Step 1: Design foundations
CoLAB – Airain Sous-Marine
Help us shape Airain’s next flagship
Hello, fellow watch aficionado! We are delighted to welcome you to our collaborative designer platform (CoLAB). Your valuable insights and love for watch aesthetics will help us streamline the process of developing Airain’s latest treasure, the Sous-Marine Re-Edition.
We’ve chopped up the development process into four phases: design, technical development, prototyping and final production. The design phase is subdivided into several steps, in which we’ll cover anything from the overall shape down to the bezels and bands. You’re more than welcome to explain your thoughts further down this page.
With your input, Airain’s new Sous-Marine will become a joy to watch.
Right before our holiday, we sat down with our Swiss manufacturers to discuss some design choices for the Airain Sous-Marine, based on the CoLAB polls. One of the conclusions is that we may have to rebalance some aesthetic decisions against technological considerations, to ensure the best possible watch quality. A tricky process, but we’re confident the definitive watch will be in its best form!
That said, we will be opening the first pre-order round in October. If you don’t want to miss it, keep a close watch on our social channels and your inbox.
Other Steps in this project
Step 2 – May 13, 2022: Revealing the design
A unique watch
Perks & Benefits
Enjoy interesting perks and benefits
For watch lovers
Why This Watch Matters
An affordable yet capable skin diver
The name Sous-Marine itself will tell the connaisseurs among us that this watch is suitable for underwater use. The original Sous-Marine was advertised as highly reliable and accurate while submerged. An absolute must-have for (skin) divers at the time.
Nowadays, the original Sous-Marine has become an extremely rare sight, and those who are lucky to own one are reluctant to give it up.
And they don’t have to, because we are going to start producing a brand-new Sous-Marine.
With your esteemed input combined with Airain’s long-standing tradition of excellence, we will match the old watches in accuracy, durability AND beauty.
How Voting Works
Each time, you can choose from several proposals that we think are possible within the limits of Airain’s character and history. After a voting deadline, we tally the total number of votes. Choices with the highest votes will be used to produce the Sous-Marine’s final looks.
If you have a certain idea that we haven’t covered in our steps, you’re free to express it in the comment section below. We may decide to run it through our Quick Polls!
Cast Your Vote
Our head of design Matthieu Allègre is currently going over the lines of the old Sous-Marine for inspiration. With those in mind, he will first explore the overall case shape and the unique elements that gave the Sous-Marine its great appearance. The results will be presented in the next step.
We’re also contemplating the Parmentier crown and a Fixoflex wristband for a future design step. In this first step of the design phase, we’re asking you to cast 2 votes: on glass and hand types. You can explain your choices in the comment section below.
First Sketches of the Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition by Matthieu Allègre, Watch Designer
Design choice 1: Acrylic vs. Sapphire Glass
During the design process of our Type 20 Re-Edition, we ever so often received this difficult question:
Will there be a version with sapphire glass?
At the time, we wanted to make the new piece as historically accurate as possible. Acrylic crystals, perhaps better known as hesalite or plexiglass, were the industry standard in the watch’s heyday. And it lent them such warmth and organic richness, the Re-Edition simply had to be acrylic. No doubt about it.
For the Sous-Marine Re-Edition, it’s a similar story. We want to be historically accurate, but we’re also actively looking to add a new chapter to the watch’s history, with current technology at hand.
Both acrylic and sapphire have their pros and cons. But since this is a CoLAB endeavour, what do you think?
- historically accurate
- fits the warm hue of vintage watches
- very shatterproof and impact-resistant
- scratches can be removed
- prone to scratches, despite being anti-scratch treated
- very scratch resistant
- relatively shatterproof
- not historically accurate
- lacks the warm hue of acrylic
Design choice 2: DNA Strand vs. French Lollipop
Later iterations had a French lollipop sweep hand, more commonly seen on skin diver sports watches from the era.
Which one do you prefer?
Next Step: Revealing the Design
All right! With your feedback we will go right ahead and start designing this beautiful diver’s watch. In the next CoLAB step we will show you the designs we’ve made and ask you to vote for some final details.
You talk, we listen
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