Leitners’ Journey: From an idea to Forbes

“Watchmaking is a pinnacle of mechanical engineering,” says Rostislav Slovák and Marek Šmarda, co-founders of Leitners. With a background & passion for mechanical engineering, they came up with a concept of truly hybrid smartwatch. 

Back in 2019, they noticed a niche on the market – a lot of managers wore their luxury watches on one hand while on the other hand they had a smart band for activity tracking. That planted a seed for a project, which raised in November 2020 on Kickstarter $219,594. Ad Maiora represents a future of automatic watches – combines the heritage of automatic timepiece craftsmanship with modern and smart functions.

“We were so pleased to see that people love our idea and support us in a great way,” says Marek Šmarda and adds “If somebody would have told me last summer that we would make it to Forbes with our project, I wouldn’t believe it.” Not only Forbes but also other media, such as Manofmany, Chrononautix, or Hospodářské noviny, wrote about the Leitners’ successful Kickstarter campaign.

How did Ad Maiora make it from an idea to the functional prototype ready for Kickstarter campaign? Read more about it in our previous blog post. Few months ago, Leitners also interviewed its watch designers. Meet Thomas and Stepan, who are the creative minds behind the appearance of Ad Maiora.



Ad Maiora's development in a full swing

Ad Maiora’s development is in a full swing these days. The team is busy with hardware development and also working on the new bezel technology and GPS antenna. They already combined GPS and Bluetooth signals with the stainless-steel shield, tested that, and proved that it works smoothly.

Ad Maiora will be supporting a Bluetooth 5.0. Devices implementing only the low energy feature of Bluetooth 5.0 can also ensure backward compatibility with any older Bluetooth version. Bluetooth will be a key feature for communication between watches and your phone. It will be synchronizing e.g. all notifications, activity tracking, and time management features.

Leitner’s engineers are getting ready for testing Ad Maiora’s water-resistance. That requires several different prototypes with various tolerances, surface finishes, and component designs. Development of such a delicate functionality is a long run, but they’ll make sure to do that precisely.

The major surprise for the backers is that the team decided to start working on the NFC technology support. Even though NFC is not a part of the original documentation, Leitners is looking for a way to get the NFC antenna into Ad Maiora. That will allow Leitners to take a closer look at payment options in the future. “Please, do not expect NFC payments in the first Ad Maiora. It is a complicated process to get safety certificates and approvals from banks and might take even years, however, we’re working to get the hardware ready for this amazing future update” said Rostislav to the backers in the latest update on Kickstarter. 

New Technology Partnerships

There is also a lot of news in the internal operations and new partnerships. Leitners started a cooperation with TOP TECH supplier of SOLIDWORKS®, which offers complete 3D software tools to create, simulate, publish, and manage manufacturing data. Besides the new software partnership, Leitners made a contract with Adwitech, who will be supplying custom hardware wireless modules for the Ad Maiora.

Creative Business Cup 2021

Highlight of the month is that Leitners was named one of the Top 3 Most Creative Businesses in the Creative Business Cup 2021 supported by CzechInvest. The competition is intended for startups from creative industries, such as design, electronics, software, computer games, 3D printers, fashion, architecture, advertising, film, photography, gastronomy, leisure activities, toys, music or audio-vision.

The jury evaluates not only the creative solution of the product or service, but also the potential to withstand international competition and become a globally successful company. Watch Leitners pitch (in CZ) at 00:45:15.

All in one Offices & Production site

Leitners team found a new location for their offices that are combining the production site with the executive department of the company. The craftsmanship center for the Ad Maiora timepiece will be located in Brno, Czech republic. Renovation of the offices will be in place, and the team is looking forward to it. “We found this place and ultimately fell in love with the view and disposition of the place. It will allow us to have the whole company under one roof, which will help us get things done quickly and efficiently. The offices will need some improvements, and we already have ideas in mind on how to make this place a nice working environment for everyone” says Marek about the new offices Leitners just found recently.

NFC antenna use cases survey

The upcoming week will be in the sign of the NFC antenna. The team is gathering feedback from the users on how they would like to use NFC functionality in the Ad Maiora. In case you have supported the project or are considering making a pre-order, please take this quick 2-minute survey. Your insights will be a great help in future development.

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