If you travel, a world timer watch is a very handy complication. Switch cities, and you can easily switch time zones on your watch. But what if you want it done for you? That is where GPS watches come into play. Not GPS as in tracking watches, but GPS watches that update their clocks based on where they are in the world. Since they only update every other day (or on command), the receiver part uses little energy, so these are not power hogging watches like a GPS tracker would be. Now on Kickstarter is a new brand hoping to get into this technology with the first four Artstate GPS Solar Watch models (OK, only 2 are solar, but they are all GPS). This new brand is significantly less expensive than the other mainstream brands that are available.
Dear Hopeful Crowd Funded Watchmaker; Allow me to start by saying that I think you are doing something really cool, and that I am a huge fan. This is the first time in history where the power to build, market and sell a watch is not vested in the few, but open to anyone with an idea and a bit of money. I think that a lot of the projects that you come up with are attractive, interesting and offer a great value. Heck, I have backed a couple of projects myself. And to keep from singling anyone out, the crowdfunded projects I show here are the projects that I feel are doing it the right way.
When the biggest name in the watch industry decides to get into the smart watch/fitness tracker business, you expect a watch that is made for the masses. What you don’t expect is a watch made for a niche sport; but then again, Swatch does not do things in the normal way. The Swatch Touch Zero One is, as the name implies, the first watch in a planned ecosystem of fitness watches tied to the sports that Swatch supports.
OK, I am kidding a bit, the world is not waiting for another deign driven watch, regardless of what half the projects on Kickstarter want you to believe. But design is important, I am am willing to wade past the breathless introductory message if I like the look of a crowd funded watch project, and I like the look of the Meshable Watches Chrono, currently seeking backers on Kickstarter. I do like minimalist watches, and this project is clean and functional, and not at all crowded despite the chronograph movement.
When is a dive watch not a “dive watch?” Well, when it pays homage to the submarine service, as the G. Gelach ORP Orzel 85A watch does, now available from this Polish watch maker. The watch commemorates the ORP Orzel, a modern (by WWII standards) submarine from the Polish Navy that escaped from the Baltic Sea at the onset of WWII and found service in the British Royal Navy until her sinking in 1940 (her short history on Wikipedia is worth a read).
If you have been reading our site for a while, you should be familiar with the TokyoFlash brand. They make playful digital watches that are sometimes a little… obscure… in how they are read. Straightforward or not, the brand like to play around with how time is represented on the dial. Both Patrick and I have had the chance to check out various models in hand, and I can attest that the build quality of the watches is solid, at least on an initial review. Now, the brand is announcing two new variations, both TokyoFlash Japan wood cased watches, the Radioactive and the Vortex.
Thank you for stopping by to check out this week’s installment of Watch Video Rewind, where we highlight watch related videos we think may be of interest. Two weeks ago I went to a WatchBuys Road Show and checked out a number of watches from small and mid-sized German watch makers. The star of the show for me was the Jochen Benzinger Zeitsprung, with truly amazing hand finishing. This week, I will peel back the curtain just a hair and show you a couple of video’s that highlight Jochen Benzinger’s tools, methods, expertise and craftsmanship.
Is it October already? My how the year goes by. Thank you for stopping in to check out our regular Saturday column, Watching the Web. Here, we take a few moments to point you toward interesting watch reviews and watch related articles we see on other sites, and take a moment to highlight the posts on our own site that were popular over the last week or so. Today, I have an amazing pocket watch, a pair of affordable (and customizable) watches with American roots, a new chronograph in the IWC Portofino line, and a cool looking GMT app for your iOS device (no Android yet). From our own site, the most popular recent posts were reviews of the Bomberg Maven, and the Steinhart Ocean Titanium 500, and our cross post with EDC.