Happy new year folks!
I had previously mentioned that I was planning on going with a printed application for the luminous markers, but I neglected to provide the full context as I wasn't far enough along in my testing. At this point I can now reveal that the "mystery meat" that I was planning on serving up for the SFIV was a sapphire dial with printed lume.
After a good year and a half of testing, I've decided against using sapphire for the entire SFIV series. While I have no reservations about the durability of a well-engineered sapphire dial (as demonstrated by a number of killer watches already available), the potential for breakage is higher than that of a brass dial. The after-sales support and servicing piece is a large part of planning and producing a new run, so I want to ensure that I have ample resources available in the event of a worst-case, major production SNAFU. Simply put: if all the sapphire dials broke, I need to be able to make it easy for owners to get them replaced. The more of them out there, the more challenging it becomes for me to make that process as seamless as possible.
I have not given up on them though, as I really love that impression of depth that a sapphire dial creates. I will be producing a few hundred as part of the SFIV series (let's call them "test dials"...you won't be seeing a lot of updates or info on them since the quantities will be limited and the ETA is kind of loose). If they hold up nicely for their owners, I'll look at making a larger batch for the SFV...
...which brings us to the question of what form the SFIV dials will take. I'll be going with the same lacquered brass dials as on the SFIII, but the markers will be Globolight XP ceramic appliques. In the mockup below, the lighter central portion will be the part that is luminous. It's shown on an Erika's strap, which will not be part of the package (so go buy one on your own - it's great).
The official colours will be:
- Pastel Blue with black hands and black-bordered applied markers
- Bahama Yellow with black hands and black-bordered applied markers
- No-catchy-name-yet Pink with black hands and black-bordered applied markers
- NF (no-fuss) Black with blasted grey hands and grey-bordered applied markers
- the aforementioned sapphire variants in a small quantity, in colours that are none of the above
- it does occur to me that the above lineup looks like I'm trying to cash in on the latest Rolex hotness. Ah well
The plan is to ship on a black fitted rubber strap (for all dial colours), unless a horrible delay occurs and I have to ship on something else in a pinch. The sapphire bezels will be black for all the rotating bezel variants.