Roadblocks en route to the world’s thinnest watch

CT Blue_Sky_Watch_05.JPGChicagoan Jerry O’Leary, wearing the watch he designed and helped engineer—the world’s thinnest. His company is called Central Standard Timing. Photo by Zbigniew Bzdak, used with permission from Chicago Tribune.

A year ago, when I read news stories on the Kickstarter hardware phenomenon of the millimeter-thin watch, I latched onto the catchy company name and the care taken to design the font used on the watch’s curved face.

Little did I know, I’d write a little blurb about these cats and what they’ve gone through, for the Tribune’s Blue Sky project.

Jerry made the process sound grueling. I got the sense he wasn’t trying to dissuade competition, but truthfully discuss the work involved. Still, I probably would have made the same choices he did.

That is, if I knew how  to engineer electronics.

6 thoughts on “Roadblocks en route to the world’s thinnest watch

    • Have you gone to their kickstarter page and read their updates? They write a progress report once a month or so. (That’s a lot of months now, I know! But also a lot of updates.) Seems like they’re mere weeks away from shipping based on the last update. That’s something they’ve never said befofe..

  1. Well I’m one of those kickstarter backers. I do read the updates there has only been excuses for delay and no timeframe since about feb. 2014.
    I’m not as upset as the first commenter here though… One of the other backer posted a good comment about how I (and probably many of us) feel about this project :
    “Like many of you, I have given up on ever receiving this product but I come back from time to time check up on the latest excuses.
    It is a bit like driving past a car accident, you know you wont like what you see but you just can’t stop yourself.”

    • I get it, i get it: it sucks to wait for nearly two years for something that he originally said (or at least implied) would take less than a year. But correct me if i’m wrong: kickstarter doesn’t enforce any timeline. Hell, they dont even enforce whether or not you get anything. But while many of you see this as a problem, keep in mind that kickstarter is the only place where ideas in such an undeveloped stage get green-lighted. There’s no other place like it. I think this one got wide public approval because the people were from a company (Ideo) that has done this kind of thing before. So at least there’s a chance that all this extra time translates into a more durable product. The updates seem to suggest a lot of testing is going on. As for “no timeframe,” that’s incorrect. Read the updates and you’ll see they give you as best a timeframe as they can, nearly every time. Have you also read my article? At the beginning they were relying on suppliers who usually do runs of 200,000, 500,000 units to provide them with a run of 3,000 units. They weren’t very high on the business totem pole. These days they seem to be treated better, and setbacks come in the form of parts that don’t work right for the device.

  2. No, you’re correct. KickStarter doesn’t enforce any timeline but that’s not the issue. No offence, I have read your article, and when it was published I had nothing but admiration for them. I’ve followed this project all along, reading any articles I can find. I’m a KS backer and have read all updates and most comments. Unfortunately mere weeks away is something they’ve implied more than once, though last update has been the only recent mention in about eight months.

    Delays are inevitable, the timeline is not the issue, keeping KS backers and pre-order customers informed should be. Time and time again they promise more frequent updates, but don’t follow through. When they do update, it’s always an excuse and someone else’s fault. To the reader this just demonstrates poor management.

    They are yet to even update their website, still claiming an expected shipping date of summer 2014.

    I am upset. As you mentioned, coming from Ideo I too believed they were capable of this project. Whilst they may “eventually” succeed, to date they are not leaving that impression. I truly hope you are correct that the months do translate to a more durable product, but we shall see.

    My apologies for posting the original comment on an older article but from my point of view the major roadblocks are CST themselves.

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