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The development of our watch kits: a major project

At the end of a summer rich in productivity and creativity at Initium, we are happy to announce that one of our flagship projects has come to fruition.

After more than a year and a half of work and energy invested, we are very proud to have developed the first all-in-one Swiss watch kit, now on the market. Intended for beginners as well as watch enthusiasts, this unique assembly kit is ready to be sent around the world!

That's why we propose to take a look at this ambitious project, from its beginnings to today.

1. At the origin: a desire for accessibility

At Initium, we are committed to wearing Swiss watchmaking proudly and promoting its history and technicality. This is why, since 2015, we have been offering introductory courses in order to design and assemble one's own manual or automatic watch.

Considering the increasing demand from abroad combined with the impossibility for some to go to our workshops in Switzerland, either because of a long distance or the current health situation, we had the idea at the beginning of the year 2020 to make an assembly kit.

Thanks to this kit, which includes video tutorials, tools and components, everyone is now able to assemble their own Swiss watch from home!

2. A succession of steps

Between the formulation of this idea and its realization, many steps followed one another.

The tool order

First of all, we defined, tested, validated and ordered a very large panel of high quality tools - screwdrivers, tweezers, movement holders, bells, etc. Not forgetting the famous Micros (watchmaker's magnifying glass), one of the emblematic objects of the watchmaker, manufactured in the Jura Arc in Switzerland and of beautiful workmanship.

We have also developed two 3D printing tools for the installation of dials and hands to help the uninitiated to take up the challenge of assembling a watch by themselves.

The initium tool kit

The design of the case

Once the tooling was defined and ordered, we looked for suppliers capable of designing a quality custom watchmaker's case.

After several prototypes, we obtained what we wanted: a top-of-the-range bag, made of blue vegan leather, with different compartments. A second model in black and made of other materials will arrive around the holiday season.

The Initium watchmaker's bag     

The creation of video tutorials

With the complete prototype of the kit defined, we set about the next crucial step in this project: the creation of video tutorials.

The challenge was to create tutorials that were precise enough, but not too long, so that everyone could follow the steps involved in assembling their watch.

To do this, we created a script taking into account each step to be carried out, based on our five years of customer experience in our workshops.  Moreover, we opted for a rhythm allowing the "apprentice" watchmakers to realize the beginning of each step in parallel to the reading of the video.

We also hired a new watchmaker, fluent in French and English, for this innovative project. As the technical manager of the kits, he is also responsible for their evolution in order to constantly improve the customer experience.

Wanting an iconic location as a backdrop for the videos, we shot part of them in the Watch Box Museum in Le Noirmont, in the Swiss Jura. The final result was obtained after ten intense days of shooting and almost as much editing!

The creation of the platform

Once the videos were created and edited, we had to build the web platform dedicated to the kit and hosting the tutorial videos - a step that was as technical as it was essential in order to obtain optimal loading of the videos from anywhere in the world.

The platform also hosts a "community" area including a discussion forum allowing those concerned to exchange with each other and to ask us questions in case of difficulty.

Knowing that the owners of the kits will assemble their watch remotely, it was essential to redouble our efforts and ingenuity to optimize the customer experience!    

                          
Extract from the tutorial videos

The development of the communication strategy

In order to market our kits, we developed an active 360° communication strategy targeted at potential customers from all over the world.

Communication during our courses, creation of blog content, digital advertisements, press articles, all means are now mobilized to achieve an efficient communication campaign at the height of our kits!

3. A new horizon of opportunities

Our kits are now ready to be sent around the world in order to make Swiss mechanical watchmaking accessible to as many interested people as possible.

In spite of some prolonged delays at certain suppliers due to the health crisis, we are more than satisfied with the final result which we hope will delight a good number of watch enthusiasts and even neophytes.

Promising a horizon of new developments and opportunities, this project marks our ambition to keep pushing the limits of watchmaking!