In our last newsletter we spoke about our manufacturing partner and how we chose them, in this months instalment we want to tell you the story of the Rune link bracelet and why it matters so much to us.
Before we can begin to tell our tale we have to first understand why so much time and effort has been poured into its creation. For our first watch we wanted something special, the amount of off-the-shelf solutions that already exist are mind boggling. However, its not really fair to call something a launch exclusive if you're merely cherry picking from a catalogue potentially escalating to calls for refunds. Hence we chose the difficult path of creating our own from scratch, with a little help and consultation from Brogioli SA ( the same people that make the bracelet for the A.Lange &Sohne Odysseus) and our final partner Dexel SA.
If you believe everything you read, there are few truly virgin territories for improvement within watchmaking: Chronometry, robustness and toxicity were all conquered in the previous century, however the true prize territory has and always been wearability. The obsession over dimensions that fit the 36mm paradigm came about as a way to gauge how comfortable something was, however in the early 2000's things began to change with dimension creep increasing the overall size of watches. In what felt like an overnight shift cases that had been 36mm for decades became 40mm and up, yet in scaling the cases manufacturers neglected the way their creations sat on wrist.
Part of the problem was the overall dimensions were increased evenly, this is particularly pronounced on the lug to lug distance which can make the difference between a case sitting flush or rocking on the wrist. There are a couple of ways to mitigate the rocking effect: One method is to make endlinks that sit below the caseback, alternatively have a recessed/ female endlink to achieve a similar result to make the bracelet fit flush.
Given our short lug to lug and lack of material to play with our options were limited but we experimented nonetheless. In the first iteration our bracelet was a traditional H link pattern, the smaller links scalloped to reduce visual weight and prevent damage to the surface. When prototyped in 3D, we found the links weren't as visually dramatic and made the case look oversized in proportion to the bracelet. In its next iteration we combined every alternate link to form plus shape, extending the scalloped top surface to all links to reduce contact with surfaces. This was met with challenging reviews...
With better feedback we were able to reinvent the bracelet by making the links smaller and stacking them side by side, this simplified version was nearly the final iteration but needed one last tweak. The first link was somewhat problematic, to maintain the integrated aesthetic we started the bracelet after the endlink with our flying H, the problem was when it articulated the the pointed ends faced directly upwards. This would inevitably catch on surfaces and had the potential to cause damage leading to catastrophic failure of the bracelet, a nightmare scenario if you're using it underwater especially at sea. We chose to eliminate the flying H as the first link, instead moving the trifurcated H to that duty and changing where it articulated from: The end result was a bracelet which had far greater flexibility across different wrist shapes and sizes.
While work continues on in the background to hone the product before prototypes are made, we want to thank you for keeping up with our (mis)adventures into this thing we call watchmaking. Till next time, stay safe and hit us on social media to tell us what you though of this latest thrilling installment!