July 2016 Update

Initial inventory complete (29 pieces). Project currently on hold.

Why do you use Chinese movements instead of Swiss movements?

While there is a conventional stigma that only Swiss movements are of value or respectability, the truth is more complicated. First, ETA, the primary manufacturer of Swiss movements has decided not to offer its products outside the official Swatch group. Consequently, over time, the supply of Swiss movements will surely dry up and prices will sky-rocket. At the same time, Chinese clones, especially those by Sea-Gull, are regarded within the watch community as being of excellent value, especially for their money. Please feel free to contact us with any concerns.

How precise are the movements?

I regulate each movement with my own Android software called WildSpectra Mobile (which you can install from Google Play if you like). I find that I can generally achieve a precision of a few seconds per day, although each movement is different.

Can you set the seconds when setting the time?

Mechanical watch movements are called hacking movements if the seconds hand stops turning when you pull out the crown. This permits you to set the seconds by pushing the crown back at exactly the right moment. The 6497 and 6498 movements do not hack. Since the seconds hand keeps turning all the time, there's no easy way to set it. Some people have discovered that in some cases, turning the crown backwards gently while it is pulled out to the setting position exerts extra pressure on the friction-driven (as opposed to gear-driven) elements of the movement, and that this pressure then halts the seconds hand at its current position (or even drives the second hand backwards). This trick works better when the main power spring is weak, say in the first few windings. Furthermore, this trick only works on some movements (individual units, not just models) since it depends on the unit's exact frictional strength, which varies from unit to unit. Having worn my own watches for a few years now, I can say that my daily practice is to ignore the seconds and actually set the minute hand to conform to the seconds hand—I set the minute precisely on a minute-mark (or approximately if there are no minute-marks) just as the seconds hand reaches the top of its period.

What guarantee and/or warranty do you offer?

Please refer to our guarantee page for relevant information.

Why do you only offer Amazon and Dwolla payments, but not PayPal payments?

PayPal is the most widely recognized and used online purchasing system. Countless businesses use PayPal to organize web-driven shopping carts and process credit-card or other payment transactions. From the customer's point of view, PayPal offers all benefit with no cost or risk. However, from a merchant's point of view this is not quite the case. PayPal has received a fair amount of bad press for their confounding practice of sporadically freezing merchant accounts. While they claim to do this for fraud-avoidance reasons, there is no transparency into the process and no channel for recourse. Once such action is taken, an online merchant is virtually shut down. If this happens to a small business operating on tight margins, it can easily ruin that business, possibly so badly that recovery efforts fail and the business goes under. As much as we would like to support the payment options most sought by customers, we nevertheless feel we cannot take the risk of using PayPal with Badlands. At the same time, there are numerous excellent alternatives available. We currently use Amazon and Dwolla for our online payments. The only catch is that customers must have an Amazon or Dwolla account to use this system. Aside from that one sticking point, there really is no disadvantage to using these alternatives instead of PayPal. However, if you feel that you cannot pay with Amazon or Dwolla and would otherwise like to purchase one of our products, please contact us and we will work with you to find a solution, including perhaps a one-time PayPal transaction to my personal or premier PayPal accounts, or possibly other solutions. Thank you for understanding our position on this matter.

Badlands watches seem rather large. Are they only for men or can women wear them?

It is true that the 6497/6498 movements we currently use are quite large. However, fashion trends in recent years have made large watches very popular. Not only are men wearing extraordinarily large watches by men's standards, but women are now frequently wearing watches that would be of intermediate size on men, such as the 6497/6498. We strongly consider Badlands to be unisex and would be pleased to offer our watches to anyone who will enjoy them. Ultimately, each person must make up their own mind about what style suits them.

Why don't you offer movements with a center sweep seconds hand, or a day, date or other feature?

For our debut we have focused our designs on the extremely popular 6497 and 6498 movements (respectively, with the subseconds 180 and 90 degrees clockwise from the stem). After we refine our manufacturing, marketing and sales practices on our initial runs we would love to extend our line to new movements. Check us out in the future to see what we come up with.

Do you sell any parts separately?

For our debut we are focusing on establishing our brand, a unique and recognizable whole product, a completed watch. In the future we may or may not branch out to sell individuals parts (in particular, this website may eventually offer clearance items, older designs, or discounted flawed inventory), but ultimately the purpose of Badlands Watches is not to be a mere parts supplier, but rather to be a manufacturer of beautiful, elegant watches.

Can you explain the price structure?

As with virtually any business, we don't fully disclose our pricing strategy, but we will say that it is (as would be expected) a function combining material costs (including shipping, customs, duty, etc. to obtain various parts), our own labor and time, and all other business costs (website management, marketing, etc.). The one thing we would like to emphasize is how labor-intensive Badlands products are. The dials are hand-made from bare sheet copper, each dial individually monitored throughout the multi-step manufacturing process (please see the video on our about page, which shows how our dials are made). Likewise, each strap is individually hand-made in-house from raw leather to finished product. Finally, with respect to watches that incorporate cases with copper-plating and optional patina, the plating and patination processes are performed one case at a time and require multiple passes with individual attention to each case. Without a doubt, the majority of the cost reflected in the final sales price is shouldered by the burden of our manufacture methods (our art, in effect) and not merely the wholesale value of the underlying materials and parts.

What parts does Badlands make? What parts does it buy? What parts does it modify?

Badlands specializes in pure copper dials (faces) made in-house from scratch. These dials are the signature component of our watches. We also make straps from scratch and modify some stainless steel cases with copper-plating and/or patina (while using other cases unmodified from our suppliers). The movements and hands are purchased and used essentially without alteration, with the exception that some of our designs incorporate slight hand modifications, such as cutting or otherwise reshaping stock hands.

Are the copper and patina colors real or are they just painted on?

Badlands works with pure copper. If it looks copper-colored, it is real copper. This is true not only of the dials, but also of the copper-plated cases, which start out as stainless steel cases and are then electro-plated with 100% copper (sometimes the plating process produces a dark copper as opposed to a shiny copper, which is essentially a form of patina). Similarly, anything that looks like dark brown, red, blue or green patina, whether on a dial or a case, is true patina (it is genuine copper oxidation, never paint, dye, or ink). We are able to achieve a wide spectrum of patina colors (mainly blues, greens, and browns) by altering the chemicals we use during the patina process. Much in the way that true aged copper can assume a range of colors depending on the environmental conditions, the interaction of the various patina-encouraging chemicals with the copper is absolutely natural (albeit much faster than "left-outdoors" oxidation) and yields equally diverse coloration. The only application of artificial color we use is black and only sometimes: some dial patterns involve the application of various sources of black either into the intaglio impressions or onto the raised relief.

How scratch resistant are the copper-plated and patinated cases?

Copper-plated cases and copper-plated-with-patina cases are protected with an enamel or laquer coat. Not only does this layer offer some scratch resistance, but it also slows and diminishes further oxidation so the case won't change color too much over time (some plated cases have apparently slowly darkened, but we believe in a way that only heightens their overall beauty). However, in our experience, the protective coat is only weakly effective against physical damage such as sharp impacts, abrasions, scratches, etc. This is similar to the popular matte black PVD coatings that are often available on watch cases. Over time, our plated and patinated cases will probably accumulate reasonable wear and tear. However, we believe that unlike many other watch brands, in which such aging may appear undesirable, the unique Badlands look and feel positively embraces such graceful aging. We recommend that you see reasonable wear and tear as an endearing quality of these watches since they only look more beautiful as they acquire markings appropriate to their age. If you are displeased with your watch in any way, please contact us.

Do you offer custom dial designs?

Eventually, we would like to offer custom dials, for example, his-and-hers matching wedding or anniversary watches, commemorative watches, conference-themed or event-themed watches, or other watches incorporating personalized dials. However, for our debut, we are focusing on our current line and cannot support custom dials yet. If you believe you may be interested in custom designs, please contact us and we will notify you when we are ready to extend our business in that direction.

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