End of year update. Where are we, what's next?
It's been a long time since I did a significant update here so as we're coming towards the end of the year, I thought it was time. Let's get straight in to it.
Going full time
I started Hamtun as a side-project. Something that I dreamed of one day being big enough to support me, but never being sure that it would actually happen. Well I'm delighted to confirm that as of July 1 2019, Hamtun is now a full-time business. Early in the year I gave notice to previous employers and with notice periods now worked, all focus is on continuing to grow Hamtun in to the biggest and best thing it can be. 2019 is already my most successful year yet and I'm super-excited to see where we are 18 months from now.
I'd like to offer a huge, and very heartfelt thanks to every single person that has supported us in any way since 2016. It's a dream come true to be at this stage.
With the switch to full-time focus, there were things I knew I'd want to do differently. Some of that required a bigger and better website. We've spent the last 4 months preparing this snazzy new site, which is now much better placed to help me achieve my targets over the next few years. It is brand new though, so if you spot any problems let me know at email@example.com
Nanok remains a favourite here at Hamtun HQ and with customers. The original pre-order back in 2018 did well, and is now shipped. If you haven’t got one yet you should, they’ve come out incredibly and we don’t have many of the stainless steel version left. I'm planning a titanium variant for the future as well, which I think is going to be really popular.
Kraken H2 - breaking records
If you’ve been paying even a passing interest in Hamtun or the microbrand watch world you’re sure to have noticed that the Kraken H2 has been doing incredibly. Launched in early 2019, it raised more than £200,000 in pre-orders on day one and is around £500,000 in 28 days.
Thanks for the absolutely incredible support. For a tiny business with no ad budget and no marketing skills, it’s an amazing thing to have achieved.
I'm expecting stock any day now, and shipping will commence shortly afterwards. If you didn't get in on the pre-order, I will be doing another one once these are shipped. Not a huge one this time, it'll be limited to just a couple of hundred. I'll announce via the mailing list when they are available.
The problem with selling so many watches is that you have to support them! New for 2019 we have a couple of changes:
- The support address, firstname.lastname@example.org, has a new ticket system behind it. I plan to keep prices low and quality high as my primary focus. Something has to give, so support emails will sometimes take a while to resolve. I will always get to them, but I'd rather take a while to handle support and sell cheaper watches than reply immediately and charge £1000 for something I could do for £300.
- I have UK and US servicing partners in place. If you ever have issues with your watch you’ll be able to send your watch directly to them rather than wait around for me to receive them, transfer them to servicing partners, get them back, then ship them back to you. For those in North America it also gets rid of annoying customs stuff. I'm working on setting up more partnerships over the next year so that more countries (and hopefully all continents) have official partners. If you know anyone in Australia then let me know, that's my current focus.
Very short term shipping the Kraken H2 is obviously the focus, but lets look in to 2020.
Very early next year I have a few Hamtun projects lined up. Some will definitely happen, others are ideas that might or might not ever appear.
- The Nanok Ti is coming in January. It's a titanium version of the Nanok, available in new colours and now with or without an optional 12 hour ballbearing bezel. The fixed bezel one is very similar to the original in design, the only real changes being in the dial colours. The rotating bezel version feels like a whole new watch though, and opens it up to a new audience. I'll be sharing lots of details very soon.
- I'll be doing a second, smaller run of the Kraken H2 for those that missed the original pre-order. I plan to do that sometime in Q1 and it will be a small production. Maybe 200-300 watches maximum. Make sure you're signed up for notifications
- At the request of lots of people, I'm prototyping a GMT Kraken H2. I have no idea if this will ever see the light of day, but it's something I'll decide once I've seen the prototypes and seen how people react to them. It would need to be more expensive that the original Kraken H2 as the GMT movement is much more expensive. So I need to look at the numbers and see if it's worthwhile. Let me know what you think.
Separately, I have something else that I'm involved with but am not running on my own. I'm working with a partner on a new brand of entry-level but high quality automatic watches which will launch sometime in Q1 2020. Prices will be lower than Hamtun pieces, achieved by massively reducing the number of options available. For example there is something like 30 Kraken H2 combinations, which is expensive to make and manage. The first model from our new brand will have 4 models and no configuration options.
I'm not sure when the details will be announced as I'm not the only one involved and so can't make decisions alone, but certainly it'll be sooner rather than later. It's a great looking watch and I think it offers something new and interesting.
So that's it for now. I want to take this opportunity to thank you all, not just for being customers (if you are) but also for the constant support and encouragement I've received from everyone. I'm looking forward to 2020, I think there are some great watches coming. See you then!