2017 ACE Squadron Briefing 22

  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

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


  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 21

SUBDELTA ACE

To all civilians,

SUBDELTA ACE

Most of the times, prototyping is a serious matter. Sometimes it’s great fun though. Just wanted to show you a 3D printed plastic dummy of the case and a laserprinted paper dial. Just to fool around with and to make improvements really quickly with a felt tip pen. Don’t worry, these are no production-ready parts;-)

Last night, the technical SUBDELTA team gathered on an obscure location in the eastern part of the Netherlands, close to the German border. A suitable location for our watchmaker André  for his own HQ, that’s for sure. In these realms, there are absolutely no prying eyes, but just the four of us (Eddy – project lead, André – watchmaker, Michiel – engineer and myself). What went down there?

Just before we stop taking orders for the 2017 ACE, we wanted to discuss some new prototypes based on new drawings due to buyers’ feedback and a few ideas of our own. On that note: we take orders for the 2017 ACE until August 16. Should you place your order before August 1, you receive a very interesting Early Birds discount. To place your oder, please go here. You can add two products during checkout: a beautifully made silver ZULU strap and/or a handmade, waxed Martexin canvas watchroll.

Michiel was asked by the design team to come up with a redesigned buckle, that would be a bit beefier and more compelling than the prototype we had so far. Please have a look at these sketches:

SUBDELTA ACE

The bevels will be somewhat larger and 30 degrees instead of 45, so they’ll be more pronounced and easier to spot. The current triangular-shaped buckle plate will be improved to avoid it sticking out too much, as is the case with the current prototype.

The SUBDELTA letters will be etched through entirely (read: the entire letters will be omitted from the titanium, much like the upper dial in the sandwiched dial construction). This really adds to the SUBDELTA hallmark. Great idea, Michiel, and we can’t wait for that prototype after the summer holidays.

Michiel and André redesigned the case based on the input they got from future owners and the design team, who saw and wore the prototype of the ACE while it was on three-month world tour in the States, Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland. Was – because it has re-entered Dutch airspace just a week-and-a-half ago. Thanks everybody for taking the time to wear and review the ACE and for giving us your feedback. Together we’ll make the perfect pilot’s watch.

SUBDELTA ACE

Stainless steel prototype of the new case – longer lugs and overall more elegant

Eddy put two new prototypes of the case and its screw-on caseback on the table, based on these improved drawings. He had them made out of stainless steel by our new Dutch hardware supplier, because that’s easier to ply, mill and sand. And honestly – not a bad call.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-21-IMG_5757

The stainless steel version was nearly perfectly made without having been treated at all yet. In fact, according to André, it’s pretty much of the same quality most famous brands come up with. André should know, because he has seen many a famous watch brand’s case come out of the factory in the 30+ years he’s in the trade.

Everybody is very impressed and have no more improvements. Even the upper sapphire crystal fits like a glove and there are no gaps or flanges between case and crystal. A perfect fit. Please note the end result will be forged out of grade 5 titanium of course, and not out of stainless steel. We might make future models out of stainless steel though, because we really really like the weight, look & feel of this versatile material.

SUBDELTA ACE

Left: prototype. Right: new prototype case in stainless steel (lug-to-lug from 52 to 54 mm)

SUBDELTA ACE

No beveled lugs (yet) on the prototype on the right and still some rough edges.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-21-IMG_5726

Left: famous brother 😉

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-21-IMG_5730

Please note: the stainless steel prototype case still has some unattended rough edges, just got out of the mill.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-21-IMG_5729

As you can see, this new case is a tad longer (+2 mm), which makes the package a lot more elegant, less bulky in a way. It’s a logical improvement compared to the current prototype (left).

SUBDELTA ACE

+2 mm lugs in total means there’s more space for a thick leather strap to move around.

SUBDELTA ACE

The interior where all parts will be fixed on are flawless already, no finishing needed!

Eddy had a special stainless steel tool made by our new Dutch case supplier, which enables André to open and close the screw-on casebacks of the ACE really efficiently and – better still – scratch-free. All pins fit on the cavities in the caseback brilliantly. A great tool for future needs and boy, it’s heavy too.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-21-IMG_5731

Well, what’s the prototype on the left in the image hereunder? It’s a 3D printed titanium case. At SUBDELTA, we’re investigating new technologies all the time and this time we tried a couple of 3D printed titanium cases. Although they can be made in various finishings, they’re quite rough to look at right now. Maybe we’ll never use 3D printed titanium cases, maybe we will, but for now let’s stick to the current production techniques, shall we?

SUBDELTA ACE

Finally, we’re proud to mention Singapore Watch Xchange SWX has placed an article on the ACE. Fratello Watches will cover the ACE once they receive the current prototype. It was sent to them today. Thanks guys for helping out and spreading the SUBDELTA word!

Have a great week-end and if you’re on holiday (or about to go): enjoy the good times and please be safe…

Over & out
Headquarters


  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 20

SUBDELTA ACE

To all civilians,

What’s going on @ HQ these days, you might wonder.

Final designs
Today we present the final drawings to you. Thanks to slight improvements, as suggested by the technical team (Eddy, Michiel and of course André) as well as our watch friends Philipp and Daniel Piaz from Switzerland, we feel confident the production version of the ACE will be an even better watch still. Thanks guys!

SUBDELTA ACE

Improvements highlights
Most of the improvements are small and technical and will never be seen by any of you, so we will only name a few visible highlights. We for instance made the case a tad flatter (lower) to make it less bulky and gave the strap more space to move around freely. The watch is a few mm longer as a result, making it a bit more stretched if you will. This too will make it a bit less bulky. The hands, numerals and indices (dots on the dial) have undergone some minor improvements too and are now more balanced. As a whole, these improvements make a lot of sense and as they say: the devil’s in the details.

SUBDELTA ACE

Engravings
The “00-00-00” engraving between the lower lugs represents the placeholder for the optional (free of charge) date engraving. This will make the ACE very personal for every Commander. The engraving of the ace of spades is standard issue and will be placed between the upper lugs. The unique build number will be engraved in the crown. Finally, some text will be engraved in the caseback, like the type of movement we use in the ACE.

SUBDELTA ACE

Congrats Michiel!
Michiel “the architect” graduated last Monday and is now officially an engineer. Congrats on this big achievement! Meanwhile, he redesigned the buckle and tongue, because the first (prototype) version just didn’t have enough wrist curvature. He gave the polished bevels on the buckle a bit more definition to really make them stand out. Thanks Michiel!

Eddy’s prototype
Next week, a prototype of the case and caseback will be milled out of stainless steel for study purposes. This has to do with our new supplier and modified drawings. We’re keen to find out what it looks like in stainless steel (though your ACE will be made out of grade 5 titanium of course). In 2 weeks, right before our summer holidays, Eddy will present this prototype to the rest of the technical team. We will also discuss how a test movement André has come up with looks like in this new case. Thanks Eddy and André!

Stop sale: July 31st
We’ve reveice a good amount of orders for the ACE already and would like to thank all of you who put their trust in SUBDELTA in general and in the ACE in particular. For those of you still interested in hopping on-board too: please be aware we only take orders until July 31st. Please follow this link and thanks in advance. It will be an awesome journey towards the birth of your ACE. It will be a great opportunity to own a unique, numbered, handbuilt wristwatch, packed in a stunning Nanuk case. Don’t miss out…

Have a great week-end all!

Over & out
Headquarters


  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 17

Good day civilians!

It has been a while, so time for a Pre-Flight Briefing on the ACE’s whereabouts.

Last week, the ACE was on its way to Napa Valley, USA. The windscreen of the car clearly doesn’t have AR coating on the inside 😉 For the occasion, a “dolphin grey” Flieger strap by 7T2Straps.com was fitted just to show you what difference a color makes. By default, the ACE comes with that stunning olive green strap. But you all knew that, didn’t you?

Life’s not all about missions and hardship. Thank goodness. After a day’s work it’s good to relax a bit and enjoy the good things in life.

The ACE was amongst a number of movie stars when in Los Angeles a few days ago. Nice weather too!

As we went for polished lugs on the case over the course of creating the prototype and never changed the 2D drawings accordingly, we thought it would be good to show you the new drawing.
What once was the “alternative movement” for the Isoprog IP13, which has a relatively high MOQ, is now the final choice for us. Make no mistake: this ETA/Unitas 6497-based handwound ticker is by no means the lesser option. Just look at that wonderful bridge…
There are very few handwound Unitas-based movements with a central second modification, let alone a good looking one. The Swiss company who will supply you with this beautiful and rare movement do all modifications themselves in a small workshop. The exact location can unfortunately not be disclosed obviously.
Some more images of the very movement then:
Don´t worry chaps, the following image merely shows the dial side and therefore doesn’t have to look like a million Dollars.
Because of the AR coated sapphire crystal caseback, you will all be able to marvel at its looks at all times. One would almost wear the ACE the other way around!
HQ ends this Pre-Flight Briefing with a beautiful lumeshot, taken on a top secret location somewhere in the States.
The ACE even looks very handsome on a woman’s wrist too:
Currently, the ACE is in Las Vegas, as the following images reveal:
Is everything bigger in Vegas? O.K., it’s not the epitome of good taste, but there’s more room for troopers in a vehicle this size.
Allright, since you persist, one last image then:
Have a good week-end y’all and stay vigilant Commanders!
Over & out
Headquarters

  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 16

SUBDELTA ACE

Dear civilians,

As briefed last week, the prototype of the ACE will fly all over Earth to meet several watch enthusiasts. HQ will update you on its whereabouts periodically.

Current location: San Francisco (SFO), California, USA
Coordinates: 37°47′N 122°25′W
Nickname(s): Fog City, City by the Bay, Frisco
Time zone: UTC -8

After a safe landing @ LAX airport last Friday, the ACE was interrogated by US customs until last Tuesday. We wish such hardship on nobody, but no classified intel was revealed. It was then transported to SFO, where it ended up on many a watch enthusiast’s wrist straight away. It was even spotted in the Lake Tahoe surroundings.

////

Next stop: Los Angeles (LAX), California, USA
Coordinates: 34°03′N 118°15′W
Nickname(s): Tinsel Town, City of Angels, The Big Orange
Time zone: UTC -8

The ACE is currently onboard the following flight and even a cockpit shot is added. Click here for live flight data. After the USA, the ACE will fly all the way to Singapore and maybe go on a secret mission to Hong Kong, Switzerland and then back to the Netherlands… Ace on tour!

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-15

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-16

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-18

Time for some additional images then.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-02

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-04

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-05

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-06

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-07

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-08

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-09

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-11

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-12

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-13

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-16-14

Until next briefing!

Over & out

Headquarters


  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 15

SUBDELTA ACE

Good day Future Fliegers.

Last Tuesday the ACE prototype was picked up by HQ. Cliché: it looks even better in real life than on photographs. Its dark, beadblasted grade 5 titanium hardware and polished bevels really plays with light. After a discussion with the design team, we suggest the hours and minutes hands should be a tad longer on the production version.

How does the case differ and compare to the Periscope, our 2017 LTD? It is 1 mm lower (less thick), has a shorter lug-to-lug distance and the bevels on the lugs and buckle are handpolished. We just love the hardware and hope you do too.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-10

The ACE has departed CDG (Paris Charles de Gaulle) today @ 11:25 CET (Central European Time). Good news, Commanders! Flight AF0066, an Airbus A380-800, is scheduled to land after some 9,150 kms @ 13:36 PDT (Pacific Daylight Time) on LAX (Los Angeles). After all neccessary customs formalities, it will move on to SFO (San Francisco) asap, where it will be introduced to a few watch aficionados. Please click here for the live flight data if you’re interested. Modern times…

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-18

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-21

Without further due, let’s show you guys some more images of the prototype. Please note this prototype contains handmade components, such as the dial and hands. Some small imperfections may have occurred and in the production version, these components are made in a specialized workshop.

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-14

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-13

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-12

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-15

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-16

SUBDELTA-ACE-Pre-Flight-Briefing-15-17

Please click here to order your ACE and receive a €500 Early Birds discount. For those of you who have already done so: many thanks for making this exciting watch project come to life!

Have a blast this week-end and thanks for your time.

Over & out

Headquarters


  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 14

SUBDELTA ACE

Good day civilians!

Please buckle up for quite a few images of the ACE prototype. And pay attention, please. You’re about to go on an important mission, you know.

Progress of the prototype
Meet the screwed-in grade 5 titanium caseback. Still without its laserengravings of course. It’s like a porthole. Like.

SUBDELTA ACE

Countersunk crown
In the image bove, the bevels on the lug curves are still unpolished. Can you see the “countersink”, in which we feel the crown will sit and therefore look better? Just a minor little detail.

SUBDELTA ACE

Polished lug bevels
Hereunder, you see the case is placed in some sort of secret machinery to undergo the polished bevel treatment. A polishing material called “Diamantine” is used in the end to make it shine like a mirror.

SUBDELTA ACE

We’ll give the bevels on the buckle the same polishing treatment, because we really like these little details on an otherwise dark, beadblasted piece.

SUBDELTA ACE

Ace of spades
In the following 3D image, you see what we mean by “you can have an ace of spades engraved between the lower lugs”:

SUBDELTA ACE

This is what it looks like after a brief visit to our undisclosed laserengraver’s at The Hague last week:

SUBDELTA ACE

These engravers really know their business! Thanks for helping us out with this prototype, guys. Please note the buckle looks lighter in color than the rest of the hardware, but this is due to light conditions. Being the prototype, having build number 00 engrave in the crown perfectly makes sense and it matches both zero digits on the dial. We used the same font too.

Now an image of the crown sitting in the case before having been laserengraved:

SUBDELTA ACE

Mounting the hands
It takes some engineering before the hands can be perfectly mounted on the hours, minutes and seconds axles of the Isoprog IP13. My watch assembler has made quite an effort to make this tiny part:

SUBDELTA ACE

This is a small coin, guys! The tiny silver watch part depicted in the middle is only 0.75 mm high, 3 mm across and has a hole of just 0.27 mm in diameter. This hole was drilled with a homemade drill. Respect. Close all windows before it blows away please.

BGW9 lume
The do-it-yourself BGW9 lume kit we purchased from RC Tritec of CH a few weeks ago does its job just nicely. Here you see the subdial and hands set with their very first layer of lume.

SUBDELTA ACE

Alternative movement
You know we aim to fit that black Isoprog IP13 if we sell 50 copies of more, but since there’s an MOQ of 50 copies, we looked out for a good alternative. Until now, we only had the Sellita SW210-1, because we just couldn’t find an alternative that would be the same 16.5″ diameter as the Isoprog. Good news, ’cause we found one. It’s equally priced and shares the same base movement (ETA/Unitas 6497-1) as the Isoprog. It also has a central hacking second, but can be ordered in 10-40 copies. Sorry, Sellita… Maybe you’ll find a place in one of our next models, but not in the ACE.

SUBDELTA ACE

This modified former pocket watch ticker derives from a well-respected Swiss modifying party, has a Swan Neck regulator, hacking seconds, Glucydur balance, 17 jewels, 18,000 rph (second hands ticks 5 times per second), a power reserve of a whopping 56 hours and a daily seconds deviation that is well within COSC standards. Is this a suitable alternative, or what?

Fair point: the matte black Isoprog looks better, but that’s a matter of taste and now we really found a perfect alternative movement should we make less than 50 copies. Case closed for now.

Extended funding timeframe
Once the ACE prototype is finished, it will travel to Asia (Singapore and Hong Kong) and possibly even the US of A. Since this will take a few weeks, it’s only fair that we extended the funding timeframe accordingly. We will need and take sufficient time to have potential funders and media meet the ACE in real life. Therefore, you can now fund your copy in March and April. €500 Early Birds discount in March, click here. We’d love to welcome you aboard too and join our 2017 mission!

We end this extensive Pre-Flight Mission Briefing with the following images, which stand on their own:

SUBDELTA ACE

SUBDELTA ACE

SUBDELTA ACE

Yep: even the small bevels on the buckle are now polished to perfection… Like?

More to follow in the next Pre-Flight Mission Briefing.

Over & out

Headquarters


  • -

SUBDELTA ACE Pre-Flight Briefing 13

SUBDELTA ACE

Good day to you all,

It’s time to brief you on the progress of the ACE, our next built-to-order Flieger. The prototype of this handwound, beadblasted lefty is nearing its completion. Let’s go through some Pre-Flight details, shall we?

We produced a 3D PDF file so you can see what the ACE will look like eventually. Please note it can only be viewed on a desktop or laptop, not on a phone or tablet.

Download “SUBDELTA ACE (3D PDF)” Subdelta-Ace.pdf – Downloaded 307 times – 562 KB

Pre-Flight Briefing 13? Hold on… we know 13 is an unlucky number in some parts of Earth, but since we’re in outer space together, 13 is O.K. Now, HQ received a number of essential watch parts. As you can clearly see, these parts look like a kit when they arrive. Our top secret operatives still need to click them out of their misery, before they can move onto the next phase.

The first part we’d like to go through with you, is the subdial. As you may know, we’ll use a sandwiched (layered) dial setup, where the subdial has cavities filled with BGW9 lume and the topdial is etched through and painted black. This give depth and a very nice texture. Considering the amount of lume we’ll put on it, it will be an absolute beacon during all outer space missions. Since there’s no light out there, this really is quintessential.

SUBDELTA ACE

On to the topdial then: everything is neatly etched through, even the tricky triangle of our logo. Please note these are blowups and each and every imperfection is far bigger than on the wrist. How about that virtual crosshair running across the dial?

SUBDELTA ACE

We particularly like how the 3-hand set turned out. We’re very curious how the big, bold hours hand (right) will look like in the prototype. They’re not for the faint-hearted!

SUBDELTA ACE

Hereunder you see the sleek Ti5 case. Please note the bevels still need to be done (bottom right, where the sharp lug corners from horizontal – brightly lit – to vertical). After beadblasting this case, we’re applying the bevels on all four corners and polish them like a mirror. We feel this little mission will add a very special feature and texture to the package. Should it look wrong, we’ll just beadblast ’em. Easy does it. One is allowed to try out some new stuff, after all we’re doing a prototype and it is a lab in the end of the day, right?

SUBDELTA ACE

On to the laserengraving for the caseback then. Since this one is screwed in, one needs a removal tool to gain access to the movement if required. This removal tool needs proper contact points to get a grip obviously and in this case, this results the text to be cut into a few segments. We tried to make it as logical as possible. Hope this works for you?

Next week, all hardware will be engraved and we’ll all be able to see how this works in real life. We intend to sell 50 copies or more, that’s why “Isoprog IP13” is being used. We were able to buy the sample movement Mr. Thierry of Isoprog has sent us a few weeks back, because we just don’t wanna let it go 😉

As the build number will be engraved in the crown, it has been omitted from this engraving.

SUBDELTA ACE

Hereunder, you see the birth of a grade 5 titanium buckle for the ACE. Good stuff! It will be beadblasted first, then sent off to the engraver’s and finally bent somewhat to follow the natural curves of your powerful wrists. The inspiration of this triangular buckle derived from the triangle in our logo, but if we were to use the same angles, it would be far too sharp and look like (bad word). That’s why we softened the corners so to speak. Hope you like it.

SUBDELTA ACE

SUBDELTA ACE

This is what the buckle will look like in the end before bending. Yes – the buckle will have very subtle bevels too.

SUBDELTA ACE

Awaiting the laserengravings to be executed, our lab needs about one more week for the prototype. To do list:

  • subdial (finish, ground, lume, mount)
  • topdial (finish, ground, paint, mount)
  • hands (finish, ground, paint, lume, mount)
  • case (beadblast, bevels, engrave, test water resistance)
  • caseback (beadblast, engrave, gasket, mount)
  • crystals (gaskets, mount)
  • strap (finish, beadblast, engrave, bend & mount buckle, mount spring bars)
  • movement (regulate, test, mount)
  • crown (has already been beadblasted, engrave with build # 01, shorten stem, mount, test)
  • photograpy
  • and some more stuff…
  • and then… ACE 01 is off to a few important websites, webshops and media all over Earth!

Limited €500 Early Birds discount
Meanwhile, we fired up the sale process last week. Many copies have already been taken, thanks Commanders! Please click here if you’re interested in becoming one of the next ACE Commanders also. For this year, HQ has extended the engraving options between the lower lugs. You can now choose between free format text, a date, an ace of spades or … nothing. Limited €500 Early Birds discount (that’s -20%)!

Ask any question you like and have a great week-end. Protect and take care of your loved ones and for those of you who’ll visit Baselworld: have a good exposition! May the force be with you.

Over & out

Headquarters