February is now in the books, and with the second month of the year came a number of watch projects on crowd funded sites. In addition to the projects below, I have longer reviews of the Nevo Watch, which is technically over but still collecting pledges in “bonus time;” and the Trintec Zulu-07, running through March 7. Review of the Melbourne Watch Company Avalon, running through March 16, and the Mercer Watch Company Brigadier, funding on March 29, will be published next week.
I am also working on a write up of a new crowd funded design from Techne with is currently on Rockethub. I have a Techne, and the company has been on our pages several times, so I have no issue in recommending this project if you are looking for a military cockpit style quartz watch. And no, the Pebble Time is not in this wrap-up either.
Keep in mind, these are all projects where you are pledging money with the expectation that the person who gets the money will deliver a product as promised. This does not always happen. Sometimes the product does not live up to expectations, sometimes it never shows up. But you can also get a cool watch at a low price, so buyer beware and if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. All that said, let the Crowd Funding Wrap Up begin:
The first watch is one that I just saw on Kickstarter with a quick end date, March 8. Tangramatic is trying for their second model, the Penta Pilot with a vintage military look, after successfully funding their first model. I don’t see any comments on the page for the 1st watch on how it looks, so my assumption is that production is ongoing, and I hope that launching a second project before the first one is complete does not overwhelm the creators. Still, the new watch is interesting, with what looks like a signature diameter of 39mm, perfect for those that think the trend toward larger sizes does not work for them. I like the dial with the unusual chapter markings every 12 minutes, and the $320 watch does come with a Miyota 9015 automatic, a sapphire crystal, C1 and C3 Superluminova, and a 100m water resistance rating.
The Brigade Seven Watch Company is trying to launch a revised first edition, after their first shot at crowdfunding didn’t make it. I reviewed the first one, and I liked it, and I also like the second one, the Brigade Seven 337. The styling is simplified, but it still has a military look to it. The watch features include a 316L brushed stainless steel case, an AR coated flat sapphire crystal, BGW9 lume, a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, and a depth rating of 100 meters. The watch comes with a brushed stainless case and a black or grey dial and a black PVD coated stainless with a black dial. Barring a late surge, I don’t think they are going to hit the funding level, but you can try to push them over with watch pledges starting at $299 and funding continuing through March 11.
The Lebois & Co. Watch, the Avantgurde Date, is an attempt to resuscitate an 80 year old watchmaking brand. I don’t know if the new owners have an Italian heritage, but the new watches are “Swiss Made,” with an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The watch is pretty, I like the red second hand and the counterweight, but at €975 ($1,110 USD) the watch is commanding a premium for an untested brand. You do get nice features, such as the sapphire crystal, 100 M of water resistance and a genuine Louisiana alligator strap, all in and on a 40mm stainless case. The project is a bit over 1/2 way to their €60,000 pledge goal, and they are limiting the watch edition to 100 watches. The project closes on March 14.
Next we have the ubiquitous quartz driven, Bauhaus inspired, minimalist 3 hander from Amorstil. The 40mm diameter by 7mm thick watch uses a Japanese quartz movement on a leather strap. The watch’s handset (to my eyes at least) is more vintage looking that modern, so that might be a plus for you. Running through March 28, a $35-$40 pledge (timing dependent) secures one of these watches. The project is about 1/3 of the way to their goal.
No, you are not seeing double. Also closing on March 28 is the minimalist, Bauhaus inspired, quartz three hander from Votum. For $49 to $69 (timing dependent), you will get a 42mm x 7mm Japanese quartz (Miyota) driven watch on a leather strap. This watch has a loftier funding goal, and have so far only raised about 15% of their $19,000 goal. The look here is a bit more modern (again to my eyes) with the thin, baton style hands and the red second hand.
I have not featured a wood watch in a while, so here we have 5 bamboo watch designs from Bamb-U. With the 5 cases, each ranging from 45 to 47mm, there are different shapes and sizes, so if you want a bamboo cased watch, this project gives you several to choose from. The sustainably sources case materials houses a Miyota quartz movement and has a mineral glass crystal up front. There are plenty of $79 pledges left, and the project is about 60% of the way to their $10,000 goal. The project closes on April 12.
A newly listed watch project is by Westlope Industries (who seem to have pretty lofty goals for themselves as a company and their line-up of watches), has a pretty cool design that should excite fly fishermen. The S1 Nymph remounts the second hand above the axis, so the whole set up looks like a rod and reel. The watch looks pretty, and it is driven by an automatic movement, but I wish they dedicated as much space talking about the watch as they did talking about the company in general. From the company’s web page, the watch is 42mm with a 316 stainless steel case and a sapphire crystal, and it is water resistant to 165 feet. The 21 jewel automatic movement with Cote’ Geneve’ striping and blued screws is shown through the caseback. I just don’t know what movement it is. Watch pledges are $630 and the campaign runs through March 26.
Separating themselves from the other two quartz three handers to choose from by a full millimeter, John Collins is offering a Swiss Ronda movement in their 6mm thick, 40.5mm diameter watch. The pledge page does not have a lot of images of the watch, but you can click through to the company’s web site for more details. A pledge of $165 AU (about $130 US) secures you a watch, and the campaign is running through March 26.
Finally, the Leonidas Black Sea is a very readable take on a diver offered in both Swiss Ronda quartz and ETA driven automatic options. The watch features a 42mm by 13.5mm thick 316L stainless case with a black PVD finish and a sapphire crystal. The rotating bezel does away with most of the markings, leaving just a lumed dot for time. The handset and markings look very readable, and the red second hand gives it a bit of pop. The quartz version is $225 and comes with a leather, rubber and NATO strap, and the ETA 2824-2 driven automatic is $499, making it an economical watch for this movement.
If you have a watch project out there now, and I did not get a chance to feature it on our site, I apologize for the missed opportunity. If you have a project you like and we have not yet featured it, or if you are putting together a project, reach out to us and we may be able to get your project on our pages. Also, if you have an opinions on the projects listed, or experience with any of the creators, sound off in the comments below.
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