ERA Timepieces set out with one singular goal -- to take haute horlogerie complications and make them accessible to the common man. The ERA Prometheus is our first model, which features a skeletonized HZ3360A Tourbillon movement with a GMT / Dual timezone complication on the left and a sun-moon complication on the right. ERA Timepiece's CEO is Michael Galarza, who started the company by partnering up with master watchmakers that he's met over the years through his luxury goods distribution business.
Our concept seems to have legs, as we raised $50K before even launching on Kickstarter, then another additional $175K in 1 week on Kickstarter, and then hit the $700K mark in less than 4 weeks after launching.
This proves that regular people want Tourbillons to be accessible to them. They want tourbillon timepieces that created by a real brand that understands how to do proper branding and all the details associated with that, yet isn't trying to price gouge because they need to spend the bulk of their advertising budget on celebrity sponsorship deals.
The inspiration of our branding as you can see from our logo is Art Nouveau, and centered around the time period of the Great Gatsby. So streamline, black chrome blue color palette, early Rimowa suitcases, etc.
Leading ERA Timepieces is Michael Galarza, who has been enthralled with timepieces since before he could read and write. One of his earliest memories is sitting in the corner of the room, with his ear to a pocketwatch that his father owned, listening to its rhythmic beating.
As an adult, he created a boutique luxury goods sourcing and distribution business that specialized in helping companies find the highest quality suppliers worldwide. From the farms that provide the wool that eventually go into a famous British brand's hallmark checkered cashmere scarves to the leatherworkers who produce leather bags for famous French and Italian brands, Michael has a knack for identifying the world's absolute best quality producers in emerging economies.
As he got to know the producers better, he came to a realization that the actual price he could get these same products made for was many times 10% or 5% of what the eventual retail markup was -- far far below what the famous luxury brands charged for them and much higher than the usual markups in standard wholesaling. He realized that the crazy markup was required for these brands to keep paying for celebrity endorsements and sponsoring global sporting events to try to increase brand strength.
The luxury watch segment of the market was especially egregious, as he got to know more master watchmakers and boutique horological shops that made turnkey watches for large Swiss conglomerates, who would use a loophole in the weakness of the trade directive term "Swiss Made" to just ship an engraved rotor from Switzerland to China, and then source and make 100% of the rest of the watch there, and then it would ship directly to its final point of sale.
And so he decided to see if there was a market for people who cared about receiving a quality timepiece without an overly inflated budget for marketing dollars, who wanted a true timepiece that was worth its value. And so he decided to create a quality dependable Tourbillon timepiece that would be under $1000 that would still have all the hallmarks found in higher end watches.
That was how the ERA prometheus was born.