We know it's been a while, but the Fractal 2.0 is finally ready! Here's a quick rundown of all the improvements we made to the new version of our most popular design.
We went back to the drawing board and made significant changes to every aspect of the Fractal 2.0's quick-release button. The new design has a hollow cut through that lightens the button and increased its cool factor by 10. We added reinforcing braces and a thicker piece of steel to reduce wobbliness, improve magnetic attraction, and enhance overall strength and reliability. The button also sits higher inside the buckle to reduce the likelihood of accidental opening.
Based on fan feedback, we decided to create a machine to stress test the new design to ensure it could stand up to the rigors of long-term daily wear. We set it up to perform 73,000 open/close cycles, simulating roughly ten years of use by a person with a tiny bladder. The results were excellent - the new button showed no signs of stress or damage. Click below to see it in action.
While we were reengineering the inside of the buckle, we decided to upgrade the magnet. We changed from an N35 to N42, a 20% increase in strength. This new magnet combined with the redesigned quick-release button for a more reliable open-close action and less likelihood of accidentally bumping open the buckle.
The back of the Fractal 2.0 got an upgrade as well. We added more recessed lines and angles to amp up the cyberpunk feel. This has three benefits - it looks pretty awesome, reduces the overall weight, and creates more space on the inside of the buckle for the new button to move.
The precision-made machined brass sizing stud is the most engineered part of the design that you never see. Tighter tolerance on the inside slot means less slop of the internal mechanism. New chamfers and a lower profile help align the stud with the back and inside of the buckle, pulling it closer to the body. The chamfers also have softer edges that are gentler on your fingers when you change your size.
We have tighter tolerance between openings and moving parts on version 2.0. This reduces the chance of rattling inside the buckle and ensures the button operates smoothly, even after years of use.
We faced a challenge with the face of the Fractal. We wanted to keep the striking angular look of the original while reducing hard, sharp edges that have a tendency to wear faster. The Fractal 2.0 still has its signature fractured planes, but we softened the edges your hands touch the most for better wear and a more comfortable feel.
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What is good design? Bryan and I ask ourselves this question about our belts every day. Is it the simplest buckle, or the one that makes you the happiest to use? Is it one that holds your pants up the best, or the one that sparks conversations with strangers?