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Two Years Coming

Two Years Coming

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This is week 3 of our Black Label Experience series, where we will be posting a behind the scenes view of our Black Label line over the coming weeks. View all the posts here.

Over two years ago, Crown & Buckle reached a milestone with the release of our American Made collection. It featured products hand made directly in house, at our South Florida location. Except for our previous collaborations with Logan Zane and Woodnsteel, this was our first foray into American products, and it was our first time manufacturing under our own roof. The learning curve was steep, but well worth the effort. Our initial American Made collection included NATO straps, 2-piece straps, and watch rolls.

We excelled with the leather NATO straps and continue to make those in house. The 2-piece straps and rolls were more difficult for us. While we had a lot of success selling the best of the 2-piece straps that we made, there was a high rate of rejects during our production process. We of course could not and did not sell those straps. The watch rolls simply took a lot longer to produce than anything else, so we only worked on those once in a while and couldn't keep up the demand for them.

It was back to the drawing board to refine the design and productive efficiency of the 2-piece straps and rolls. In the spring of 2015 we really began to shape what was to become Black Label. We created a new pattern for our watch rolls and transitioned them to a softer leather outer and suede lining that was much more user-friendly. While not made under our own roof any longer, the watch rolls are still made in the United States.

The 2-piece straps were a harder proposition. We realized early on that the leathers we were using for them weren't ideal for the type of construction we were trying to achieve. At that point we were using only Horween leathers. Horween has created quite a name for themselves and they truly make world-class leather. However, most of their trademark leather is very oily and waxy. That makes them great for footwear and even NATO straps, but not great for un-stitched watch straps that are double layered (with a lining on the underside). Most strap makers avoid this issue by making "unlined" 2-piece straps, which are single layer straps like our leather NATOs. To be thin enough to fit between the spring bar and the case of a watch, a NATO has to be thin like that. However, when it came to classically designed 2-piece straps, we wanted them to be more refined and to feature a lining, which created great challenges in both material selection and the assembly process.

The materials we chose and the assembly of the 2-piece straps is a long enough story to warrant it's own post, which will be coming in week 5 of our series. We will go into much more depth with those subjects, which were our greatest challenges of the Black Label project.

Stay tuned for week 4, where we will cover the look and feel of the Black Label brand, and how it compares to our core Crown & Buckle brand.

 

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We're Hiring!

We're Hiring!

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A wise man once said that he could not change time. You, on the other hand, can change your career. We're looking for great people to join our team in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. See our openings.

The Making of Black Label

The Making of Black Label

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This is week 2 of our Black Label Experience series, where we will be posting a behind the scenes view of our Black Label line over the coming weeks. View all the posts here.

Frequently we receive requests to see more behind the scenes action from C&B. We did not want to spill the beans before the launch last month, but now that Black Label is available in all it's glory, we want you to be able to experience the ~2 years that lead up to the launch.

Over the next 6+ weeks, we are going to devote one blog post a week to showing the product development, materials, branding, web site work, photography, and everything else that we poured our efforts into leading up to the Black Label launch. Posts will go live every Wednesday afternoon.

We think this is going to be a great experience for everyone. It will be fun for us to share, and we think you'll enjoy learning more about our method, thought process, and inspiration while getting to see some cool behind the scenes visuals. See you next Wednesday!

 

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Black Label - Thank You

Black Label - Thank You

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This is week 1 of our Black Label Experience series, where we will be posting a behind the scenes view of our Black Label line over the coming weeks. View all the posts here.

It's hard to believe, but we are already coming up on a month since the Black Label collection launched. The weeks leading up to and following the launch were a whirlwind for us. After close to 2 years of product development and countless hours spent on the web site, photography, packaging, and branding for Black Label, it was finally live! Even though we were completely confident in the products, it was still a little nerve-racking to finally "put it out there" for the first time.

The week leading up to the official launch was spent teasing and promoting the new collection. Right off the bat I think the hard work we had put into this project was very apparent to those that saw it. The macro photographs we used as teasers perfectly captured the intricate detail of each product. Even with only teasers to go on, the response was immediately very positive and supportive. This was new ground for us, and we were thrilled to see our customers and followers get excited about a new C&B venture.

On launch day, we watched closely in excitement as traffic picked up on the web site. At the peak, our concurrent users on the web site reached 25-40x the normal rate. People came to see what all the excitement was about. We stayed very late that day to ensure everyone that ordered on launch day received their brand new Black Label products as soon as possible. In the days following, it was an amazing feeling seeing people unboxing and enjoying their new Black Label straps and rolls, as shared with us on social media and by email. Receiving positive feedback, especially when the customers were now wearing and enjoying their new straps, really meant to world to all of us.

Black Label would not have been possible without you -- our follower, customer, supporter, friend. No matter how big or small, all of the support we have received over the years has helped us reach milestones like our American Made and Black Label collections. Thank you, sincerely, for supporting us. We are grateful and blessed to be able to do what we love.

Sincerely,

-Thomas

 

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On the wrist...

On the wrist...

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On the wrist with our Finn brown suede strap, part of the new Black Label collection.

Free Shipping Weekend

Free Shipping Weekend

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Receive free shipping anywhere in the world on any order placed now through Monday, May 30th. No minimum order needed, no restrictions. Simply select the "Free Shipping" option during the checkout process on our web site. For more details, please click here.

C&B will be closed on Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day. New orders placed will ship out on Tuesday the 31st.

Strap Choices

Strap Choices

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With so many great choices in our new Black Label, it's been hard for us to pick what to wear, but we've all gravitated towards favorites. If you need any help making a decision on our new purchase, reach out to us. We'd love to help you make a decision.

Meet Black Label

Meet Black Label

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We've combined the world's finest materials with the spirit of handmade tradition. Meet Crown & Buckle Black Label, our iconic mark of quality. Shop now.

 

So close!

So close!

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Black Label launches at 10 AM eastern time tomorrow morning. We're almost there!

72 Hours

72 Hours

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We're just about 72 hours away from the launch of Crown & Buckle Black Label. Are you excited yet?!

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