Do you want a carbon fiber watch, but don’t want to spend a ton of cash to get one, well, the Ventus Black Kite on kickstarter may be just the ticket. I covered the brand previously with the Caspian models, which were very successful and well received, with the exception of some issues with the lume. With carbon fiber, you can layer the material or you can shred it, melt it and mold it. This latter technique was used for the Tempest Carbon One, but the Ventus Black Kite is using the layering style.
Do you like large watches? Of course, you have to define what a large watch is, and that varies from person to person, but anything around 50mm for me qualifies as a large watch. The largest watch I own is a 47mm, and it is noticably larger than the rest of my collection. Well, now I may need to rethink my upper end. The IWC Big Pilot’s Heritage Watch comes in two flavors, with the smaller of the two sitting at 48mm. The larger one, a very robust 55mm.
When it comes to pilot watches – specifically, Flieger-spec pilot watches – Laco is a name that many are likely very familiar with, and their designs are recongnizeable, in that they follow the specifications set out some time ago for the various Fliegers. Their latest, however, is supposed to be a Type C, and is a design that I do not think I have ever seen before. Or, if nothing else, the Laco Spirit of St. Louis is a less-common style of Flieger.
After dive watches, I would hazard a guess that pilot watches are the next most popular style – in general – of watches. And if they aren’t, they have to be in the top 5, just based on the sheer number of models that I have seen released. A lot of these tend to come from the more established brands, or those with a particular history with aviation watches. What I have not noticed near as much are pilot-style watches coming from independent brands, especially those using Kickstarter to get the ball rolling. As you might guess, that’s where we find the MEW Depth Pilot.
Start counting your pennies because the Sinn 356 Flieger II Sa on a strap deserves your attention and maybe your money. I found this copper-beauty at the WatchBuys.com road show and it reminds me why Sinn watches (pronounced Zinn) is a brand to consider.
Lew and Huey is a brand that I look to when I want to talk about the potential success of the crowd funded marketplace. The brand began on Kickstarter, with multiple watches launched on that platform, all well received. I put the brand in the category of “friend of the site,” and they are always happy to send us information on upcoming watches and then lend us review copies when they are available. I first wrote up the Phantom in April, and now I have a chance to take a two of the three options out for a test drive.
I am not sure why I was recently on a kick of reviewing chronographs, but I ended up with a couple of review chronos all in roughly the same time period. The AVI-8 Hawker Hunter was one that I was looking forward to reviewing, since I wear one of their watches quite a bit. I have an issue with the watch, but overall it is a comfortable, reliable military/aviation themed watch, and a good deal here in the US.
It is not an every day occurrence, but more and more I am seeing established (albeit small) brands use crowd funding for the launch of a new product. Tactico is the latest to jump on this trend. Patrick looked at the second offering from this boutique Spanish watch maker back in 2012, and now there is a campaign on Kickstarter to get a variation on their third watch out to a larger audience. The Tactico Geomaster GMT watch is an automatic pilots watch with an ETA movement being produced in limited numbers.