Last December, I took a look at a new automotive inspired watch from Ferro Watches, the inaugural offering from the brand on Kickstarter. The watch was funded, and from the looks of the comments on the campaign, delivery is ongoing to very positive reviews. Now the brand is back on Kickstarter with their second watch, a more involved design, and one that takes its inspiration from aviation. I wonder if they will do a trifecta of transportation watches with a locomotive inspiration (Planes, Trains and Automobiles) or nautical inspiration (in the air, on land and sea). Regardless of where they go next, this watch, the Ferro Watches Airborne, and the last one, are making me a fan of the brand.
Chronographs are one of the more popular complications for watches, though their actual usefulness can be debatable. I have one chrono which I wear quite often, though I use the chronograph function fairly infrequently when it is on. As a timing device, I find that a rotating bezel is usually good enough to time when I put the meat in the smoker, when I need to get back to the parking meter, or how long I have until the laundry is done (have I missed anything?). But if you want a chronograph to actually time things, the bullhead arrangement, where the pushers are located at top of the watch, is a useful arrangement. Which brings me to the CJR Watches Velocita currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. CJR was nice enough to lend me their two prototypes for a hands on review before the funding period ends on August 20.
One of the benefits of being a watch reviewer is that we get to see a lot of watches, particularly when new ones come on to the market. Or are in the process of coming, which means that on some rarer occasions we do get to go hands-on with a prototype. This is what we have today with the R. Paige Crash of ’29, which is the result of a collaboration between Richard Paige and Mark Carson of Individual Design. Let’s take a closer look at what this collaboration has wrought, shall we?
When I looked at the design of the new Wingman chronograph for sale on Kickstarter, I was taken with the simplicity of the design, and it looked like it was comfortable to wear. When I read the “story” behind the watch, I re-read the same thing I read over and over again with crowd funded watches, countless hours spent designing a quality watch that would be affordable, yadda, yadda, yadda. Then I got to the t-shirt they are selling. “…we only had 2 requirements: Have a simple design; Make it ridiculously comfortable.” To me, this should have been the guiding principle behind the Wingman Watches Aviation designs, because that is what I see when I look at the watch.
What do you do if you are bored with the same old way of showing time, with the hands spinning about, pointing out at numbers? You could go with a Tokyo Flash design, with their (usually) cryptic digital display. Or maybe a Mr. Jones, with a rotating skyline or the time showing up in a toothy smile on the dial? Or you could head over to Kickstarter and check out the Mykonos Design Visus, Where the lone red “hand” stays still and the numbers rotate around the dial.
“Driver” watches fill out an interesting style for me. Many of them look like divers, without the rotating bezel, or maybe aviators without some of the classic handset or marker cues. They are frequently loud, and they often times have racing stripes, for whatever reason (how many of us have cars with racing stripes?). But maybe because of the blend of styles, they do get my attention. On Kickstarter, the Straton Vintage Driver has already picked up a lot of attention, getting funded and blowing past their first two stretch goals in just their first weekend on line (with a Friday launch no less).
Wait a minute, wait a minute – this is a post on a Kickstarter watch that is not written by Matt? That’s right, folks! Not to worry, he is still on the crowdfunding beat, this is just one that I took a particular shine to, so I jumped in to write it up. And yes, this is a project that cropped up before. That earlier project was trying to be a philanthropic effort, but Kickstarter does not allow those. Due to that, Azula Watch took a step back, rebranded and refocused, and came back with their watches. Without any further pre-amble, let’s jump in to see what the Azula Watch is all about.
For all you fledgling watchmakers out there who want to get their project off the ground, you could save yourself a little work and study what Redux & Co. have done with their first watch offering. First off, make an attractive watch. Second, make it a good value. Third, engage the press and build up supporters ready to jump as soon as the gun goes off. In less than 24 hours on Kickstarter, the Redux & Co Courg titanium watch already has over 400 backers and is over triple their funding goal of $30,000.