This is week 4 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 a year ago we made the early decision that the new products we were working on would need to be a stand-alone collection with special branding, similar to how we segmented our American Made line. These products have a different look and feel, and not all of them are made in the U.S. Even though there is some overlap between American Made, we created the Black Label line to encompass all the new products. From the extensive launch marketing to the Black Label sub-site, this was a product introduction that was larger than any other since opening Crown & Buckle in 2011. We're going to take a quick look at how and why Black Label differs from our regular product line.

Crown & Buckle spawned from the realization that we just couldn't find straps we wanted to wear, that were reasonably priced, and were easily available in the United States. Furthermore, our goal was to find the right balance of quality and price -- our straps represent a great value.

As it relates to Black Label, we felt the market was lacking value when it came to hand made, classic styled, side-stitched watch straps. At the low end you could buy a straight cut, single layer, roughly stitched strap for about $50-80. They had the "look," but lacked in quality and finishing. On the high end you could buy a tapered, lined, precisely stitched strap for about $130-160+. These straps are great quality, but they cost more than a lot of people wish to spend on a watch strap. Our Black Label straps have the quality of the higher end straps, with a price point closer to the lower end. Probably the only noticeable difference between our straps and straps costing twice the price is in the edge finishing. High end straps tend to have burnished edges and the edges may also be radiused. Our edges are smoothed and dyed in a matching color to the leather, which still looks great but takes less labor, keeping the price down.

How does this all tie into the look and feel of Black Label? It was clear to us that these products are special. We consider them the best straps and watch rolls we've ever sold. Even though they represent an excellent value, these products are at a price point we had never previously touched. As such, it was important to differentiate Black Label from the rest of our product line in how the products are identified and purchased on our web site. It allowed us to better tell the story behind the straps, and to show that, 'hey, we put a lot of work into these'. These aren't the same as our $40 leather straps.

Do you feel like we did a good job differentiating our Black Label products? We'd love to hear your feedback. Shoot us an email! Check in next week for week 5, where we will go into the materials that were used for the Black Label products. We will be discussing the logo and visual aspects of the brand in week 6.