In the coming months we will literally change the face of the timepiece as we know it...with the introduction of the patented V-ZA-V™ watch and clock and their removable and interchangeable faces. It’s all about self-expression, and it’s been a long time coming.

Over the last several years many talented people and skillful individuals whose insights and unwavering dedication have been present from the start--have made valuable contributions in the development of these revolutionary timepieces:

The first and only horologe specifically designed to accommodate the insertion, removal, and replacement of watch faces, while still maintaining the integrity of the timepiece

In other words, sliding the removable face in and out of the patented watch or clock doesn’t mess with time--as in the hands or the movement.

To Everything, There Is a Season

As with anything new, we’ve been through our share of peaks and valleys. One of the early peaks was being awarded U.S. Patent No. 5,793,710 in just over two years back in 1998.

U.S. Patent No. 5,793,710

Other early highlights included Fossil’s and Swatch’s initial interest in the watch patent. We’ve admired these two innovative companies since they arrived on the watch scene and shook things up. Both saw the merits for different reasons--each targeting significantly different audiences. Fossil envisioned the invention as a series of watches--each watch packaged with a collection of cartoon-character or action figure watch faces. Swatch saw it as a way for their cutting-edge Access/SnowPass watches to more deeply penetrate the nascent access and contactless payments markets. Unfortunately, neither of these innovative ways to market the watch become a reality.

After that, gravity pulled us into the dreaded valley of Resistance-to-Change, where we encountered a long stretch of keen resistance from the traditional wing of the watch and clock industries. (“What you are proposing is the production of significantly fewer watches.”)

After a while, and without warning, scenes from The Man in the White Suit began to flash before the eyes of inventor, Jake Jacobi. This went on for so long, it’s said Jake is now one of the few people with a nearly photographic recall of every piece of dialogue spoken by the film’s minor characters (not to mention, one of still fewer who includes this as a life accomplishment).

But progress, in the form of a number of advances in information technology and savvy advisor, Joe LePla--came up with a high-tech strategy (eureka!) to solve the problem of how to get an endless array of high-quality and expressive faces into your hands, onto your V-ZA-V watch, and into your V-ZA-V clock quickly, easily, and inexpensively.

Forging High Touch and High Tech

These brand new and patent-protected watches and clocks reflect the decidedly self-expressive and high-touch V-ZA-V logo designed by Miriam Walsh Lisco.

And under the guidance of Stan Rickel what’s emerged is a classically modern example of industrial design and engineering refined by KEK Associates using high-tech tools.

Redesigned faceplate inserted into flexible bezel prototype.

Our web development team brought an online version of the V-ZA-V timepiece to life using some cool IT tools. And the last, but in no way the least, of the technological efforts, which has borne fruit during this long project, is our sophisticated V-ZA-V e-commerce website (2.0) currently in development. Not only will you be able to select face designs from an ever-growing, and almost endless digital collection in the Facial Expressions Store, you’ll be able to design your own original faces in the Facial Expressions Studio.

But it’s how quickly, easily, and inexpensively you’ll be able to transfer your new faces from cyberspace to the space inside your watch or clock that will put a smile on your face. Our web developers are working on the high-tech system and method that, once you click “Express It,” will send the digital images from the website to your personal photo-quality printer. In a matter of seconds, your self-expressive images will be produced on our proprietary, micro-perforated, printable faceplates™ sheets. Simply pop out one of your new resilient, instant-dry faceplates, and slide it into your V-ZA-V watch or clock…Voila! You have the look of a new timepiece.

Changing Faces in Changing Times

The trend toward customization and personalization of our everyday stuff--cell phones, laptops, tablets and other electronic devices, even watches--makes sense, these are items that we use to express ourselves. And there is no shortage of watch companies that tout their products as being customizable, so you can change them to match your changing moods and fashion sense. But in every instance, the choices are limited, and the cost of customizing can get out of whack, very quickly.

V-ZA-V Economics 101

Research: Ian Jacobi

But soon, the face-changing V-ZA-V watches and clocks will be the only well-made quartz timepieces that truly can offer limitless options of self-expression, and at a price so modest it has the potential to bring about nothing less than a paradigm shift in how we see time.

Jake Jacobi   Inventor

Creative Direction and Business Development

Jake is the driving force behind the revolutionary
V-ZA-V™ watch. Inventor of the original utility patent and co-inventor of the patent-pending improvements incorporated in the latest V-ZA-V watch design, Jake has assembled a very talented, accomplished, and multi-disciplined team to bring his vision to market.

While still in college, Jake began his career working with Harvey and Bob Weinstein (pre-Miramax and the Weinstein Company) and Corky Burger promoting and producing sports and entertainment events. He is best known for his strategy and branding work for new product/business development with such varied clients as NASA, Merck, MasterCard and AT&T. (He even was a marketing consultant for the Soviet National Tennis Team--pre-Glasnost.) Jake has been issued nine U.S. and foreign patents, with additional patents pending, including patents derived for a novel system and method to aid those with learning disabilities.

Stan Rickel   Advisor

Industrial Design Development

Stan continues to provide invaluable direction, guidance, and advice as we’ve progressed from the drawings of U.S. Pat. No. 5,793,710, to an additional utility patent application, to now being on the verge of mass-producing the “face-changing” V-ZA-V watch.

Associate Professor and Chair of RIT’s Department of Industrial Design--ranked among the top ten U.S. design programs--Stan also serves as Graduate Coordinator. His current interests include, sensible design, Dr. Seuss, whole/brain thinking, abstractions and perception, emergent properties of artifacts and environments. Prior to joining RIT in 2001, Stan taught at his alma maters Pratt Institute and Syracuse University. Before entering teaching, Stan was a practicing industrial designer in NYC with such diverse clients as George Kovacs, Hasbro, and Farberware.

Miriam Walsh Lisco

Visual Branding

Miriam has an uncanny talent for creating brands that speak volumes in a single glance. With the V-ZA-V logo she has elegantly orchestrated type, color, and graphic design to express the quintessence of the revolutionary V-ZA-V watch. Her work is also evident in the V-ZA-V website and product packaging.

Walsh Design--the Seattle-based firm Miriam took over from her father, design legend Fred Walsh--is a rarity in many ways. The firm is one of the few family-owned creative firms in the US to be successful and thrive into a second generation. Today Miriam and her daughter Lisa continue the family tradition of groundbreaking design in a variety of media for clients across the country.

Joe LePla

Brand & Marketing Strategy

Before Joe joined the team two years ago, the product was a horologe, and the plan was to license or sell the patented intellectual property to one of the leading fashion brands. Now we are a web-based company on the verge of manufacturing the V-ZA-V™ watch, and marketing it via our sophisticated e-commerce site along with our “stand-alone” Facial Expressions™ watch faces.

Co-founder of the brand strategy consultancy, Parker LePla, Joe and partner Lynn Parker coined the phrase “integrated branding.” And have advised such brand-sensitive clients as IBM, Microsoft, Mayo Clinic, and Milliman using this practical marketing communications approach. Joe is the author of three books, Intergrated Brand, Brand Driven, and the newly released Create A Brand that Inspires on the subject of internal branding.

Ian Jacobi

Pop Culture & Competitive Analysis

Ian has immersed himself in the world of mass-produced watches to make sure we are aware of the latest products, trends, and changes in the marketplace. He continues to analyze the competitive landscape including a wide array of products, websites, and social media communications specifically geared towards his fellow Twenty-somethings; beyond timepieces, his radar picks up blips from the fashion industry, and anything to do with self-expression.

A recent graduate of SUNY Oswego, Ian is a veteran in the arena of promoting products and services at events, having worked his way through college promoting a wide range of wares across the Northeastern US, among them Verizon’s 2011 multi-city tour across New York State. In his spare time he’s working on a story treatment for cable television depicting the adventures--ranging from the bizarre to the sublime--of an itinerant product promoter. In the spirit of full disclosure, Ian is one of inventor, Jake Jacobi’s favorite nephews.

NXT Media

Video Post-Production

NXT Media chief editor, Anthony DeLuca, has transformed our rough-cut video-- a combination of some very good design assets, plus some raw materials, and some very raw materials-- into the clear, compelling, and tightly edited presentation of the
V-ZA-V story now on Kickstarter.

Chuck Munier and his experienced team at NXT Media not only keep pace, but continue to stay on the cutting edge of the rapidly changing digital world of video post-production. Using their extensive and ever-increasing knowledge of film and new file-based editing workflow in post-production, they craft seamless end products for domestic and international clients; specializing in feature films, high-level corporate communications and broadcast.

Gravity Pool

Audio Recording & Post-Production

Rob Lavaque of Gravity Pool deftly engineered the audio for the V-ZA-V video--seamlessly matching Jake’s on-camera audio and his off-camera narration; mixing and editing Jeff Curtin’s music track; and working closely with Anthony DeLuca of NXT Media to create our Kickstarter end product. Rob also did the final audio mix for the opening animation on the V-ZA-V home page.

Gravity Pool is an independent audio post-production facility, concentrating in three areas: Music and Scoring; Record, Edit, Mix, and Master; and Sound Design. As a musician, Rob performed and toured some of the best in the business including Grammy® Award winner Richard Marx, multi-Platinum recording artist Greg Lake of ELP. Rob also did the factory programming for the world-renowned Clavia Nord Lead keyboard.

KEK Associates, Inc.

Industrial Design & Development

KEK Associates came to us highly recommended by RIT ID chair Stan Rickel. They have proven to be extraordinarily able collaborators, interpreting the patent drawings in CAD and building the first functioning prototype. Now they have laid out the manufacturing plan and are working with us through final production of the revolutionary V-ZA-V watch.

Over 40 years, KEK has evolved from a one-person industrial design consultancy to an award-winning, multi-disciplined design, engineering and prototype firm. It also continues to be a breeding ground for exceptional talent. Based in Rochester, NY, KEK has a reputation for rapidly, efficiently, and competitively bringing new quality products to market. Clients include consumer brands Vuzix, LeapFrog, XM Satellite Radio, Hamilton Beach, and Kodak.