Dear Ambassadors, dear Members,
Lucie and I are back after being quiet for a while. It took time for us to recover from the fatigue, from our emotions and from this incredible and magnificent experience.
Early July :
A few days before the watch assembly was supposed to be terminated, our watchmaker announced (with a heavy cough on the phone) that almost all of his employees had caught the Covid. The production would take 15 more days of delay.
There are theories about bad luck. If one day I have time to believe in it, I will consider the question...
The assembled watches were finally ready to ship but a bank transfer problem caused us to lose several days.
Finally, the watches left the factory.
Our transporter called us: he was in the customs department with customs officers... and the police...
I imagined myself with a pair of handcuffs around my wrists, spending my first night in a jail, swearing that I was innocent. But the carrier reassured me, everything was fine, it was just that the customs had decided to do a full inspection of the goods. This was normal because it was our first importation.
Should this be seen as some sort of welcome gift?
The control took three days, several watch boxes were damaged, (bad luck theory).
Once the control was finished, we had no trucks available anymore. So the carrier offered a solution which I really did not like : grouped transportation. I imagined some damaged or stolen packages but our carrier assured us that there would be no problem.
The next day, the truck arrived near Marseille but had to stop in Vitrolles in a storage center. We urgently needed to find another truck.
On July 28, Lucie's birthday, a small truck finally brought the packages in front of our warehouse. We felt so happy, until we discovered that eight watches had been stolen.
If you ever see a Bohen for sale without a warranty card nor its silicone strap, please let us know, it's probably one of them.
Personal message to the thief:
1: Kindly call us, there is a problem with the thread lock...
2: How to read time with a Bohen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32iqT2RFqyg
On July 29, we started shipping the first watches to our customers. It's unreal because many customers suddenly changed their delivery addresses or give us new instructions, which caused a monstrous traffic jam in our brains; especially mine to be honest. In fact, I found myself in the same situation as when I had free time: lobotomized.
Shipments took time because we made a video of each package, to avoid possible disputes upon receipt.
Then, suddenly, one evening spent at the corner of a pile of taped boxes, a flicker of instinct made me think of checking a detail: the thread lock...
Ah, the threadlocker, this liquid similar to nail varnish, that I had indeed asked our watchmaker ten times if he had had it applied.
And it was written by the foreman: put threadlocker on all the screws of the watch-band.
The operators did it, they forgot nothing.
But... two screws are not part of the band: the "watch head screws" and that, the foreman did not specify in his writing.
And so, panic, catastrophe, underwater spasms (you could imagine).
More than 250 watches were involved in this problem (but only 4 watches lost one screw).
What to do ? Moderate the news? Act quietly? Silence the scandal and the risk of bad buzz? No, that would be too smart to me ! I'm too direct, too involved, not realistic enough. So, 20 minutes after, I rang the alarm bell and launched an unprecedented operation in luxury watchmaking entitled:
Worst class service operation in the world.
Basically, the operation consisted of asking our Ambassadors to go to the closest watch repair shop/ watchmaker and ask them to put the threadlocker on the 2 screws...
Why did I do this? Because I was convinced that if everyone sent us back their watch, some of them would be damaged during transport, or lost, or stolen. I absolutely wanted to prevent the watches from traveling again.
We contacted watchmakers everywhere for those who are lost in Kuala Lumpur etc.
Finally, after 15 days, almost everyone had the problem fixed and I felt full of emotions : people were not blaming us. No bad buzz. Our Ambassadors were benevolent angels, happy to get us out of a real situation...
It was epic, heroic of you. Many have done the repair by themselves. 99% of our Ambassadors refused to get reimbursed from the fees they had to pay to the repairman. I had the feeling that an army of knights came to give us a hand and that filled me with emotion.
At the same time, retailers of famous brands called us: Hello, we put thread locker on two screws of one of your watches. Fantastic watch ! Would you be interested in selling with us? it's going to be a hit.
Even the best marketer would never have thought of such a publicity stunt!
And then behind all of it, we saw a veritable torrent of great comments arriving on social networks. What a joy to see that all these efforts, these sacrifices, this passion and all this love put into Bohen have led to this result. It's fantastic, unreal. I didn't even understand or realize that suddenly we had sold all our watches - out of stock - and that the Mille-Mer was creating emotion for all who wear it.
I am happy and I thank you for this generosity and this sharing in the adventure. You are not our customers, you are our Ambassadors and it was you who showed me that this title was special. We are a tribe of special people and that is what I wanted. Passion will take us, but it will be without any regrets!
After that, everything is blurry. Lucie and I are completely exhausted. We slept 2-3 hours a day for almost two weeks. The Ambassadors who came to get their watches at our place could surely bear witness to strange moments during which I no longer really knew what to say or do. The Ambassadors took over, some even adjusted the watch band of others, they talked about everything among themselves and I felt happy among them, everything was abnormal around us, but everything was going well , with well-being and I thank everyone, for the umpteenth superlative time, it made me feel good not to play a role, not to hold a position. We made impressive watches, stuffed with the highest quality but humanly, I'm not here to hold postures that don't look like me. Blaise, he's imperfect. I have nothing prestigious, I am a dunce who turned out pretty well, distracted, sensitive, passionate, stupid at my talented hours. I sometimes wonder what people expect from me, I don't often have the answer to my questions but it suits me well: my quintessence is in the watch and my happiness is in its allegory.
After all that, I promised myself that next time, we will outsource the deliveries. It was beyond our physical strength, there is no point in putting ourselves in danger.
We then left for a week with about twenty friends in Verdon, France. This was the only 1st week of vacation in a year for us… Great need to decompress. Kayaking, pétanque, walks, volleyball, billiards, fancy dress dinners, friendship and a 70s and 80s playlist.
This is my way of telling you the end of the first chapter of Bohen. This is only a summary, but it speaks of what has been accomplished. I'm still amazed by you, crazy that you are, you took the irrational risk of falling in love with a project, a style and a story. You took the risk of sending us your money, while the watch was virtual, you had no proof of our honesty, you did not know if we had not planned a clever scam. You took the risk of believing in the quality that I promised you, in this precision, this reliability that I guaranteed. You have decided to take the risk, and now, you know, you have the result of our total involvement.
Since our return from vacation, we are preparing the next chapter more calmly, without putting ourselves into overdrive. The last two limited series of the Mille-Mer will go into assembly next week. This time everything is better framed because we have learned a lot.
Only 80 blue-dial pieces in the world, and 80 others with gray dial, priced at 3,000 euros Excluding Taxes. We have no idea how the sale will go but there is already a strong demand.
I will take photos of them very soon. The preorders will then start and the deliveries will be done before Christmas.
Just after that, the chapter 2 arrives like a cannonball, we are very advanced on the prototypes and I will make you the same promise: the exception and the design, without compromises.
Dear Ambassadors and dear members, Bohen is here, we didn’t speak much these last weeks because calm always reigns before the storm. It will even be a hurricane and it is called StarDiver.