Should You Crowdfund Or Not?
Phase zero (15 months before launch): you place the deposits for the cases, dials, hands, straps, buckles and boxes to have samples within 3 months.
Phase one (12 months before launch): your sales rep. personally travels to meet prominent bloggers from ABlogToWatch, Hodinkee, Fratello Watches and Perpetuelle (French) to lend them one of your early prototypes for writing a review.
Phase two (9 months before launch): you advertise on social media that “by invitation only” events will be organised in 12 of the biggest cities across the world, and you open up a sign up page where interested parties can confirm attendance.
Phase three (6 months before launch): you look at the sign ups and only book venues in cities where you have had sufficient interest.
Phase four (3 months before launch): during the event, the guest are be able to see the first samples, bring any question that they have, and place a pre-order. You can collect credit card payments on the fly with your phone with a Stripe account and a Chargebee account. Let’s say that there are 5 cities, so the total cost of the events is 5 x£ 750 = £ 3,750. If at least 2 customers do place a deposit, the campaign is already amortized.
Launch: you collect the remainder from each customer and organise the delivery of their watch. Considering the price, you could even have someone flown in and meeting them in a hotel lobby to hand over the watch in person. Even 15% of £ 4,300 is enough to book en easyjet flight and a hotel night (£ 645).
I would recommend NOT to allow for personal requests for customisation, if only to have something engraved on the case back or the box logo plate. For the strap colour, it is very easy to do individual orders with a strap maker such as Lic. In any case, the small customization options are something that we will need to work out with the suppliers.