A Survey of Current Crowd-Funding Watch Projects
You know who we haven’t heard from in awhile? Our pal Matt Himmelstein, that’s who. Well, he’s done the heavy lifting and gone trolling through the crowd-funding sites, and he’s back with a look at the current state of what’s available for your backing pleasure. Read on to see what he found.
There has been a lack of watch projects these days on Kickstarter (there will probably be 5 launched in the next few days), so I figured I would take a peek at Indiegogo to see if there are any current projects at that site worthy of mention. Before I highlight them, I do want to give a word of caution. Kickstarter has instituted a policy where physical projects must have progressed beyond mere conceptual drawings and renderings. So while there are still images of renderings for the projects, there should also be at least prototypes in existence. Will this guarantee you project is completed? No. But it does at least give a little reassurance that the creators have gone beyond the conceptual phase of the project.
The first project I want to highlight is the most expensive, and probably most conceptual. Boston & Stewill is seeking a modest sum to bring what looks like a very attractive watch (pictured at the top) to fruition. The watch is planned to contain a Swiss automatic chronograph movement and to have the look of a stopwatch with the pushers and crown mounted at 12:00. It is a very vintage look, but right now they are giving discounts in exchange for small pledges, or you can take a real leap and fund a watch that has no set specifications, final designs, or a schedule for completion. It is pretty though.
The next project is the 3rd from a fledgling manufacturer, Burel, the Class Cape watch. This project is a unique take on a single hand watch, where the table rotates under the stationary hour indicator, taking its design cues from a ship’s compass. The watch shares a case and lug design with the firm’s previous two designs, as well as the common usage of the ETA 6498 manually wound movement. There are a couple of pledge levels, so you can pledge $50 to save $350 on the retail price ($1,250) of the watch, pledge $150 to save $300 you can use on on of the other watches, or pledge $850 now for the watch (plus shipping outside the EU). They are about 1/4 of the way to their goal with 14+ days left.
The third project that looks promising to me is the Zamman, in the words of the maker, “A smartwatch that looks like a watch.”. The watch, for lack of a better way to phrase it, looks like a watch, which is a positive in my mind. You have a standard looking case, pushers, a crown, and a dial that can be configured to look like a number of very legible dials. You don’t get a microphone or speaker, but that is not a bad thing in my eyes. It is compatible with iOS and Android, has a sapphire crystal and is rated to 5 ATM. They look to be far along in development, but with any accessory for smartphones, integration is always the issue. A $199 pledge nets a stainless steel watch, $249 gets a titanium, and $299 gets a rose gold plated watch.