I see quite a few watches that come out of China, anyone who looks at a lot of watches under the $1,000 mark is bound to see them, but I have not yet had the chance to check out a watch that is being sold by a Chinese brand. My chance came when Sea-Gull Watch Store reached out to us and asked if we would review their first in-house watch. The GT & FQ (the brand owners’ initials) M0001 Rider Automatic is quite an accomplished first effort for this brand, which is already expanding the line.
We are fans of Christopher Ward here at WWR, I think that is pretty evident. I purchased my CW before I started writing reviews, and it is still one of my go to watches when I am not wearing a watch for review. If you are not familiar with the brand, they are a London based company that sells Swiss made watches direct over the internet, with no brand ambassadors. They have recently starting flexing their watch making chops, creating a new in-house movement. The Christopher Ward C9 5 Day Small Second Chronometer uses the in-house SH21 hand wound movement to produce a COSC certified dress watch.
Crowd funding a project can be hit or miss. There are a lot of watch projects out there, and it is tough (even for us folks who look at a lot of projects) to predict which ones will make it, and which ones won’t. I know of a few watches that I thought were sure fire hits that never made it, and others that I thought were just average that blew up (no names in the latter), and then even more that either deserve their success or obscurity. Lionstone has tried to launch a couple of times, and never quite hit the mark, in spite of what I think is a pretty intersting campaign. They are at it for one final go, with the Lionstone SuperSlim and Ceramic Watches, currently on Indiegogo.
We get a lot of notifications of crowdfunded projects crossing our virtual desks here at WWR, and the honest truth is that we don’t always have enough time to feature all of them. So for you readers out there, check out the various platforms and search for watches, and for you budding watchmakers, don’t be discouraged if we can’t get to your project, and keep sending them in. One bit of advice I would give to a new brand is to make an attractive and unique (or at least somewhat unique) watch, and make it a value. Those categories fit the Stewart Dawson Belgravia Automatic, a new watch from a new watch company in London.
Rossling and Co. may not have invented the ultra-thin, minimalist Bauhaus inspired wrist watch, they may not have even been the first to put one for sale on Kickstarter, but they were the first one I saw after I started following the site, and they have certainly been successful. Each of the first two watches, the first a quartz and the second an automatic, both garnered well over $100,000 in pledges, and the newest release from Rossling and Co., a smaller dialed version, is blowing up as well.
I don’t get to wear my 1701 from Detroit Watch Company, my wife stole it from me. Well, steal is a tough term. I really like the styling of the watch, but she isn’t into watches the same way I am, and she rarely comments on what I wear, let alone take an interest in one. That changed with this watch. So with domestic tranquility in mind, I allowed her to permanently borrow the watch. She is tall (almost 6 feet) and has always liked large watches, so this model worked for her. But if you are not into the look of a 44mm case that stands proud at 13.5mm, You now have options. The Detroit Company 1701 Ponchartrain and L’Horloge models are available for pre-order in 39 mm x 11-12 mm cases.
Recently, the folks behind a new watch start-up reached out to us to introduce their product, the Carnot Watches Riviera model. Now, I have not had a chance to check out the watch in hand, but the look of the prototypes is very polished and the team does not seem to be overpromising. Another nice change when compaired to crowd sourcing, is that you are buying an actual product when you put your money down, so you will have protections offered by your credit card companies that are not in place with crowd funded campaigns. Overall, the watch looks to be a nicely made product that offers a fair bit of value.
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.