Zurich, Switzerland. Young watch company Werenbach is launching a new collection named “MACH 33” - and is breaking new ground in digital innovation. Thanks to a microchip inside the new watches, it is now possible to log into the live stream of the International Space Station (ISS) via smartphone and see in real time breathtaking images of Earth from space. Like all Werenbach watches, the new models also contain real Soyuz rocket material that has returned to Earth. The Mach 33 collection will be launched on June 12 on Kickstarter for a price aimed at everyone.
Werenbach set out on their mission six years ago with a wild idea: Patrick Hohmann, founder and CEO of the Swiss watch company, decided to make his big dream come true: to build a watch from space rockets. From this one vision, an entire ideology has now emerged, inspired by the astronauts’ overview effect and something now made accessible through the Mach 33 collection.
The astronauts’ view
The microchip integrated in the watch not only opens up new digital-pioneering-potential for the industry, but also for the eyes of the watch wearer. Seeing the Earth from space changes a person’s way of thinking – this is how the US astronaut Frank White described his experience. The so-called “overview effect” makes the beholder realize how small and fragile the Earth is, and how relative everything can be. Werenbach is inspired by this idea in all their activities and has therefore given it its own name – Spaceborn. The new Mach 33 collection is the direct implementation of this thinking and bringing it to the masses. Touching the smartphone with the watch triggers an authentication process that activates the ISS’s live stream (part of space stations “HDEV project”). This is a new digital experience designed to inspire watch wearers in their everyday life and encourage them to think in a completely new way
From space rockets to watches
The material for the new collection comes from the Soyuz MS-02, which transported three astronauts to the ISS. As with the two existing Werenbach collections – Soyuz and Leonov – the jettisoned wreckage of this rocket was recovered from a military exclusion zone along the Kazakh steppe, checked for space radiation, processed to Switzerland and incorporated as original plates directly into the dials of the Werenbach watches. The current Mach 33 collection is named after the escape velocity an object needs to overcome gravity on Earth.
Another success on Kickstarter?
After Werenbach had one of the most successful Kickstarter projects of 2017 for Switzerland, the company now is returning to the platform as a thank you to fans and way of production for their new collection. However, the aim this time is to create an interesting price structure for all customer segments – a watch for all humans on Earth. This required a smart and simple design, which was made possible thanks to a monohull housing milled directly from a metal block and thanks to the efforts of a team of international production partners.
As a start-up company, Werenbach is still dependent on the support of fans. For those with a little patience, the Kickstarter offers the opportunity to purchase a watch from the new collection with up to a 50% discount.