NASA Kickstarter FAQ

Please read our latest update for the most up to date information

Why aren't you responding to Kickstarter comments?
When a campaign's funding time expires, Kickstarter locks down the campaign wall and FAQ section so we aren't able to make updates or add new information. The inability to add to the FAQ section makes communicating on a campaign of this size very difficult. Especially when it's generally the same questions being asked over and over again and our responses to those questions are constantly getting buried by more comments asking the same questions. Backers would have to click "Load More" a bunch of times to find the answers. Plus the comment section doesn't display responses/posts the same way on different devices (mobile, mobile app, desktop browser) which makes it difficult for backers to follow along with conversations. We decided it's more efficient to add a FAQ section to our site that can be updated with new questions and answers thus enabling backers to easily find answers to their questions. If for some reason you can't find an answer to your question, please email us directly at contact@xeric.com.

How is Kickstarter different than a store? (taken from KS FAQ section)
Backers must understand that Kickstarter is not a store. When you back a project on Kickstarter, you’re helping create something new — not pre-ordering something that already exists. Kickstarter does not offer refunds. Pledges on Kickstarter must be made in good faith. 

One of Kickstarter's biggest expectations for creators is that they regularly update backers on their project’s progress and notify them of any delays or roadblocks that may impact their estimated delivery time. Kickstarter expect creators to be open and honest with their backers during all stages of their project’s life cycle.

Can I get a refund or exchange my reward?
When you back a project on Kickstarter, you’re helping create something new — not pre-ordering something that already exists. Neither Kickstarter or Xeric offers refunds. Pledges on Kickstarter must be made in good faith.

When a project is successfully funded, the creator is responsible for completing the project and fulfilling each reward to the best of their abilities. Their fundamental obligation to backers is to finish all the work that was promised, honestly address backers’ concerns, and deliver rewards.

When will my reward ship?
As of March 30, we've shipped over 10,000 rewards of which nearly all have been delivered. If you haven't received tracking information then your reward will be part of the last shipment. Our factory estimates that the next shipment of watches will be ready in late April. We will keep you updated via Kickstarter as soon as we have more detailed production information, but for now we don't foresee the April timeline getting any better. We won't know the exact day for when your reward will ship. There are a lot of unknown variables (status of coronavirus outbreak, current production levels of both watches and straps, stock levels at our fulfillment centers, which watches or add-ons were purchased together, how many watches are still being assembled, etc). Rest assured that we will ship your reward as soon as it's ready.

When is the next batch of watches going to be ready to ship?
Since our update #18, almost 6,000 more watches have been assembled and are packed up to be transported to our shipping warehouses (1,000 NASA watches left to go!). We have also completed and packaged thousands of add-on straps. Our factory is estimating that they will be able to complete all remaining 1,000 watches before the end of April. At which point the watches will be ready to move to our shipping warehouses and then on to your wrist. Approximately 4500 watches will go to Hong Kong to begin shipping from that location. 2500 watches will be transported to the US. Thousands of add-on straps will also be delivered to both locations at that time. [SUSPENDED SHIPPING] Globally, shipping has been severely impacted by continued closures or safety measures surrounding the virus. Some countries have suspended all international shipments, while others are experiencing customs and delivery delays. Our shipping partners have recommended waiting 30 days to ship packages internationally out of our Hong Kong warehouse in the hopes that carriers will begin operating closer to normal at that time. Getting additional watches into the U.S. will take longer because of the lack of air freight options due to COVID-19. We are forced to use ocean freight to transport watches to our US warehouse (which takes about 5-6 weeks). However most of the remaining rewards we will be shipping from Hong Kong. We hope to resume shipping rewards at the end of April. This is assuming that the current shipping suspensions have been lifted. This continues to be an evolving situation and we will keep you updated about where the watches are in the fulfillment stage.

Where can I see if my reward has shipped or what I chose in the survey?
NASA Kickstarter backers can use this link to see if a tracking number has been issued yet or recover their survey and see what was chosen. If there is no tracking number or link then your watch is still being produced and will ship as soon as it's ready. https://xeric-nasa-trappist1.backerkit.com/

My reward hasn't shipped and I need to change my address, what do I do?
Please immediately email contact@xeric.com with your backer number and your new shipping address.

Will I be charge customs/duties when I receive my reward? 
We ship from two different fulfillment centers: Hong Kong or California, USA. It depends on your reward and how much stock we have in each facility.

Customs and taxes due will all depend on your country's import tax system. We will do everything in our power to minimize any taxes due, but we can’t forecast what those might be. You can check with your local government on their duties rate if this a concern for you.

My crystal is scratched, what do I do?
The Trappist-1 features a hesalite crystal. All crystals are inspected before and after installation for any imperfections. This material was used so the high domed shape could be made without the crystal shattering when it might be hit against objects during normal wear and tear. The crystal will get small scratches or abrasions if hit against other objects. Luckily most scratches can easily be buffed out using PolyWatch Scratch Remover. Here’s a video that shows how to buff out scratches (watch shown is an Omega Speedmaster that also has a Hesalite crystal). 

Why was the Miyota 8215 Automatic used instead of the Miyota 82S0 Automatic? What are the differences?
The Miyota 82SO is the skeletonized version of the 8215 and because of that it doesn't have a date function built into the movement. They have the same specs and build quality because they're both from the 8 Series collection. When the NASA campaign ended, we tried to increase our order with Miyota to 22,000 movements and they informed us that there was a waiting list for that movement and it would take 9 months before they could deliver. We asked about the 8215 knowing that it was the same movement just with a date function, and they said they could deliver them before December and since the NASA Trappist-1 doesn't show off the open heart skeleton of the 82SO, we made a judgement call to move forward with the 8215.

The second hand on my Trappist-1 Automatic NASA watch isn’t smooth… why? (Explanation provided by calibercorner.com)
Whether you call it stalling, stuttering, shuttering, hesitating, cascading or skipping, rest assured that the sweeping seconds hand on your Miyota movement (and even some older Swiss made movements) isn’t broken, it is normal.

While it may be alarming at first, and annoying to many collectors, the central sweeping seconds hand is prone to hesitation or stalling because of what is called an Indirect Drive system.

Note: Also keep in mind that if you are used to the Miyota caliber 9015 or modern Swiss automatic movements like the ETA 2824-2 or Sellita SW200-1, they beat at a higher rate (28,800 bph 4Hz) than the Miyota which beats at 21,600, so you may be more sensitive to the stalling seconds.

What causes this issue?
Let’s be clear, it’s not an issue with your watch, it’s the way the movement was designed. Watch movements that experience the stuttering central seconds hand use the third wheel in the gear train to indirectly drive a pinion which advances the seconds hand.

Back in the year 2000, Rob Berkavicius and Paul Delury wrote an article addressing the concern of the second hand momentarily stopping when the watch is bumped on the side. The team set out to explore why it happens on the caliber 8215, whether it is acceptable, and if it affected timekeeping. It’s recommended that you check out the entire post here, but the main idea is:

“The Miyota cal 8215 is an indirect sweep seconds design, very common in Swiss watches of even very high grades in the past. It allows for an elegantly simple design of the the watch, in this case the top plate encompasses both the time and winding trains. This view of the train, shows the sweep second pinion which passes through the center wheel, and is driven by the 3rd wheel.”

It is mostly noticeable when flicking the wrist or moving the watch side to side, and can appear to leap forward or stop for as long as 2 seconds.

Does the skipping second hand affect accuracy or timekeeping?
No. Simply check this answer for yourself by timing your watch. If you have a skipping second hand, is your watch still maintaining accuracy? If not, are you sure it’s not because your watch needs serviced?

More from the aforementioned article:

“Although this looks cosmetically unappealing, it makes no difference at all to the timekeeping of the watch. Increasing the tension of the brake spring must be done with great care, as too much tension will start to significantly affect the balance amplitude (from the extra friction in the train), and thus the timekeeping. And, this indeed is one of the reasons why “direct seconds” watch designs are now favored by watch manufacturers.”

Do all Miyota movements have this issue?
Again, the hesitating second hand is not really an issue. Not all Miyota movements experience this. For instance, the Miyota caliber 9015 has a Direct Drive seconds hand and does not have hesitating seconds.

The series of Miyota movements based on the 82XX caliber have the Indirect Drive system. Although not every collector will notice it or care about it, all movements with this setup will most likely experience the skipping seconds phenomenon, or it may become more visible in time. It can also depend on the dial and hands of the watch. For example, the three-arm start constellation hand shows the stutter to be more dramatic, while simple thin seconds hands may make it more difficult to notice.

Is there a fix or solution?
If what you’re actually seeing is the infamous Miyota “stuttering” seconds, then do not fear and do not fret! It’s ok and you can go back to enjoying your watch. Just be proud knowing that your timepiece can skip a few seconds and still be on time, not all movements can claim the same 

The second hand on my Trappist-1 NASA quartz watch isn’t sweeping … why?
The Seiko VH31 movement is a quartz watch than mimics an automatic movement with 4 beats per second versus 1 beat per second on a normal quartz movement. Because of this you won't get the tick, tick, tick motion of a normal quartz. The constellation seconds hand on the Trappist-1 is unlike any other second hand on the market. The length and weight of the three-arm design takes a lot of torque for the seconds gear to move that mass versus a thin single arm second hand. This makes the "stuttering" more noticeable. It's one of those design decisions/tradeoffs we had to make - cool unique seconds hand with stars or a simple boring thin seconds hand that sweeps smoother. The seconds hand on the very first round of samples for the Trappist-1 NASA had double the stars and the stutter was extremely noticeable, so we reduced the number of stars and support structure to reduce weight and size. The prototypes used for the Kickstarter video as well as production units have the seconds hand with fewer stars. It's much smoother than the first sample.

What is Cerakote? Can it chip? 
Cerakote is the white ceramic matte finish that comes standard with the Apollo 11 and Saturn V models. It protects the watch from scratches. Cerakote finish is only available on the models listed on the campaign wall (Apollo 11 and Saturn V). Cerakote is not impact resistant and can chip if hit on surfaces.

Why is the white cerakote on production not as white as the prototype?
The production Apollo 11 and Saturn V watches use the same cerakote on the initial prototype. There is no difference. Professional studio lighting was used when filming the Kickstarter video and product photography. This bright lighting is the same Kelvin temperature as direct sunlight so the cerakote is reflecting that bright white back so the case looks pure white. 

White cerakote has a slight ceramic tone as seen in the video and is the closest match available to the white leather straps. Keep in mind that white surfaces are largely affected by the light source they are in, especially with a matte surface like cerakote. Dim incandescent lights will give a yellow appearance while outdoor or studio lights will show off the white surface. Here is an example of what the production models look like in different lighting: https://vimeo.com/386608544

Why did the dial change on the Neutron Star and Blue Supernova?
Our tech pack for the prototype and production had the same pantone call out, but the dial came out more vibrant in production. The blue dial of the prototype had a blue-green hue to it versus the tech pack and production. Each watch is handmade so there are often slight variations between the initial prototype and final production. Fumé dials like the Blue Supernova and Neutron Star have unique properties that are difficult to translate in photography and are better enjoyed in person. Here's a video that helps illustrate the different looks that the dial can give you based on different light sources. 

I've seen a few comments on Kickstarter about defects, should I be concerned?
No, there is no reason to be concerned. As of Feb 18, 2020, over 7000 watches have been received and there is well under a 1% defect rate. A lot of them are because of rough shipping which caused the issue. 

What should I do if my NASA watch is received with a defect?
Please email us immediately at contact@xeric.com. Please include photos of the cardboard shipping box in case we need to file a damaged package claim. Also take a photo showing the issue with the watch. 

I need warranty service, what should I do?
Please visit our Warranty & Repair page to download our service center form. This page also has more information on the repair process and contact information of our service center.

Why does the Trappist-1 have roman numeral IIII instead of IV?
This is known as the “Watchmaker’s Four.” A roman numeral "IIII" has been used instead of “IV” on watch dials for several hundred years actually. It is really a matter of aesthetics and visual symmetrical balance. Someone a long time ago, noticed that using that for 4 o’clock not only made a dial look visually better, but helped legibility when looking at the dial from different angles.

Are the watches limited to 1969 total or 1969 per color?
Each SKU of the Trappist-1 NASA is limited to 1969 pieces. There are 26 different SKUs available - 13 automatic colors and 13 quartz colors. If we produced all 1969 of each color it would be a total of 51,194 watches. Plus there are up to 2,500 meteorite limited editions.

Why is there a notch between the bezel and case at 12 o'clock?
The Trappist-1 dial and grill is loaded from the top of the watch and this gap is necessary for after sales servicing so a watchmaker can access the dial/hands. It is not a defect.

Are the limited editions based on when you pledge?
No, the watches will be distributed randomly. This way every backer has a chance at low numbers even if you only found out about the Kickstarter campaign on day 20 of 21. Early backers get the benefit of the lowest pricing.

Can I request a specific limited edition number?
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate requests for specific limited edition numbers because multiple people could request the same number. There are only 1969 units (per color) of each model. In a world of almost 7.5 billion people, each limited edition unit per colorway of the Trappist-1 NASA collection will be one in 3,809,040. We think that’s pretty amazing. Like a single star in the vast universe. 

What does it mean to back a project (pledge)?
When you back a project, you’re funding the production of the product. That means you'll get your choice of watch once it's produced (based on the pledge level you selected during the campaign). Besides getting the product itself, you're also joining a community. Follow along the production process, take part in important surveys and give the creator valuable feedback.

Why did I pledge on Kickstarter when I could just pre-order it on Xeric.com?
Kickstarter backers were instrumental in making the Trappist-1 NASA Edition watches a reality. Backers received the lowest price ever offered ($169-199 for Quartz and $279-299 for Automatics) plus a FREE NATO strap ($25 value). If you pledged for three or more Trappist-1 watches then you also receive a 6-unit wood collectors box for FREE. Kickstarter backers also received special pricing on all our previous watches and straps at deep discounts. Xeric.com pre-order customers don't receive any of that and their limited edition numbers will be much higher than KS backers and they have to wait until May to receive their watches.

I'm new to Kickstarter, how does it work?
Kickstarter provides 12 helpful quick-read articles on the basics. Check it out here: https://help.kickstarter.com/hc/en-us/sections/115001095633-Kickstarter-101

How come a few non-Kickstarter customers received their Xeric.com pre-orders already?
There are a couple colors where we've received more stock than what was needed to fulfill KS backer rewards so a few pre-orders have shipped. Some of these same colors still need to be fulfilled to Kickstarter backers but only if that backer also had a second watch that we don't have stock to fulfill yet. We are holding back over 1000 pre-orders. Kickstarter backers get their watches first. We even turned off NASA pre-orders on Watches.com so our team's focus is 100% on Kickstarter backers. We've hired additional customer support reps so we have more people to answer questions, research orders, or provide customs documents if requested.