Helgray Watches came out of the gate a few months back with a four watch launch on Kickstarter. All four watches were modern takes on a WWI vintage look, and, to put it mildly, they blew up with $159,000 in pledges against a $12,000 goal. Now they are back on Kickstarter with their second, or is it fifth, watch, the Helgray Silverstone 60’s Racing Chronograph.
I covered the first project, and they were nice enough to offer me a pair of watches to check out first hand recently. Since they currently don’t have a back stock to sell at the moment, I am holding off on the review for the time being. I will say, however, that the watches are well made and attractive, two elements that bode well for this new venture, a two register chronograph that takes its inspiration from 60’s car racing culture. Offered in four color variations, the 40mm watch with sapphire crystal and deployment buckle on the leather strap utilizes a mechanical/quartz hybrid movement.
Mechanical/quartz movement? The movement itself is quartz, with the reliability that quartz suggests. But the Seiko VK64 movement utilizes mechanical style gearing to drive the second hand and the registers are connected to the central step motor of the watch, just like one would see in an automatic chronograph. The advantages here are that it uses less power, the second hand has a nice sweep to it, it resets quicker, and it continues to run past when other quartz chronos stop registering seconds. Of course, it is also more complicated to build.
Rounding out the features are a 50 meter water resistance for the stainless steel case and Super Luminova C3 paint for night time readability. The first 200 pledges will grab a Helgray Silverstone for the early bird price of $229, with pledges slowly ramping up to the late-comer price of $279 (still a $70 discount off retail). Considering that they had over 700 backers for their first project, and they are able to leverage that initial success for a fast start on this project, I would expect them to reach their funding threshold very quickly. So if you are interested in picking up this 60’s car racing inspired chrono, head on over to the Kickstarter page and check it out. helgray.com
- Brand & Model: Helgray Silverstone 60’s Racing Chronograph
- Price: $229-279 (depending on timing)
- Who we think it might be for: Anyone who likes 60’s racing cars (and who doesn’t?).
- Would I buy or recommend it just on the photos?: Personally, I am not in the market for a chrono, but I would not hesitate to recommend it based on what I have seen from Helgray.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Do a special edition with a racing stripe, maybe in red.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Good price, well built, and with a fairly unique movement.
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