Step 2: Revealing the design
CoLAB – Airain Sous-Marine
Help us shape Airain’s next flagship
In the first step, your response helped us decide on the Sous-Marine’s second hand and the types of glass. This time, we’re asking you to help us choose text placement and diver graphics on the dial and the back, which will further enhance the looks of the new Sous-Marine Re-Edition. On May 27 we will introduce some additional design. So be sure to check back later!
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 1 – March 29, 2022: Design foundations
First Glimpse of New Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition
It’s feedback time
Check out these black-dialed beauties. We plan to launch both versions: the French lollipop AND the DNA strand second hand, because they are both true to tradition. Additionally, on May 27 we introduced a Limited Series for which the voting is now open. Which one do you like best? You can also comment on all the details in the comment section down below, and explain why. We’d love to know what you think!
Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition
Although it will be developed to modern standards, the Sous-Marine Re-Edition will be true to the original as much as possible. Including the acrylic glass, adding to the historical correctness.
Airain Sous-Marine Limited Series
Together with the Re-Edition we are going to release a Limited Series of the Airain Sous-Marine. Vote for your favorite (maximum of 3) from May 27! Click on any watch to enlarge the image and inspect up close. We exclusively used the Airain crown logo on these models. What do you think?
Cast Your Vote
Let’s dot the i’s and cross the t’s
Design choice 3: Case Back Diver Graphic
The original Sous-Marine had a diver graphic on its case back. We went creative and made 3 different diver graphics. Which one do you think will fit the new Sous-Marine best?
Design choice 4: Fab. Suisse Text Placement
Time to talk logo placement!
Logo combinations varied on different Sous-Marine iterations. Sometimes it was just the Airain logo, or the Airain logo above the text ‘Eb. Suisse’. Sometimes it featured the full Airain + crown logo, with ‘airain’ being stylized in all lowercase.
Since the new Sous-Marine will be fully produced in Switzerland, the tag ‘Eb. Suisse’ would sell it short, as that only refers to unfinished Swiss movements. And since Airain is originally French, we think sticking to French terminology is sensible. So instead, we’ve opted for the tag line ‘Fab. Suisse’ (Swiss-Made), just like we did on our Type 20.
But that leaves us with a little dilemma: where should we put that tag? Placing it right under the logo in the upper half might bring balance in the dial*. But placing it under the six o’clock mark would make it less obtrusive. What do you think?
* = text edited because both versions are original.
For the Tech-savvy: the Parmentier Crown
A crown that is not a crown
If you look closely, you might already see it; the crown of the Sous-Marine looks a bit big compared to other watches. And maybe a bit odd. And that is precisely what’s special; it’s not a crown. It is a crown cap intended to guarantee watertightness around the crown area and is essentially an early version of the now common screwdown crown that didn’t infringe on any existing patents from other brands. It is a feature rarely found on watches from any manufacturers at the time other than the largest Swiss brands. It was a game changing innovation in the quickly growing sports watch market.
Under the crown cap is the real crown. Nice isn’t it? Well, it gets even better; the real crown has notches where the crown cap, when you flip it over, fits exactly onto. This was a clever invention, especially for the non-automatic versions of the original Sous-Marine. The real crown with these types of watches was so small that it was difficult to wind it with your fingers. A winding tool, a kind of rod, was therefore more often included. With this crown, the rod was not necessary; the winding tool was the crown cap itself.
The Parmentier crown takes its name from its inventor Jean René Parmentier (1921-1998), a former colonel of the French Air Force. In 1962 he designed the Triton watch for Dodane, commissioned by La Spirotechnique, a firm founded in 1946 by the famous Commander Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The Triton Spirotechnique is a unique watch with a crown at twelve o’clock. To get to the crown you first had to fold the lugs back. Then there was the crown cap with the actual crown underneath.
Ultimately, three executions of the Parmentier crown are known: 1) the dome version, reserved for the Triton Spirotechnique; 2) the notched version (image), which allows the movement to be wound by applying the cap flipped over to the crown and 3) the straight version, which is the most common.
Because of its historical significance, and since it is just utterly cool, we will be featuring the Parmentier crown on the new Sous-Marine.
Next Step: 3D visuals and Pre-order Round 1
By then it’s also time for the first of two pre-order rounds, which offers you the biggest advantage compared to the final retail price.
You talk, we listen
From time to time, we pick up great ideas from the comments and feedback from the community. We present them as a Quick Poll right here to see what the rest of you think.
The polls below have been closed and processed.
Are you interested to order our Airain Sous-Marine Re-Edition once they are available?
- Yes, I will most definitely order in pre-order round 1! (49%, 304 Votes)
- No, not yet. Maybe in pre-order round 2, when prototypes are ready (42%, 263 Votes)
- Uhmm... order? I was just admiring your beautiful watches! (8%, 52 Votes)
Total Voters: 619
Should we use the Airain crown logo on the Limited Series?
- Yes, and let's use the crown logo on the Re-Edition (black dial) as well! (39%, 107 Votes)
- No, I like the normal logo more (32%, 87 Votes)
- Yes, use it exclusively for the Limited Series! (30%, 82 Votes)
Total Voters: 277
White hands or silver polished hands on the Faded Black dial (Limited Series)
- Keep it like it is now, white painted hands (57%, 120 Votes)
- Change to silver polished (43%, 89 Votes)
Total Voters: 209
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