Chronographs are popular complications, but I wonder just how useful they are. Sure, I have one, but I don’t really use the chrono feature, I just like the look of the watch. Well, the Conqueror WatcheCompany Opalus takes the chrono and puts it into the background, leaving the central second hand as, well, a second hand. The watch itself is comfortable and attractive, walking a nice line between dressy and sporty.
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.
I don’t see a lot of watches with tritium gas tubes for illumination, so I was pretty interested in checking out the two Chronologia Dive Watches, the R004 and R004 Chronograph. I was also a tad skeptical, since I do have an automatic preference for automatics, but I found that I really enjoyed wearing both of these watches (though the 3-hander is more my style).
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.
Over the past year or so, I have come to appreciate the Graham Chronofighter, and have been fortunate to review a couple different variations. While the large trigger over on the left side of the case initially seems like it would be rather unwieldy, it works rather well in practice, and gives things a much smaller appearance when the watch peeks out from under a cuff. Now, they have released a new version of the Graham Chronofighter that is a collaboration with the Navy SEAL Foundation.
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.
Chronographs are one of the more popular complications for watches, though their actual usefulness can be debatable. I have one chrono which I wear quite often, though I use the chronograph function fairly infrequently when it is on. As a timing device, I find that a rotating bezel is usually good enough to time when I put the meat in the smoker, when I need to get back to the parking meter, or how long I have until the laundry is done (have I missed anything?). But if you want a chronograph to actually time things, the bullhead arrangement, where the pushers are located at top of the watch, is a useful arrangement. Which brings me to the CJR Watches Velocita currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. CJR was nice enough to lend me their two prototypes for a hands on review before the funding period ends on August 20.
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.