Crowd-funded Watches: When It Rains, It Pours
If you saw yesterday’s article, you saw Matt’s return to our pages, with both a lamentation of watch projects on Kickstarter, and a celebration of those to be found on Indiegogo. It would appear the powers-that-be heard his cry, and a handful of projects have come up on that elder statesman of crowd-funding. Read on to see what he’s found.
Of course it comes to be that a day after I wonder what happened to all the watch projects on Kickstarter, and I do look at a few on Indiegogo, three new projects come up on Kickstarter. So, to not play favorites, here they are in order in which they were listed.
The first project is the modern aviation inspired (homage to Bell & Ross and others) Rhynofit Rubicon Big 50. The project is off to a fast start, selling out of all but 1 (as of this writing) of the PVD coated grey units, they are working on the second tier of rewards that gets you a Miyota 9015 automatic powered BIG watch. The 50 comes from the 50mm case size, and if that isn’t big enough, it sits 15mm tall.
The watches are offered in black or grey PVD coating and you can get in now for about $300. I really like the carbon fiber dial, and if you are in the market for this style of watch, this looks to be a great value. The project creator served in the military, and takes the name of his company from Rhyno Outfit, his squad from Fort Hood.
Next up is watch #3 from Lew & Huey, the Spectre (Editor’s note: you can see a review of their previous watch here). This is another aviation inspired watch, a flieger-style that comes in either midnight black or fireball orange (is that a good name choice for a pilot’s watch?). Lew & Huey use a Seiko calibre NH35, a hacking and hand-winding 24-jewel self-winding movement to power the watch.
For fans of the curved crystal, here is a chance to get your bubble fix at a low cost ($300 to pledge now, $350 if you want to give $175 now and $175 when the project is complete). Some of the other nice design cues are the applied numbers, the inclusion of both hour and minute markers in double digits, and the crown at 4:00.
Last, but not least, is the Cobra de Calibre automatic coming out of Canada. I see a lot of Panerai influence in the case design, but the dial design (complete with optional racing stripes) and the logo give it a more modern and younger feel. I also like that the watch can be ordered without a date window, and my failing eyesight makes these nearly useless and just one more thing I have to set if I don’t get to winding it or wearing it before the power reserve goes out.
The watch is powered by a Miyota 9015 hacking movement with a sapphire crystal for both the front and the exhibition caseback. The project is priced in Canadian dollars, which means that in the US, we get about a 10% discount, which covers the shipping plus a bit. Pricing starts at $389 CAD without the date window, and tops out at $448 for the red striped version, plus $20 CAD for shipping outside of Canada.
Of the three projects, the Rhynofit has the loftiest funding goal of $50,000, but they are off to a very fast start, and a day in are at 50%. The Lew & Heuy is only looking for $10,000, and with 2 successful projects and already 85% of the funding goal reaching, this is the one I would expect to be a sure thing. The Cobra de Calibre is only looking for $12,000, and they have come on strong and are also sitting at 50% after a day. Of the three projects, this is the one I am more likely to back, and I am someone who (please don’t hate for this) does not really like the Panerai cushion style case.