For those of you who are just starting to get the first shipments of Apple Watch Series 4, congratulations! It's a fantastic update to an already great smartwatch line.
A few hours ago, we learned that our metal watch bands do not adequately fit the Series 4. A few customers who've had our bands from their previous series tried them on their shiny new Series 4 today and they didn't fit. I rushed to the Apple store and confirmed this as well, to my huge disappointment and dismay.
I know, Apple said that all previous bands fit Series 4 and that nothing changed, but for us, something changed. We've always prided ourselves in manufacturing to a more precise fit, and now it's finally come back to bite us. They changed something and we're going to figure out what in the coming days as we purchase our own Series 4 samples and work with the factory engineers to determine just what they moved or made smaller. It only takes a difference of 0.05mm to not fit at all at this level of precision.
A) If you have one of our bands and are getting a Series 4, you may experience one of the following issues I've seen today:
1. the connector doesn't slide in
2. the connector doesn't lock
3. there's a huge gap even if the connector slides in
If this is you, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll take care of you, although I need to kindly ask you for your patience and understanding. This is for our customers who've bought our aluminum bands (Ligero, Velo and Vitero). We're transitioning our steel production to a new factory, so the solution isn't as clear at the moment for the Revo and Locarno since there may be compatibility issues between different factories that we'll need to work out.
The preliminary plan of action for aluminum is:
1. We analyze what was changed in Series 4
2. We build a number of samples to test new connector dimensions
3. We manufacture new connectors and swap out our current inventory
4. We manufacture additional connectors for all of you who are affected
Some issues and risks we still face with this plan of action:
1. Aluminum colour consistency is incredibly difficult to achieve, even in the same production batch (I've seen darker and lighter shades of the Space Grey Apple Watch, for example, so even with Apple's clout, they can't do this. It's just an inherent constraint when working with any aluminum colours other than silver). If you need replacements, please keep this in mind.
2. This may take 2-3 months...but we're going to work extremely hard to minimize the timeframe.
B) If you're about to buy a Series 4, only our leather bands will fit because those use standard connectors, unlike our metal bands that all have custom designed and developed connectors that we're known and loved for. Starting today, don't order our metal bands for a Series 4 until we remove the heading off our homepage that indicates this fit issue.
C) If you don't intend to get a Series 4, and have any previous Series Apple Watch, now's a great time to get one for 30% off (metal only). This sale will last till October 31st with the coupon code "JUUKNAC30". Please note that by using these coupon codes, you're confirming that this purchase is not for a Series 4, so we cannot offer you compatible connectors at a future date.
Again, thank you for your understand and support, as always. It is an unforeseen situation that we are trying to mitigate as best and as quickly as possible.
UPDATE Oct 1, 2018
We've determined that the Series 4 case has had the connector slot pushed in by 0.60mm. You can see it here in these pictures below:
Since our bands are thicker than the opening of 3mm (to add more depth and design character, because 3mm bands are very thin for a watch), we need to taper our designs down to 2.90mm as the connectors meet the case. We've done it as precisely as possible by leaving 0.10mm of a gap between this edge and the case, so that we have a more integrated look. You can see this here with our Locarno and a Series 0.
But now that the slots were pushed deeper, this is now the sticking point, as you can see in this Vitero and a Series 4 photo below:
We're now in the process of re-engineering the connectors and here is a tentative schedule for completion:
Vitero: December 2018
Ligero: January 2019
Velo: January 2019
Revo and Locarno: April 2019
We'll update this rough schedule as we get more information.
As to why Apple did this, because it does seem like such a small change, I do have a theory: because all of their bands (and other 3rd party bands that copied their dimensions) had some wiggle, they decided to tighten this up in the case since there are so many millions of bands already out there. For us, we designed and engineered a better fit from the start in 2015, deliberately with less vertical wiggle, so now our precision is running into this issue.
Update Oct 16, 2018
Here's a video I shot today of the variances in the Apple Watch case, which makes it so hard to develop custom connectors like we do:
As you can see, it fits one but not the other, and both are Series 4. I guess I'd have to at least realize I'm fortunate enough to finally have a sample that's tight (the 44m Gold Steel is our 9th Apple Watch sample); previously, it was anecdotal from a small percentage of customers saying our bands wouldn't fit. Again, since we engineer ours to a tighter, more precision fit, we ran into these issues in the past.
Our only solution now is to rework the connector tooling again and basically make it fit the tightest Apple Watch we've seen; this inevitably and unavoidably means that for some of you, the fit isn't going to be as perfect as we'd expect or want out of JUUK.
Update Nov 2, 2018
The 2nd round of prototypes for new connector dimensions is finally a success! Here's a video showing it on a Series 3 LTE, Series 4 aluminum, and Series 4 steel gold (which was where we had issues before because it was tighter than the aluminum):
Now we can finally create the new connector tooling for the Vitero, Ligero and Velo and after that, start production on them.
Update Nov 19, 2018
We've ordered the Vitero, Velo and Ligero connectors from the aluminum factory now plus a few more to spare, so hopefully you were able to notify us that you needed it. We don't intend to make this a lifetime upgrade program but we'll help out all that we can who have notified us up until this point.
Update Dec 13, 2018
Production has been pushed back due to the complexity of machining these connectors (the most expensive component in our bands, incidentally) and the challenges of colour-matching the previous inventory batches. Here's the latest schedule that we HOPE for, but are not guaranteed to get from the factory:
End of Dec: Vitero Ruby Grey
End of Jan: remaining Vitero colours, Ligero and Velo
Apr: all steel models (unchanged at this point)
Thanks for your continued patience!
Update Dec 30, 2018
Here's the latest update from the factory and we hope we can stick to it. As with everything involved with manufacturing relatively complex products, things could change but we hope we can follow this latest schedule. Please note that this is when WE expect to receive the updated bands and connectors (for those customers who've expressed the need to us on or before Nov 19th), not when you should expect to receive them.
End of January 2019
Vitero Ruby Grey
Vitero Cosmic Grey
42mm Ligero Obsidian
42mm Ligero Cosmic Grey
42mm Ligero Rainbow
First week of February 2019
Velo Cosmic Grey
42mm Ligero Ruby
42mm Ligero Silver
42mm Ligero Viridian (connectors only)
42mm Ligero Cobalt (connectors only)
42mm Ligero Cadmium (connectors only)
42mm Ligero Tyrian (connectors only)
38mm Ligero Cosmic Grey
38mm Ligero Frost
38mm Ligero Lavender
38mm Ligero Silver
38mm Ligero Ruby (connectors only)
38mm Ligero Rainbow
Vitero Ruby Silver
The plan right now is to offer them free of charge while quantities last (and if you've notified us on or before Nov 19th, we've ordered yours already. We will ask for US$10 for each pair to cover shipping and handling though (or $20 for our Kickstarter backers), which we think is fair since we're offering a free solution to a problem that we didn't cause. We'll also be including a new tool that we had to redevelop for these connectors because the ones that came with the bands are too wide to work with the connectors.
Update Feb 5, 2019
The following connectors are in stock now and we've emailed those of you who've indicated to us that you needed them with ordering instructions. A number of these emails haven't been opened as far as we can see, so it's likely that some spam filters may have blocked them.
Vitero Ruby Grey
Vitero Cosmic Grey
42mm Ligero Cosmic Grey
42mm Ligero Rainbow
Velo Cosmic Grey
38mm Ligero Lavender
Hopefully for the rest listed above on the Dec 30th update, we'll get them sometime in March.
For the most of the steel models of the Revo and Locarno, it's going to be May or June at this point.
Update Mar 28, 2019
These are all the Series 4-compatible aluminum bands that we have in stock now (and will be updated as we run out):
42/44mm Cosmic Grey
We expect to get everything else outstanding in aluminum by early April.
As for the steel, it's been pushed back to at least July. We're working on some new plating colours so it's taken some time to perfect those prototypes to the point where we'll know if we're going to do them or not yet (for example, the gold colour...the first factory couldn't match it...or wasn't willing to because of the costs involved unless we had huge order quantities for them...so now we're doing it again with a different factory and we HOPE we can get this factory to match the gold steel Apple Watch).
Update Apr 15, 2019
All aluminum models are back in stock now and Series 4 compatible. We also have all aluminum connectors (except Ligero Rose Gold) now for those past customers who've requested these, and you've been notified via email (although some of you haven't opened the email yet so it's probably in your Spam folders).
For any of you who have steel JUUK bands (Revo or Locarno), this has been pushed back to the summer. Apologies for this long delay but I've had to work with 2 new steel bracelet factories to get these going, and each one has taken months to develop and prototype (one factory failed, then a 2nd factory was called in so the development times were consecutive, not concurrent). We finally have excellent quality with the 2nd factory and they're in production now.
Update Jun 12, 2019
The 42/44mm Revo, Locarno and new steel Velo are in production now. We hope to get them by October, which also applies to the updated Series 4 connectors for these models. We hope to be able to bring the 38/40mm Revo back in stock by winter so these will not be available in this initial October round.
If you've notified us up to this point, there's a good chance that there is a pair of updated connectors for you. If not, we can't guarantee that there are any left but please contact us and we'll do our best for you in terms of offering you a good discount if you wish to buy another one (of course, we need to have your initial order in our system to verify that you've been affected by this before we can offer the discount).
Update Oct 2, 2019
The steel bands (Revo, Locarno and new Velo) have been in production since April...but it's taking longer than anticipated. We expect this at the end of this month or sometime in November. This also includes the connectors for the 42mm Revo and 42mm Locarno. Sorry for the delay.