The unveiling of two new Veritas block planes this week has thrilled some customers with their sleek design, and confused others. Is Veritas , a company historically focused on function more than form , changing its course with these new planes?
“It’s not a direction change at all,” says Robin Lee, the president of Lee Valley Tools and Veritas (the company’s tool-making arm). “We have four planes coming out soon that are all under 100 bucks.”
Instead, the new more-expensive planes are a way to provide a full range of choices for the customer, from Lee Valley’s less-expensive Utilitas line of planes in a maroon finish, to the standard line of black planes that the company has been building since 1999, and to this new line of shinier planes that are designed for the customer who demands better materials, more features and a more refined design aesthetic.
“Some people want something that looks better,” Lee says. “It’s definitely a different aesthetic. But we have never meant for this to be a high-volume product. If it is a high-volume product, we’ll go broke.”
So why did Veritas produce it?