When asked why he threw the watch out the window, the little boy answered, “I wanted to see time fly.” OK, it is an old, bad joke (and one of my dad’s favorites), but that sentiment is part of the reasoning why (at least in my mind) you buy a watch with an exposed fly wheel. The Thomas Earnshaw 1805 Grand Calendar is a pretty watch that isn’t going to break the bank, and you get to watch time fly, or at least wiggle back and forth.
Whytes Watches Mk1 02I enjoy a nice, slim, Bauhaus inspired, minimalist 3 hander as much as the next guy. I have more than one in my assortment of watches, but I see them too often to have them really pique my interest most days. What I do enjoy is seeing something different when it is well done, attractive and wearable. I see these qualities when I look at the Whytes Watches Mk 1 models, the Pioneer and Discoverer, currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
Touch of Modern (join here is you are not already a member), is a limited time, members only sales site that features lots of guy-centric goods. For our audience, it is the watches that really matter, and the site does feature a lot of watch sales. Right now, Davosa Swiss Automatics are on sale at Touch of Modern, plus one quartz chrono for the budget minded.
The concept of a skeleton watches intrigues me, but the execution (at least for affordable ones) usually leaves underwhelmed. I love the way that the mechanical movements are exposed, but they end up visually very busy, and they tend to be overly ornate. When Tissot offered to loan me the Tissot Chemin des Tourelles Squelette for a review, I jumped at the opportunity. Here was a watch that looked modern and readable, while still showing off the mechanical movement that makes a skeleton interesting. Unbeknownst to me, Patrick also decided to review this watch, albeit for A Blog To Watch. He didn’t get it hands on, but his impression was that the watch lacked some of the showmanship that you see on really high end skeleton watches, but still had a design that was readable while showing off the important parts.
I first saw the Cobra de Calibre brand when the creator, John Lee, introduced his cushion cased first watch on Kickstarter. At the time, I really liked the style, but I had recently purchased something else, and didn’t have the cash. Then he brought out his bronze twin crown, which I liked a lot, but passed on because of another purchase. Now, he has a third watch on Kickstarter, the Cobra de Calibre Chronograph el Grande, and I will let you guess what is going through my head.
Astoncain 01How do you set yourself apart from the other watch brands on Kickstarter? There is only so low you can go on price, and the features you offer are all tied to a cost. So then you have design, but there are lots of designs already out there, especially with Bauhaus inspired minimalism. Astoncain decided to go nearly as clean as they could with the design, removing even the branding from the face of their watch, currently up on Kickstarter.
In an interesting (OK, maybe not that interesting) coincidence, I happened to be wearing my Zelos Helmsman when I received an update from company on the Zelos Chroma, their second watch project, which was going live that afternoon on Kickstarter. The Zelos Chroma is being billed as a minimalist automatic, which may actually sell the project a little short.
The rise of crowdfunding has really opened up watchmaking to new entrepreneurs and enthusiasts wishing to make their mark on the industry, and put their product on your wrist. The first product out of the gate is interesting, but for me, the real test comes with the follow up watches. The Rossling & Company Automatic is the firm’s sophomore effort, back on Kickstarter, that builds on their first watch offering, keeping a similar aesthetic, but adding a mechanical movement.