We’ve featured a variety of crowd-funded watch projects on here, with a good bit of diversity in the products being presented. One thing that hasn’t been as diverse are the countries these watches are coming out from. It’s in that light (and my own family background) that I found myself rather interested to see a watch coming from Estonia – Aegaon.
Country of origin aside, at first glance, you might be tempted to dismiss this as just another skeleton watch that’s not much different from what you can find for $20 or so on the Internet. A closer look at the details paints a little different picture. First off, let’s start with the case. These are made from stainless steel on CNC machinery more accustomed to manufacturing airplane parts (and having worked in that industry as well, those are some tidy tolerances they’re working with). Having an accurately machined case is important, of course, even when it measures in at 65mm as this one does.
That’s right – this is a positively huge case. The lug-to-lug also comes in at 65mm (height is relatively modest 14.5mm) – and given that this is all steel, this is certainly not going to be a lightweight watch. Right off the bat, I think this is a watch really pitching itself to those who really like the look of a monster watch on their wrist, and/or have the build (ala Ah-nold) to pull this sort of a piece off.
“Ok,” you’re thinking, “that’s a neat trick I suppose. What sort of cruddy movement was shoved in there?” Glad you asked. While the base movement used in the series 1 of the watch is indeed coming from Hong Kong, I don’t think it can be called some slipshod thing. For the more affordable option, they’ve got an Unitas 6497-1 clone. Compared to the real deal, jewel count and beat rate are identical, but there is a drop in power reserve. And, of course, you have to trust the factory put things together properly.
If you’d instead to have actual movement, that is (surprisingly for a crowd-funded effort) an option – you can instead opt for the true Unitas 6497-1 movement. Regardless of what’s ticking away in the case, it’ll be protected by a mineral crystal and a 100m WR rating; your drink coaster, I mean watch, will be held on your wrist by a 32mm strap.
As that last remark indicates, I’m not exactly enamored of the sizing of this watch. Aside from it’s bulk, the crown looks fairly long as well, and seems like you might get it digging into your wrist. I know for myself, if things get over 46mm or so, it just seems too large for my wrist, so I’ve been categorizing the Ageaon into that same category. Then again, this might be the sort of scenario where it’s just so large, it comes around full circle and somehow manages to look “right” – hard to say without any wrist time, of course. If I was making suggestions, I’d go for exploiting the capability of the CNC machinery – go for a smaller case, and machine in some interesting details, for example.
As with any crowd-funded effort, there is the element of risk with investing in a new company, especially one that’s not located in the same country as you. They are committing, however, that even if the Indiegogo project isn’t fully funded by September 10th, all backers will end up getting their watch, so that’s good to hear. In terms of pricing, the Aegaon starts at $477 for first 50 contributers (with the clone movement); after those first 50, the price jumps up to $612. If you want to go for the authentic movement, pricing comes in at $1,089.
Oh, and you know how I said any crowd-funded effort is a risk? You can also get into the project with a deposit of sorts. You can pledge $200 now, with that reserving the right (and being applied towards) your purchase of the clone-movement model at the $612 price. It’s a unique twist, for sure. While the Aegaon isn’t exactly my cup of tea, I’ll be following this one to see how it does. Hopefully we’ll see more watches coming from the small Baltic country. aegaon.com
- Brand & Model: Aegaon 1/2/Special
- Price: $477 and up
- Who we think it might be for: This is for the guy who really wants a massive watch
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: The Estonia connection is tempting, but ultimately I feel that this is simply too large of a design for my wrist
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Design a smaller case that makes use of the CNC machinery to get interesting details in
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: First and foremost, it’s the country of origin. Less sentimental, would be the fact that you can get a higher-end Swiss movement – a relative rarity for crowdfunded projects.