Jason: Craftsmanship is the intangible quality that a customer senses when they pick up a product for the first time. The experience one feels as the product rests in your hand, there’s an unconscious acknowledgement of whether it’s good or bad. If you hold a poorly crafted product, you can feel the haste in which it was rushed through the R&D process. This abstract notion is impossible to hide. It just doesn’t feel right.
A watchmaker has dedicated themselves to studying their craft — often attending a special school and starting out as an apprentice and then working on all aspects of the process to finally become a master watchmaker. The result is a level of unparalleled craftsmanship that is coveted and often proudly worn on their customer’s wrist.
The thing about titanium (used in our phone) is that it’s stiff. Really -- it won’t bend. Often found in aerospace designs for similar reasons, it allows us to use thinner walls and have more room for bigger batteries inside. We can also shrink the borders of the product without having to worry that the display will get damaged if the phone is dropped. But it wasn’t easy to get. I literally went around the world three times before I found a partner that shared our vision. But I’m glad we did, because the finished product is beautiful.
Linda: We made the back of the phone with this beautiful colored ceramic. If you’ve never seen it, ceramic has this pleasant, organic luster that you don’t find in glass, or in anything else…
Part of my job is to scour the earth to find new technologies that can be applied to our products to make them stand-out in our customer’s hands and mind. From a designers perspective, I enjoy the challenge of seeking out materials that are clean and flawless — leaving you with a sensation that you’re holding something magical in your hand. And we found it with Ceramic.
In designing devices, you’re usually counting millimeter. The challenge with ceramic is that it’s like pottery. You have to fire it, and when you do, the material shrinks 25%. We spent months and months, but we eventually honed in on a process that allowed us to get cost down to the point where it’s both feasible and flawless.
I’ll never forget when the first sample came back from the factory. We immediately saw how beautiful it was. It’s almost metallic, cool to the touch — yet it’s not metal. It has a depth that you can’t replicate with plastic, and you can’t scratch it. I love it.