Archive | Crowd Funded

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Lew & Huey Orthos, Lets Go Diving

Posted on 29 July 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Lew Huey Orthos 01

For a lot of guys, a diver is the default tool watch.  The cases are usually fairly beefy, and that translates to masculine, the watches themselves are rugged, they serve a purpose, and they broadcast to the world that you are a man of action.  So you might as well inject a little style into the watch as well.  That is where the Lew & Huey Orthos comes in with their latest Kickstarter campaign.  These ‘friends of the site’ have put their fifth model up for sale, and the first true diver of the bunch.

Lew Huey Orthos 02

Like the previous watches from the brand, this one is an automatic, powered by a Seiko Calibre 4r36 (NH35), which is both haking and hand winding, with a 41 hour power reserve.  The 42mm case and bracelet are done in brushed stainless, and there is a slightly domed sapphire crystal up front.  The watch offers 30 ATM (990 feet) or water resistance and a 120 click uni-directional bezel, so yes, this is a true diver’s watch.  Not that you have to wear it diving.  Visually, the dial is very attractive with both a color fade and a sunburst pattern.  After reviewing their Acionna, I can attest that they make interesting dials that really pop in the sunlight.

Lew Huey Orthos 03

With this as their fifth model debuting on Kickstarter, I have to commend the brand for doing things right on the site.  This is a new model, and the prototypes do not always match the final product.  The project page does a very good job in laying out how the watch is going to change from prototype to final project, something I think all watch makers looking to move to crowd funding should understand and emulate.  The price for a watch is $400, and there are a number of other types of rewards offered.  There are two versions a red and a blue face.  I like the looks of the red face, but I also really like the orange bezel on the blue watch.  And no, I would not suggest pairing them, as I think it would be too much.  The lume on the watch also looks to be well done and appropriate for this type of watch.  If you are looking for a budget minded diver, check out the project pagelewandhuey.com

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Lew & Huey Orthos
  • Price: $400
  • Who we think it might be for: Everyone needs a diver.
  • Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?:  Yes, the brand delivers on their watches.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Expansion built into the clasp.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch:  I like the color fade in the dial.

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A Trio of Kickstarter Projects

Posted on 25 July 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Melbourne Watch Co Portsea 03

A trio of watches have popped up on Kickstarter lately, one from a brand we know, one associated with a brand we know, and one from a newcomer.  There is the Portsea by Melbourne Watch Company, a brand who’s previous watch I reviewed, and liked a lot.  Second up is the inaugural model from Throne Watches.  Though it is a new brand, assembly is being outsourced to Smith & Bradley, a brand Patrick has covered.  Finally is the newcomer, Instrmnt Limited, with the Instrmnt 01. Continue Reading

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The Ralston Recon 6 is a Survival Kit on Your Wrist

Posted on 23 July 2014 by Patrick Kansa

Ralston-Recon-6-05

Today, we’ve got a bit of a last-minute Kickstarter notice for you. I know normally we bring these to your attention with plenty of advance notice, but this one fell into my backlog, and, well, I’d rather pop this one up there than ignore it, as it’s bringing something to the table that I’ve not seen in a watch before. If you’re looking to have a survival kit built into a watch, the Ralston Recon 6 is your device. Continue Reading

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Brigade 7 Scope – Taking Aim at a Budget Automatic

Posted on 22 July 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Brigade 7 Scope 01 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. Continue Reading

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Orbital by element watch, A Family Affair

Posted on 17 July 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Orbital by element watch 02

There are a lot of kickstarter watch projects where the creator has a dream of designing a watch, and then connects with a manufacturer in China to produce the watch.  Well, element watches adds a twist to that formula, in that the watch manufacturer back in China is owned by the designer’s father.  The Orbital by element watch is the company’s second bite at the kickstarter apple, and in my opinion it is a more attractive watch than the (unsuccessful) first project. Continue Reading

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The Moment Smartwatch Does It All

Posted on 02 July 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Moment 01

The other day I wrote about 2 new smart watches that are driven by a single purpose, one to give you the score for your favorite soccer team, and the other to help you track your fitness.  Today’s watch goes in the other direction, a connected device that has the goal of being a complete interface with your smart phone.  The Moment Smartwatch is more of a full screen smart bracelet that interacts with your phone, and also tells the time. Continue Reading

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Purpose Driven Watches With Smarts

Posted on 26 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

BeFunky_Withings Active 03.jpg

A lot of smart watches I see try to be everything.  Email, facebook posts, texts, weather, and so on and so on.  They are not watches in a traditional sense, but rather wearable computers that display the time.  Today, I wanted to highlight two purpose driven watches that are more “connected” watches than a “do everything” wearable.  The HotBlack by Hoptroff.com and the Withings Activé are connected devices designed to do a single task, with the former connecting you to your favorite football (soccer) team and the latter tracking your daily fitness goals.  Interestingly, both watches are coming out of the UK. Continue Reading

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The Padron Watch Co Hennepin, Going 3 for 3

Posted on 20 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Padron Watch Hennepin 01

Kickstarter has been good for the Padron Watch Company, so they are back for their third (apparently) successful campaign on the site.  The Hennepin watch is a chose-your-own movement project, with options for Swiss quartz, or Chinese, Japanese or Swiss automatic movements in the watch.   In 2012, the hand wound Vuelta was launched, followed by the automatic Tessera in 2013.  Both these watches far exceeded the funding goal, and with the Padron Watch Co Hennepin hitting funding goals early, so it looks like this will be 3 for 3.

Padron Watch Hennepin 04

The previous two watches utilized Chinese movements, so the current project is offering some nice options.  The lowest priced option is a Rhonda 713 quartz, running from $175 to $215, depending on when you pledge.  The next step up includes a Chinese clone of the ETA 2824-2, the same movement that was used in the previous watch project, for $349.

For an extra $30, you can upgrade to a Miyota 9015 automatic movement.  Ten backers also have the option of obtaining the watch with an actual ETA 2824-2, for $589.  There are also a number of options for two watches, an automatic and quartz (dad and grad?) or two quartz or two automatics, or…  well, there are a few buying options.  A final upgrade lets you add a deployment clasp for $12 to the leather strap (worth it in my book).

Padron Watch Hennepin 05

What is common through the line is the basic watch look.  The watch is a 45mm lugless design, sitting 10.mm tall, made of stainless steel with a sapphire crystal, superlume hands, and a 100M water resistant rating.  You have a choice of the brushed stainless finish or PVD coating.  The crown is rotated down to 4:00, and the sides of the case are grooved.

The automatics come with an exhibition caseback, and the quartz has a caseback that pays homage to the brutal Minnesota winter of 2013/14.  The watch is carrying over one bit of design DNA from the previous two watches, circles for chapter marks at 12, 3, 6, and 9.  There is another ring with dots for each hour, and a final ring with dots for each minute.  No numbers, no date, just dots and circles.

I think it works really well in the PVD, where the hours are orange dots, matching the color of the second hand.  The lighter colored dot used on the stainless model is too muted for me.  The circles and the ordinance points and for the minute are recessed but not painted.  padronwatchco.com

Padron Watch Hennepin 03

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Padron Watch Co. Hennepin
  • Price: $175 – $589, depending on the movement
  • Who we think it might be for: Minimalists.
  • Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?:  Yes, especially the PVD.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I know it is in the DNA, but I don’t get the 4 circles.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch:  The black and orange color combo.

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