If you are a regular reader, you may have noticed that we have pivoted a bit away from crowdfunded watches in the last few months. We will still cover projects that intrigue us, but we are more selective about the campaigns we highlight these days. That said, this crowdfunding round up is highlighting five watch project currently running on Kickstarter.The first watch of this crowdfunding round up to close is from friend-of-the-site Zelos. I put my money down on serial #01 for a bronze Helmsman, and I currently have a loaner Abyss in for a hands-on review. The Zelos Cosmos, currently sitting at over 200% of their goal, is a far more distinct re-interpretation of how a watch should display the time. The minute and hour hand are attached to rotating discs, and the hour and minute track are both made of a sapphire glass, giving a lot of depth tot he design and an illusion of levitation.
The super early bird rewards are all claimed, but there are still a number of early bird watches available for $849 AUD (approx. $602 USD). Driving the lugless 45mm watch is the durable Miyota 9015 automatic movement. In addition to the sapphire used for the minute and hour track, the crystal up front is domed sapphire. It is an interesting and unique design from a watchmaker that I have purchased from in the past. The campaign closes on December 14 in the afternoon (Pacific). zeloswatches.com
The next watch, the Cambridge Watch Company Spitfire Automatic, closes just on the heels of the Zelos. I like the mix of the vintage and modern looks in the watch, and I think it represents a good value if the military look is to your liking. There are still early-bird steel and DLC watches available for pledges of £149 and £159 (about $227 and $242), respectively.
The 41mm watch is not going to be as large as the top photo makes it out to be. The watch has a Seiko NH45A movement and offers a domes sapphire crystal and is rated to 200 meters. The coin edge bezel and oversized crown work well with the unfinished leather strap, and also includes a black NATO strap. The splash of color used for the minute hand also really works for me. The campaign closes on December 15 at a bit past midnight and is currently about 24% of their way to the goal of £30,000. cambridge-watch.com
Next up is another brand we have looked at before, but not one we have had hands-on. The Padron Shelby is assembled here in the US (Minneapolis, to be exact) using either a Miyota 9015 or a Swiss made ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The black Shelbys have been very popular, with all the early bird watches gone (2 ETA watches left at $639), but the silver is still available with the Miyota for $389 or with the ETA for $589.
The 42mm diameter case looks like it would be a presence on the wrist, almost a retro-futuristic look. The crystal is sapphire and there is an optional carbon patterned leather band which can be added for $14. It has been interesting watching the evolution of the brand. The first two watches used very similar dial designs, while this is far more conventional in that regard (still attractive though), but re-purposes the case from the Tessera. The campaign in already at 150% of the funding threshold and closes on December 17 in the morning (Pacific). padronwatchco.com
The Greenwich Time Gate Watch is the only one of this crowdfunding round up’s projects from a maker that is new to us. The watch is a pretty faithful rendering of the Shepherd Gate Clock mounted outside of the Royal Greenwich Observatory (there is also a 12-hour re-interpretation). The Time Gate watch uses a Seagull TY2557 automatic movement to display the 24-hour dial with the small second hand at 12:00, while the 12-hour version uses a Seagull TY2555 automatic.
I think the 24-hour version is a little busy, but for fans of historical clocks and watches, it would make a nice novelty and starts at a reasonable £155 (about #233). The 12-hour version, which is a more conventional looking dress watch, has early bird options starting at £120 (about $181). There are a number of customization options, with multiple dial picks, and your choice of a domed sapphire crystal or a double domed acrylic glass. This project is on the verge of hitting its funding threshold, and runs through December 23 at 3:00 AM (Pacific). gtgwatch.com
Finally we come to the REC P-51. Patrick looked at the previous REC watch, which took its cues (and some metal) for a Morris Mini. This time out, they are re-purposing scrap metal from a car that I used to own, a 1966 Ford Mustang (I bought it nth hand in the early 90s). While it is not a recreation of the look of the dash, it certainly has deep echos of the car’s dash design.
There are three versions available, and there are still early bird version of the P-51-02 and -03 available for kr52,00 (about $745). The 44mm watch uses a Miyota 9130 automatic movement, has a sapphire crystal up front and uses metal from an old ’66 Mustang for the dial. The company includes a card that will bring you to an on-line video detailing the specific car used to create your watch, a nice personal touch. They are a bit past their funding goal, a very lofty $200,000, and the project closes on January 4, 2016 at 2:59 PM Pacific. recwatches.com
I will close with my customary caution about these projects. Even though all the watches in this crowdfunding round up (except the GTG) are from brands we have seen before, you are not making a retail purchase when you back one of these projects. You are pledging support for the development of a project, and in return you are promised a reward. Projects are delayed, they undergo changes, and they may even disappear. Please do your own research before you back one of these projects. Also, as I typically do, I invite you to comment on this thread if you are, or have, backed any of these projects.