Do you know the story behind our engraving service ? How it all started ? I guess not. Sit down, get a cup of tea/coffee and some grandma biscuits. Just kidding, it won’t be that long. So, before April 2019, the only customisation we provided was at the beads/stones level. There were 30 choices of stones (below) and we thought it would be more than enough. Boi, were we wrong when we crossed the 250 stones mark last November so….
One summer morning in March (2019), when looking at the strap on my watch, an epiphany hit. Wasn’t our strap designed like a blank canvas ? I mean, it did look the part. It didn’t scream ‘ENGRAVE ON ME!’ but it wasn’t a passive interaction either. The more I looked at it, the more it felt ‘empty’. After a few days, I decided to ‘photoshop’ stuff on it. Take a simple .png file (without background) or write a text overlay on the strap and voila ! You know what it would look like. Plus, it looked fancy and cool so why not make something out of it ?
We usually post in the evening and on the 1st of April, our routine was not going to change except for a twist. You must have guessed it already. As an April’s Fool joke, we decided to tell people that they could now engrave on their strap. The literature that day read as follows:
“Great News Incoming !
We will be adding an engraving option to all our timepieces' strap soon ! We had our sights on engraving for some time now and we are still working on the details but it's coming soon....
An exciting new step, allowing YOU to embed even more meaning in your already unique timepiece. Name, date or just initials will add the perfect finishing touch to your next gift for yourself or your loved one….”
In my mind, I was like: Gotcha (to them) ! Next thing we know, we started receiving messages and the post performed very well too. Taken aback, we never knew people would care this much. Following their wishes, we started the journey to make it a reality. Finding the right method, we discovered the magic of fibre laser engraving. It’ll leave the perfect mark. Next was finding the right partner because our financial priorities didn’t include buying one. I mean, we couldn’t afford Rs 120 000 for the machine 5 months after we started sales. So, turns out, there are only a few companies who own this machine in Mauritius (go figure).
By a twist of fate, we found the perfect marriage with ProSign in Curepipe. It ticked all the right boxes, proximity, price and support. So we did a test with two fonts, they happily obliged at the behest of their boss, Mr Andre (God bless this man’s soul). When we proposed that each design be unique, we could hear the growls of the graphic designers. What that meant was that if a customer wanted a rabbit sitting on his name, he would get a rabbit sitting on his name. Mr Andre accepted but it came at a price, we had to make the engraving file and visualization and the fee was more. Quid pro quo at its finest, we were not going to decline, not when our next intended partner was in P.Louis. Just imagine the logistical nightmare of serving 4-5 customers, yes, you got it !
So our first bona fide order with engraving, the initials H.J. with a heart on a rose gold strap. For us, the start of a magnificent journey spanning over 100’s of engraves. Bicycle rides in the morning to drop the plain strap and the afternoon rides to get it back. Under the sun, the gray skies of Curepipe or the rain, only holidays could stop us. All good things need to end (or evolve), that’s what makes them precious I believe. We need to sacrifice what we have now to position ourselves to have something better for the future. For us, that translated in getting our own fibre laser engraving machine, Betty, who joined the family in November 2020 with the support of SME Mauritius Ltd (God bless them too). The story after that, you know already if you read our previous entries.
You should have gotten that tea/coffee after all. Thank you all, stay safe & frosty. ARH out