EARTH COLLECTION

Crowd funding is steadily making inroads into the Swiss watch making industry and the Zurich watch brand Werenbach is among them with quality mechanical watches with material from rockets that have been in space. With the Earth Collection, the start-up company is launching a collection that everyone can afford.

To realize this undertaking, Werenbach is relying on the support of the Internet community. In March the new collection was launched on the crowd funding platform Kickstarter.com. During the campaign, buyers benefitted from a one-time introductory price. Those who dare not only profit, but through their purchase help the new rocket watches to take off.

All Werenbach watches contain original material from the Soyuz spacecraft. In 1961 this type of rocket launched the first astronauts into space and today still carries astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Specifically, the watch material comes from the first stage of the rocket, which was jettisoned shortly after launch and fell back to Earth. The boosters landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan, where they were retrieved by Werenbach founder Patrick Hohmann and transported to Switzerland.

The material was prepared there and processed into precision watch components. Whereas in the models of the hand-made Atelier Collection, the case as well as elements of the dial (in some models) were made of rocket material, in the Earth Collection original material was used solely for the dial. The material for this collection comes from the Soyuz spacecraft, which was launched on 19 October 2016 destined for the International Space Station (ISS), returning back to Earth on 25 February 2017.

The raw material used is left in its original condition and by the color one can easily see which part of the rocket it comes from: if the dial is white, the material comes from the fairing of the spacecraft (nose cone); if it is grey, then it was made from part of the booster. The orange-colored metal plate incorporated in the dials of some of the models comes from the cladding of the rocket engine. In short, the rocket determines the design of the watch. The unprocessed surface of the original rocket parts shows scratches and other signs of wear that make each watch unique.

To keep the prices of the Earth Collection low, Werenbach used a new construction concept as well as a new production process. The watches also contain a less-complex movement and are produced in considerably larger quantities. Production is being pre-financed with the launch of a crowd funding campaign on the international online platform kickstarter.com. This is a win-win situation: the buyers finance the production and help the manufacturer increase awareness, at the same time they can purchase the watches at one-time wholesale prices. The mechanical watches are available from 490 CHF.

The Zurich start-up company Werenbach has been making watches since 2013 out of material from spaceborn Russian Soyuz rockets. Up to now the watches have been produced in very limited editions and sold directly. Three watches have already been unofficially tested by astronauts in space. Patrick Hohmann is the owner and CEO of Werenbach.

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