I do sometimes complain about the lack of real individuality in crowd funded watch projects, so when something unique comes across our Tips line, I want to cover it, even if it not something I could see myself wearing. The Thirsty Watch Co. Vintage Soda watch on Indiegogo is exactly that type of project. It is unique, it will probably appeal to a fair number of people, but it just isn’t for me. But that does not mean it is without merits.
When it comes to stylish and affordable watches, Christopher Ward is generally one of the names at the top of most people’s lists. Given how “new” the brand feels, it is almost a surprise to realize that they have been creating these watches for ten years now. On the occasion of that anniversary, they went back to their very first watch, and released some new colors of their current-version Christopher Ward Malvern.
There are a number of watch complications out there, and one that Patrick and I both really like is the GMT. With the Mercer Watch Company Wayfarer GMT, this new company is bringing this complication to market in their sophomore watchmaking effort. I wrote about the Brigadier automatic back in March, and it looks like that watch is getting in the hands of the backers, with a positive response. With that project in its final stages, Mercer is back on Kickstarter looking for funding for project #2.
As should be no surprise to readers of our site, Projects Watches creates watches that are driven first and foremost by design. These are not the watches you’ll see in the local mall that many will dismiss as “fashion” watches. No, these are watches that pull designers in from other industries and give things an interesting look. Until recently, I was not aware that they started collaborating with M&Co – a design shop of some reknown – back in 2005. Drawing on that relationship, Projects Watches is reintroducing the M&Co PIE Brass 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.
Project Watches is a company that is constantly looking for new ways to use elements of design and art in the way a watch tells time. There are times I think they are a little obtuse, and there are times that the designs work, and there times where the inspiration is a little obtuse, but the design still works. This is the case with the Projects Watches Suprematism. I will get into the basis for the design in a moment, but for me, the design works.
Fresh of the heels of their first crowdfunded success, ManchesterWatchWorks is back at it again, with a modern looking diver recharged by the sun (really any light). These quartz driven, photovoltaic recharged watches are not new, companies have been making them for decades, but the ManchesterWatchWorks Armada is the first crowd funded dive watch I have seen with this technology, and it looks to be an attractive package.
There is no denying that smart watches are a very popular segment these days. We here at WWR (and over at ABTW) have kept a close eye on these products, as they do seem to be a harbinger of something coming – we are just not quite sure what, as of yet. While most of the attention has gone to higher-end smart watches (say, $300+), I think that it’s worth checking out what the lower end has to offer. With that, we have a review of the U8 Pro Smart Watch.