One of the most frequently asked questions we've received this week following the launch of 19.01 is: why the odd naming? There's a slightly convoluted (but still logical) answer to this, in two parts. When we develop a watch, we assign it an internal codename. The first two digits were originally meant to designate a year and a case/line (and rough price tier); the second two digits, the model.
We originally intended to move up a step every year: 17, 18, 19 and so on. However - plans must remain flexible and fluid, with the ability to adapt to market and supply situations. This means of course we may not necessarily launch watches in the order in which they were conceived, and we also can't change that designation partway through, or else we would run a very high risk of confusing our partners (and ourselves). It would not be a good thing to land up with the wrong components!
As we previously explained, our strategy is to define the two extremes of our lineup in 17.01 and 19.01. We will of course fill in the middle: there is clearly a number missing. On top of that, as mentioned in our October 20 post - the 17.03 will be announced very soon.
Anybody who's spent some time in the industry will tell you that the time to availability for a new watch is 12-18 months or more - this is a simple function of having a lot of components from various suppliers that must come together; we cannot launch a watch if one screw or gasket is missing. Our lead time is somewhere in the 9-12 month range, but only because we are lucky to have exceptional partners.
This is of course taken into account in our product planning because we know 19.01 is not for everybody, just as 17.01 is not either - and here lies the joy of the horological pursuit since a) there is choice and b) there is no reason we must restrict ourselves to just one watch... MT
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