OK, it is not the end of the month, but I though I would bring out this month’s crowd funding wrap-up early so there is still time to back the projects before they close. Myself, I tend to favor projects listed on Kickstarter, and have purchased a number of them, but there are alternative sites, most notably Indiegogo. In addition to the projects below, I have longer reviews of the Zelos Abyss, running through January 28; the Cobra de Calibre Chronograph el Grande, running through January 31; The Manchester Watch Works Tatoskok, running through February 16; and the Elliot Havok, funding on March 7.
There are two big differences between Kickstarter and Indiegog that you should be aware of. On Kickstarter, the projects need to at least have a prototype, while Indiegogo allows campaigns to move forward with just renderings and a design. Also, on Indiegogo, there are multiple funding types, including flex funding, where the pledges are hard commitments, even if the funding threshold is not reached. I am sure there are great projects that are started on Indiegogo, but I would caution an extra level of scrutiny on these projects before you jump in, on top of the wariness you need to exhibit when backing any project in the development stage.
With the warnings over, let the projects begin:
On Kickstarter, SWAEON is offering two versions of a Swiss made quartz chronograph for around £200 each. The watches are in a stainless steel case with a mineral glass crystal and 100 meters of water resistance. The AEON One is a 46mm watch with a grey PVD coating, while the AEON Two is 44mm. Both watches are powered by a Swiss Ronda Startech 5040.D quartz movement. The project funding period runs to February 1, 2015, and the project currently has about 7% of their £20,000 goal secured.
The next project on Kickstarter is the Travisleon Heirloom automatic watch. This classically styled dress watch has a 40mm stainless steel case with optional rose gold PVD plating, and both cases offer a choice of black or white dials. There is a domed sapphire crystal up front and an exhibition caseback showing off the Geneva striping on the Japanese Miyota 9015’s rotor. Stainless watches are still available for $279CAD, and the rose gold versions are $319CAD. The project is sitting (as of this writing) at about 35% of their $50,000CAD goal, and the project runs through February 14, 2015.
Next up is a slim, minimalist, Bauhause inspired, quartz watch with optional blue hands (where have I seen that before?). The Hunter Horology Heir One is looking to raise $12,500, and they are a bit more that 75% of the way there. The watches are fairly inexpensive, with Early Bird offers still available at $109 for one watch of your choice or $199 for two. The watches come with two straps each, and the straps are equipped with quick change pins. even if you don’t want the watch, there are pledge levels for the 20mm straps. The project also runs through February 14.
The next Kickstarter project is the Golden Age dive watch from European Dive Instruments (EDI). The creators set a pretty lofty goal of $180,000, and they are currently sitting well short of that level. The watch itself is powered by a Chinese automatic movement customized for EDI with a full balance bridge, 3-day power reserve, and a 21,600bph beat rate. The watch uses 904L stainless steel, has a double domed sapphire crystal, drilled lugs, and is pressure tested to 500 meters. The specs on the watch are pretty good, but with the funding sitting where it is against the goal, I don’t think this one is going to make it. Valentines Day must be some sort of funding cut off date, since this project also runs through February 14.
The final Kickstarter project for this crowd funding wrap-up is the second watch project from Noble Timepieces. I covered the first project about 8 months ago, and thought it was an attractive and interesting fashion watch. The new project uses a very similar design, but offers different colors and a monochrome look for the dial, handset and indices, as well as a sunburst metal finish for the dial. The (aptly named) Sunburst Pursuit is $140 for watch with a 45mm x 10mm case, a sapphire crystal and a Swiss Ronda 763 quartz movement. The project recently launched and hit about 10% of their goal right away, and runs through February 28.
Moving over to Indiegogo, Eureka Watch Co. is taking the minimalist, Bauhaus inspired design to the logical end point, by eliminating the minute hand. The one hander uses a Swiss (at this price it has to be quartz) movement with a domed sapphire crystal, and a touch of Super Luminova on the hands and indices. There are two color options for the dial and three strap options. There are still (as of this writing) a couple of $99 pledges available that get the watch with two straps. Once those are gone, the pledge level jumps to $109 for one strap or $129 for two. They are close to 90% of their $10,000 funding threshold, and the project closes on January 31.
Next on Indiegogo is the Athaya Vintage Lamafa Diver, an homage to the Seiko 6105-8110. It is a pretty good homage, picking up some of the major ques (the cushion case, rotated crown, bezel typeface) without copying the watch directly. The watch from Athaya uses the Seiko NH35A movement, so even that stays true to the classic while updating it a bit. Watches are $315 and are offered with a blue dial with a date window, or a black dial without. They have, so far, picked up almost no support against their flex funding goal of $32,000. So, before you pledge, contact the creators and find out what happens if you pledge and they don’t hit the mark. They may have enough backing to build the watch outside of crowd funding, but you want to do your homework.
Last, but not least, is the SoRa DELTAt military watch on Indiegogo, which for me is an intriguing project. The automatic watch uses the Seiko NH 37 movement, with a 24 hour (non-GMT) sub dial at 10:30 and an elongated date window at 3:00. The 44mm case is not too big, but the oversized crown is an interesting touch, making adjustments and winding easier if you are wearing gloves. Watch pledges start at $200, which is very low for a product like this, which has a sapphire crystal, three straps, and 200m of water resistance. The project has collected 30% of their $10,000 goal, but, like the Ayatha, has flexible funding, so the project gets the money even if the goal is not reached. Investigate the watch if it is to your liking. The project funding period runs to February 20.
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.