I like finding good values in a watch, without resorting to too many compromises. There are values to be had at all different price points, but at the entry level point, I find that you have to sacrifice more of what you would want to get a good value. Enter a Kickstarter campaign for the Brigade 7 Scope watch, an automatic with a lot of features for a very low introductory price. Tackling the features before I get to the price, the heart of the watch is the very reliable Miyota 9015 hacking automatic movement. The movement is branded on the rotor, a nice touch for an entry level watch. Reliability arguments aside, the Japanese movement lens a little extra value over Chinese movements which are frequently found at the entry level. The watch also has sapphire crystals front and back, where I have seen some entry level brands save a little money with mineral glass for the caseback. On top of that, the front crystal is domed, something I rarely see in this range. The watch is also depth rated to 10 ATM, so it is safe for getting out on the water. So what is the price range? Under $300. As of this writing, there is one watch available at the lowest reward level, $250 (I assume it will be gone by the time this is published), but the next jump is only to $270, and the top level is $290. At $295, you get the watch with the standard leather strap as well as a nylon NATO strap. If you are from outside the US, there is an additional $25 shipping charge. As of this writing, the project is at about 15% of their funding goal, so this is a toss up as whether it makes it or not. The look of the watch is meant to take cues from a rifle scope, and I think it does a pretty good job of it. The hour indexes are more arrowhead that bullet shaped, which would have been a bit more appropriate, and maybe a little less generic. The black on white looks good, and the black powder coated stainless steel case goes well with it. Since some sacrifices have to be made, this is one that does pop out. I am not sure how many powder coated watches are out there, and what one of the more standard coatings methods would have added. Also, at least judging from the prototypes shown, the handset looks like it could have used an upgrade. Maybe that is a change that can be made prior to final production. If you are looking to add an automatic watch with a reliable movement at a bargain price, check out the project. Kickstarter.com
- Brand & Model: Brigade 7 Watch Company Scope Automatic
- Price: $250-295
- Who we think it might be for: Someone looking for an entry level automatic, or any shooting enthusiast.
- Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?: Yes, it is attractive and well priced.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: The handset looks a little cheap from the images.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The Miyota movement and domes sapphire crystal.