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.
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.
Christoper Ward C8 01 Christopher Ward is one of our favorite brands here at WWR. They produce high quality watches, sell direct, and are generally priced fairly. They are also vary their designs, so there is something to fit most everyone’s taste, and they cover different sizes. Of late, we have featured their diving watches, a number of auto-inspired watches, and dress watches, but we haven’t done an aviation inspired watch in a while. I love my C11 (I own one of these), but the new Christopher Ward C8 Flyer Collection goes away from the instrument style case and back to the more traditional round case.
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.
We have written about a few different watches from Michelsen, and their Arctic Explorer (abtw link) remains one of my favorite watches. Of what I have covered, though, none of them were from the more limited-edition collections that the brand has produced. Well, that changes today with a quick overview of the Michelsen Watch Reykjavík 64°N/22°W.
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.
When it comes to the watches that Ball Watch has on offer, it is like a double-edged sword, at least to me. What first drew me in to the brand was the Engineer line, with its bold styling and use of multi-colored tritium tubes. As I have spent time with the brand’s wares (and refined my own tastes), I have come to realize that I prefer things a bit more subdued (such as with the Ball Watch Engineer II Marvelight or Trainmaster Kelvin. That all said, I think another great – and entry-level – option from the brand would be the Ball Watch Night Train DLC.