Kickstarting a High-End Watch?
We’ve seen a variety of Kickstarter projects cross these pages, thanks to the keen eye of our pal Matt. Most of those have fallen into the affordable end of the market, being driven by either quartz movements or Chinese-sourced automatics. Recently, though, a project (page) launched from A. Manzoni & Fils that’s headed to the luxury end of the market.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably never heard of A. Manzoni & Fils – and that’s to be expected, given they started up in Switzerland in 1888, and closed their doors in 1978. You very likely have heard, however, of one of the people behind this revival – Oliver Ike, who started the very iconic (and recongnizable) Ikepod brand 17 years ago. For the past three years, Ike has been working with Finnish designer Ilkka Suppanen to refine their watch, the Canopus Weekplanner.
As you can see from the pictures in this post, there’s a clear Ikepod inspiration to the looks, and this watch definitely stands out as being a unique piece. Likewise, there are details of this project that stand out from others we’ve seen as of late. Yes, this is a luxury launch, but past that, the sourcing of all of the materials in the watch is very transparent. Not only do we know where the movement is sourced (from Soprod), but Ike has detailed out where, and by whom, things like the watch case, bracelet, strap, and watchbox are all being made. It’s an interesting bit of transparency we don’t often see, on Kickstarter or traditional retail channels.
And what of the watch itself? This one has an intriguing “rounded square” shape that repeats in the case and the dial. In the center of the dial, you can see a wavy pattern that they’re calling Côte de Copacabana – which starts as a play on the more familiar Côte de Geneva, with additional inspiration coming from the architectural pattern found on the Copacabana beaches in Brazil. Of note, this pattern also is repeated on the rotor, visible through the display caseback.
Set in that area, you’ve got two subdials on the lower portion for day of the week and date; up at the 12 o’clock position you have (I believe) a moonphase indicator. If that isn’t enough calendar-type information for you, take a look at the outer edge of the dial. There, you’ve got the months and weeks of the year listed out, with a slender hand indicating where you are in the year. Is it necessary information? Absolutely not – but it is an interesting way to use the space that this larger case affords.
All in all, it’s an interesting design, but not one that’s likely to grace my wrist any time soon. Even with the crowd-funded model, pricing comes in at $5,000 for the watch. Which, while it is a discount from the expected retail of $15,000, it is a steep price of entry for a new brand. And, with a month to go and not being yet at 10% of the funding goal, this one may not come to fruition. A. Manzoni & Fils