If you’ve been following the watch industry during the past decade, you’ll most likely seen an explosion in watch microbrands, as well as successful watches being launched through Kickstarter and other crowdfunding platforms. In this article we’ll analyze why this is becoming more popular, as well as the pros and cons of them.
How does Kickstarter works?
Kickstarter acts as a third party in between users and companies that are trying to fund and create projects of all kinds, from books to movies, to tech accesories, and of course watches. Kickstarter usually asks companies “How much you need for your project?” and then set up a goal. These tend to be proportionate for the product (movies for example, would require much more funding than say, a new t-shirt model).
With that as a baseline, companies can create 30 – day campaigns during which they go on and promote their product while asking for backers. The company only receives the user’s money if it is able to meet it’s goal at the end of the 30 day mark. If not, the campaign is deemed unsuccessfull and backers get their money back. This way, users are more protected against a scam (without the third party, the company would keep the money even if the campaign fails with no compromise to ever make the product).
Finding backers is of course a challenge for all companies, especially new ones. As such, they are encouraged to reach out and find new potential customers through all sorts of networks.
Or Pontvs Acheron was released through a Kickstarter Campaign
Usually, companies set up a waiting list and start building a backer database before the big launch. This results in many campaigns being funded within 48 hours. In fact it is more difficult for campaigns that have not met their goal in the first week to eventually reach it at the end of the 30 day run (so beware if a campaign is at say, day 17 and still has a long way to go before it reaches it’s goals.
Why do microbrands opt for Kickstarter Campaigns?
Kickstarter Campaigns allow companies to obtain funds and gauge interest in a particular product well before going into production. Creating a product is of course similar to a gamble: despite doing market research and asking for feedback, chances are your watch is going to flop. A Kickstarter minimizes those risks, and helps the company through the whole process. It also grants them the ability to engage on a meaningful conversation with their user base, and be able to tune the final product through input from the userbase. Also worth mentioning: it allows for uses to talk in between themselves, and helps the company build a community for their brand and product.
The main benefit: cheaper prices
Watches in Kickstarter Campaigns are regularly offered at a lower price than usual. For watches whose final price is around the 400 – 500 USD mark, it is common to find discounts of at least 100 USD, which can create a much more attractive value proposition. Super early birds go even cheaper than that, so if you manage to eye a project that catches your eye, KS is perhaps the cheapest way to get a desired piece.
Usually, and especially if the campaign was able to go past its mark and achieve extra milestones in funding, you'll get extra benefits. In the case of watches this may mean several upgrades on the product specs, or some added benefits like an extra watch strap or pouch.
But be ready for Long Delivery Times...
If you are in for a Kickstarter Watch then you must be patient.
Due to KS campaigns usually starting before the watch has even gone into production, you’ll most likely be getting your watch in 4 to 6 months time, if not even longer. It is possible that the production faces delays and other complications, which in all add up to a very long delivery time.
If you decide to go all in and back a Kickstarter Campaign, be sure to check the following:
- Try to find out more information about the company that created the campaign. It would be best to back campaigns created by brands that have already proven themselves to be reliable. Check out if they already have other models sold, and if they have already ran KS campaigns before.
- Register to the waiting / mailing list before the campaign starts! That way you’ll be assured to pick up the early bird offers, which are the most attractive.
If you are interested in backing up a Kickstarter Campaign for an interesting Dive Watch model, here we've got one for you! We are launching the Narval from our new sister brand Diving Armour. You can join in on the mailing list through this link.