What was your first watch?
My first watch was a cheap commodore. I got it from my parents at the age of 6 or 8 or so. It was a diver with a plexi crystal that I managed to scratch the very first day of wearing it. I found it in a box recently. I did not remember if it was a mechanical or quartz watch. It appeared to be a hand winder with 17 jewels and is still functioning. Sized about 32-34mm I cannot wear it anyomre but it makes me smile when I look at it. I might put it in a frame and hang it somewhere.
How did you get started launching Stuckx?
Stuckx was launched in mid 2014. At that time it was an idea with a product concepts. We started simply by sending out pictures on Facebook and the interest was there, so we went organically from there. Our first pre-order try failed. It was the “Infinite 8” model, a typical 70’s inspired diver that we thought was totally cool. We developed it up to the point where we had samples in our hands. Special tooling for the case, dial and hands were required, as only the movement was a stock item. Many people said they loved it, so we opened up our order book to fund it independently. But as so often, actual orders were less than words and good intentions. We didn’t achieve our minimum quantity to start the project and simply refunded all customers. We still want to make that one though! One way or another.
After that project we decided to make a truly insane watch design. It became The RocK. A typical love it/hate it watch. It got us noticed haha. We took the plunge and ordered it. This 1000m titanium beast was by no means an easy project in terms of manufacturing. We switched our part suppliers a few times to achieve the required quality level. The dial took ages to get right. In the meantime we slabbed on a very thick sapphire bezel as well. The project really became expensive. Our target always was to reach break-even, as it is a PR project. It looks like we will achieve that soon. We just assembled a few, but if demand continues we might assemble more. Due to the minimum order requirements we have enough parts to continue the model for a long time.
In the meantime we created “The Bull”, another different design that takes us back to the 70’s. Great colors on the dial with a very special ceramic bezel that was cnc’ed to give it an extra dimension. The bullhead configuration gives it its name. We tried Kickstarter this time, as it was kinda on our bucket list to give the platform a try. The campaign was a good success. We are planning to start deliveries to our patient backers in February.
What inspires your designs?
We love the iconic and the more obscure watches made in the 70’s. The designer I work with and myself had long conversations about the elements we wanted to incorporate in the typical Stuckx style. 3D elements on the dial that „catch the light”, splashes of color and no stock cases. We try to catch the atmosphere of the 70’s, but like to put it in a modern context. Larger sizes, modern materials and a quality finish that is generally hard to find in the micro-watch land.
What movements are you using and why these movements?
We are particularly fond of the Seiko/TNI movements. Even though we used a Swiss ETA in The RocK. We don’t just look at the product, but also at our relationship with the suppliers. Watchmaking is all about cooperating with the right partners. I guess I do not surprise folks when I say that Swiss movement suppliers are hard to work with. Their doors are closed or at best half open. Their terms of conditions are not very realistic… Even though we have the relations to get any Swiss movement via other channels, often cheaper than the direct way, we prefer to have a supplier that will work with us. TMI/Seiko have been wonderful. We even managed to secure the NE-88 mechanical chronograph with column wheel for our Bull project. In effect we are the first real micro brand to use that movement.
The movement business is under continuous change. Miyota offers a great product but has increased prices and their availability goes down. We will review the situation for every new project to get the best possible mix of reliability, supplier relation, risks and costs.
Where is Stuckx located and do you assemble the watches?
We are a Netherlands based company. But to me, that is not a part of our brand. Stuckx as a brand is oriented to the entire world. Not a subset of countries. The world is flat anyway, so we do the business part in The Netherlands. The design, engineering and sourcing is done in countries where that works best. Our products are sourced and made in China, where we hand pick almost all suppliers of parts ourselves. We have had projects where we asked for samples (and paid for tooling) to two different suppliers to simply see which one is performing the best. We learned a lot by doing so.
Most people tend to forget or are not aware of the fact, that even most B/C level Swiss brands have most of their parts produced in China as well. All that matters is the quality you choose. Obviously you have good and bad suppliers anywhere. The aim of the game is to find out which is which before it costs you money.
Obviously we have a double QC loop: at assembly in China and again on our side before shipping. So far this has worked very well.
Where can we buy stuckx watches and what is your price range?
So far we only sell directly to end customers via our web site www.stuckx.com.
We might start working with distributors later on, but we will test it first on a small scale. Worldwide shipping has become easy nowadays, so a distributor should really add something for a specific local market that we cannot easily serve ourselves.