans and their families. At this point we feel that selling 300 to 500 will be the best we can hope to do. Which will still generate a respectable amount for veterans. We are doing the best we can but as human beings we are not perfect so we hope you will continue to bare with us along the way.
God Bless all of you out there!