2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 22

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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 22

Dear civilians,

Shortly, all 16 SUBDELTA Ace watches will be assembled and shipped. To prepare this, the grade 5 titanium cases and casebacks have been beadblasted and hand-polished the other day. They’re ready for all personal engravings.

SUBDELTA ACE

SUBDELTA ACE

Last week, the lumed seconds hands also surfaced from Switzerland. The BGW9 “grade A” lume was hand-appllied by one of our local Swiss (secret) operatives. Nice job, F!

SUBDELTA ACE

Until another briefing, civilians.

Over & out

HQ


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 14

Dear civilians,

Please pay attention to Briefing no. 14, as you’ll see your SUBDELTA ACE come to life.

Great news. Today the dials and hands of the ACE pilot’s watch have arrived! HQ urges you to take notice of the following images and destroy them right after reading. They should not fall into enemy hands, whatever it takes!

Straps
Remie of 7T2Straps.com is really making an effort of the bespoke leather straps. Here’s a little time warp for ya. The prototype of the buckle you see in the following images will be sent to our metal lab this week, so he can use it as a production example when it comes to curvature / bends. This way, all production buckles will be exactly the same. Good thinking, Eddy, and thanks, Remie! Good luck finishing all straps buddy.

Remember: Remie does it all by hand… the level of detail is impeccable.

Please note the metal studs are still missing in the images. They will be pressed in on a later moment.

Dials/hands
Ding dong, the door bell said this morning. Ding dong? Didn’t expect anything just yet. The guys at FedEx are known to be fast, but this fast? Nice things have arrived and typically, HQ does the unboxing of these vital watch parts together with you:

The dials are beautifully executed in a sandwiched setup with a thick and therefore really noticable top layer. No thin leaf of painted metal, but a sturdy one here! The lume has been applied nicely and evenly. The hands are executed really well also.

Please note that the arrows/tips of the seconds hands are still all black. They will be lumed by hand by a secret Dutch operative in a later stage.

(sorry for some tiny dust particles that can be spotted in the image above, HQ’s old and tired eyes didn’t see them, but the camera lens did 😉

Just to show you the difference between the Blue Ace HQ’s preparing along with the Black Ace: this blue is a nice saturated one. We like. Your dials are really black and the greyish tone derives from direct daylight. The production of the Blue Ace can start right after more than 20 future owners have laid down their funds @ HQ. What you waitin’ for?

Hour wheels
Just for fun we screwed on one of those stunning hand-engraved hour wheels on one of the movements. Just look at that!

Cases/buckles
Eddy sent HQ a WhatsApp that today’s the day he’ll receive the very first production case and buckle. He’ll hand-finish those first to give André (the assembler) the chance to process them already. Meanwhile, Eddy will crack on with the rest of the batch. Good luck and thanks a million, Eddy and André!
Nitty gritty
This week’s all about gathering planning intel on all the nitty gritty still left to do, such as gaskets, movement fixations, caseback crystalss and crown engravings. More on that in another Briefing though.
That’s all folks, until next Briefing! Have a good one!
Over & out
HQ

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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 13

Dear civilians,

Please pay attention and stop messing about, will ya? Man, do briefing rooms get noisy or what?

Welcome to Squadron Briefing no. 13. Yes – no. 13. Let’s defy conventions and maybe it will bring us some more luck?

Nanuk 903
This week, the postman made us very happy with 16 olive Nanuk 903 watch cases. HQ won’t show you the inside, as it must be a surprise for you. But how about these looks, can’t beat them!

Buckles/pins
Operative Eddy sent HQ a Whatsapp with this image, revealing the buckles will be ready soon:

The pins are not bent, as most watch brands do, but the pins are forged from a single block of titanium. The hole where the pushpin comes, is therefore drilled. Neat or what?! Anyway: Eddy and yours met in a famous hamburger joint on a non-diclosed location last night, to discuss your titanium buckles over a cold beverage. The following items were on the table…

Since the prototype buckle (right) from last year’s ACE prototype model needed a visual and quality upgrade, we developed a totally new buckle (middle) this winter. Problem was, it didn’t fit like it should because it didn’t have enough curvature. That’s why Eddy’s came up with buckle 2.0 (left) and he nailed it, ‘caus they fit like a glove. The curvature of this iteration is perfect. We tested it with a 3.2 mm thick handmade leather strap that was made by Remie Beijer of 7T2Straps.com to sport the SUBDELTA Periscope.

Eddy will have the buckles sanded and polished in the coming couple of weeks, after which they’ll be done. We simply can’t wait. Thanks Eddy!

Remie will receive one of these buckles soon, so he can make those beautiful olive leather straps for you. Why does he need a buckle anyway, you might ask? Well, he needs the pin to determine the size of the holes in the leather and the exact width in tenths of a mm so he can make the strap fit pefectly. Remie will get cracking soon, of which you’ll receive images in abundance.

Cases/casebacks
The cases and casebacks will be made right after the buckles are completed, so expect them somewhere by the beginning of May. We’re really looking forward to those too, Eddy.

Dials/hands
The sandwiched dials and hands with Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9 are made elsewhere, not in-house and this party needs a tad more time to make them absolutely perfect for you. We expect them to surface by the end of May, so André can assemble the Ace watches right after that. Of course we have a supplier’s snapshot of them and once they surface, we’ll make better images. Left: regular, black version (16 pcs sold out), right: blue version (Blue Ace, production starts soon, all 30 pcs  are ready for pre-order).

SUBDELTA Blue and Black Ace dial

Nothing more to share with you at this point, so have a good one and be safe!

Over & out

HQ


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 11

Hello to all civilians!

Just wanted to let you know HQ’s got something up its sleeve for all 2017 ACE buyers. On the back (view) side of their movements, there are two larger brushed wheels. Whenever they hand-wind their engines to tackle perilous missions and to track time, both of them move. They operate a large spring inside the belly of the movements, which gradually releases the tension over time, ensuring a smooth and even power distribution.

Stock standard, they look like this:

HQ felt the future owners needed a spiced-up version of this otherwise rather boring wheel… So in the actual watches, they will look like this:

Please note this is a blow-up of the prototype, still revealing even the slightest imperfection. Awesome, right? Dutch engraving artist called “Ernst” of Sanders Engraver (Instagram: sandersengraver) works on all of them – one at a time, taking his time. His girlfriend Kim designed these especially for SUBDELTA. Both of them for US presidents, please 😉

Also please note the blued screw will sit in the middle of this wheel, hiding its untreated center.

Have a good one!

Over & out

Headquarters


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 10

Good day to all civilians,

The tubes have just arrived @ HQ! Tubes are essential to any watch for a number of reasons:

  • to avoid dust and moisture penetrating the case and compromising the movement’s integrety and functions
  • to strengthen the connection between the winding stem and the crown
  • to look awesome

Other brands choose to make them out of plain stainless steel. Nothing wrong with that at all. We however choose to make them out of grade 5 titanium, just as we make all the hardware for the 2017 ACE out of this material. Just because we can, even though they’re much harder to manufacture and therefore much more expensive.

Everytime the future owners pull out their crowns, they see a magnificent titanium tube and know: no corners were cut there!

All other mission-critical intel was shared with the buyers only, as always.

Have a good one!

Over & out

Headquarters


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 09

Hello to all civilians,

Today you can see the progression of some of the pre-production types of the case and buckle for the 2017 ACE model in images.

The buckle is coming together great. Hand-polished, 45 degree bevels on each corner. Lasered-through letters and thick grade 5 titanium give a lot of panache to it, don’t you think?

Left: bead-blasted grade 5 titanium, finished case. Right: brushed version in stainless steel.

Look at the sharpness of those polished bevels! The lugholes are in a better position than on the early prototype case.

All other intel was shared with the buyers only.

Have a good one!

Over & out

Headquarters


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 08

Dear civilians,

Time for HQ’s update. Great news! The Swiss handwound movements have arrived! Since it’s almost Christmas, let’s do some unboxing 😉

Movements

And now on to the actual movements. They look even better in real life than on the countless images we already shared with you.

What a finish! And what great blued screws, and central seconds modification, and Swan Neck Regulator! We can’t stop looking at them… André will receive them soon, so he can micro-adjust them and for safekeeping until assembly in Q1 2017. Thanks Ernst of Switzerland, for supplying SUBDELTA with these absolute stunning movements!

Top dial

Eddy had blackened a pre-production top dial, but André and he were not quite happy with the end result. It was a bit too shiny, and therefore Eddy has beadblasted another copy. It will be more matte to begin with. Soon, you will see the end result. Finally, some images of this blasted top dial (as you can see, the copies are still tied together!):

Just look at the amount of detail… The laser has cut very precise and left us with very straight corners.

Have a (bead) blast this Christmas everybody. Look after your loved ones, but don’t forget to get really drunk.

Over & out

Headquarters


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 07

Hi guys (and gals),

It’s time for the 2017 ACE Squadron Briefing nr. 07. But wait, the last one was nr. 03! Correctemundo – but our Squadron Commanders (buyers) have the privilege to receive news more often than you civilians 😉 Besides, a few months have passed sinds 03 since we’ve been procuring all parts and finalized all production drawings.

Anyway: let’s talk about the buckle, needle and dials for a moment. Here you see some images of these parts being born. Using a precision laser cutter, the grade 5 titanium buckles and pins are being cut out of the raw sheet metal. You can see different stages of production here.

On to the dials. They consist out of 3 (!) layers, instead of the usual 2. There’s a bottom layer, which will be fixed on the upper side of the movement. On top of that layer, we will fixate a middle layer. This one has the cavities for the Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9 “Grade A”. Last, the top layer will be fixated on the middle layer. This one will be blackened.

Here you see these 3 layers, still rough metal.

That’s it folks, have a good one!

HQ


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2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 02

To all civilians,

Welcome to Squadron Briefing 02! Here’s an update on the procurement and production of the 2017 SUBDELTA ACE. Pay attention please.

Movement
HQ ordered the movements that will power the ACE watches in due time. This is an awesome movement which was extremely hard to come by. We litterally searched for months and it appeared only a couple of Swiss companies can modify these movements to perfection. One of them is our supplier. Yes!

General information on how a mechanical watch works is to be found here. The Swiss supplier of the movements sent HQ a morse message, containing al lot of technical details. For those of you who are relatively new to mechanical watch movements, HQ has googled some basic explanations. These can be found by clicking on the various hyperlinks. Here goes.

  • Base movement: ETA / UNITAS 6497 (1950s pocket watch basis)
  • Dimensions: 16.5″ / about 37 mm. Also called 16.5 “lignes” > this is one of the largest mechanical movements around with its roots in large pocket watches
  • Bridge decoration: Côtes de Genève
  • Screws: blue PVD polished and anchor bridge hardened flame blued steel (this is done for aesthetical reasons and all can be seen through your sapphire casebacks)
  • Second stop: hack feature (the seconds hand stops when you pull out the crown and lets you adjust the time of your ACE to the exact second)
  • Shock protection: Incabloc (needed to withstand daily abuse)
  • Spiral: 1st quality a.k.a. “top”
  • Anchor wheel: polished (looks good;-)
  • Balance wheel: Glucydur, screw pin balance
  • Regulating: Swan neck (very exclusive method of fine-regulating a movement)
  • Number of jewels: 18
  • Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (the central seconds hands ticks 5 times per second, so 1 tick every 0.2 seconds) > this is what you hear when your ear is close to a mechanical watch
  • Power reserve: 45-56 hours when fully wound by hand (approximately a 10-40% increase compared to a factory ETA 6497 movement without these improvements!)
  • Accuracy match: within COSC certification requirements (less than +/- 5 seconds per day). Your watchmaker André will provide a print-out of each individual watch showing the actual accuracy.
  • Adjusted in: 3 positions (factory) followed by 6 positions (by your watchmaker André) and we will prove this in a document for each individual watch

Man, that was a lot to take in! Thanks for your attention, you rock! Some of you need to wake up again though ;P

Case
Moving on with some intel on the stainless steel prototype case that project leader Eddy has had made. The production cases will be milled out of grade 5 titanium (the very best available), where Eddy uses a stainless steel version for trying out various stuff. This is cheaper and easier to modify (softer). Thanks so much, Eddy! Thanks to you we will have fantastically machined titanium cases!

First you see the yet-untreated case, straight from the mill. Just look at the way the bevels of the lugs start as tiny lines and become wider as they curve down to the drilled lugholes. The bevel almost touches – but doesn’t quite touch – the drilled lugholes, an improvement compared to the prototype titanium case that has travelled the world to meet future buyers (and has returned to HQ last week!).

Next stap: beadblasting to create that military, matte look (less shiny). This is how that looks like on that stainless steel case:

The orange arrow indicates the position of the bevels on the lugs, which will be hand-polished to shine like a mirror. This will look totally awesome and adds a very nice detail to the otherwise matte case. Just like on the prototype.

That’s it folks. Thanks for your time and have a great week-end.

Remember: there’s still one extra ACE that needs a Commander. Should you know anybody in your network, you can have him/her contact HQ. Thanks in advance!

Over & out

HQ


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2017 ACE briefing 01: Squadron formation

Hello civilians,

SUBDELTA ACE

HQ has stopped taking orders for the 2017 ACE. This means the Squadron can now be formed. All Commanders are asked to introduce themselves, and are also asked to indicate which build numbers, engravings, strap sizes and initials they’d like.

The Commanders come from lots of places, like Switzerland, Germany, Singapore, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and the US of A. To name a few.

Great news, for HQ will reveal some of this intel to you later this week! You then get a glimpse of what rockstars are part of the ACE Squadron.

Over & out

HQ