Hold on to your hats, folks – today, we’re going to cover a new watch that showed up on a crowdfunding site, and it wasn’t brought to us by our good friend Matt. No, as a matter of fact, the fellow behind this new creation, W.T. Author, reached out to let us know about the new collection. While the project itself only hit 2/3rds of the funding goal, they are still available for pre-order (more on that in a bit).
Entitled the ‘No. 1905’ wristwatch (project page), this is a watch that seeks to embody watchmaking as it stood around the turn of the century. I’m not as familiar with that era, so I can speak to the specific cues being used, but there are some really great elements that I can safely call vintage-inspired. First off, let’s have a look at that case. In profile, there are a series of ridges (or fins, if you prefer) that remind me of a cylinder head, in a sort of art deco manner. Rather than mar those with modern lugs, they’ve opted to go for wire lugs, which very much call to mind when lugs were soldered on to pocket watch cases in order to fit a strap.
Here, the strap is made of leather from South America, and displays a riveted style, which again seems to be era-appropriate. I’m not sure if that bright red crown would have been in place, but it’s large size seems rather functional.Going over to the dial (which comes in blue, black, white, or cream), you’ve got a fairly clean layout. For the numerals that do appear, they’re in a style that wouldn’t seem out of place on an old pocketwatch; the other indices and the brand logo, of course, are more of a nod to modernity.
The handset also carries a vintage vibe, though they seem to be simple cutouts with flat finishing. Here, if things are flat, I would’ve like to see some vintage lume being used; otherwise, I think this would be a great place for enameled (or at least enamel-look) finishes (interestingly, the caseback features some enamel touches). Past that, the hands are sized well, with the minute hand stretching all the way to the railroad track ring around the outer edge.
Driving those hands is a fully modern Swiss movement, of the quartz variety (anyone know who makes a 513S calibre?) This is a place where, to be fully reminiscent of the era, we’d have a nice hand-wound movement, either new or restored. Then again, to keep costs a bit more reasonable, I’m sure that’s why the quartz movement showed up. Perhaps a future edition will indulge this mechanical mindset.
Topping things off you have a sapphire crystal – not quite period correct, but that’s fine – I’d much rather have the sapphire than a plastic (or true glass) crystal that wouldn’t stand up to the abuse. This all comes together in a package that’s expected to retail for about $565, but you can get in on the watches for ~$485 (preorder here). Perhaps a touch steep for a quartz watch from an unknown brand, to be sure, but they do seem to have their ducks in a row, with shipment of these limited-edition watches (only four of each color) projected for mid-December. If you like the style, and get one on order, let us know!