What are the greatest things in life?  Well, Conan the Barbarian had a set of answers to that question.  For me, I’ll say it varies here and there, but sometimes that itch can be scratched by something a simple as a new watch coming onto the market that has a lot of interesting elements built into it.  One such of those watches, the Valimor Caliburnus, is now up on Kickstarter.

Right from the get-go, you can tell that the Valimor Caliburnus is different from what you may have seen before – this is no “me too” minimalistic piece that is destined for the landfill.  What struck me first was the bezel on the watch.  A closer look reveals that it has a scaly texture to it, engraved in.  Per the PR materials, this is to call to mind dragon scale, but it could also remind one of, say, the overlapping leaves of scale mail. Add in the fact that the hands are actual swords (the overall theme of the watch is pulling from Arthurian legend), and you have, for me, a watch that is basically D&D in horology (and no, no steampunk here).

For me, that’s a good thing. I grew up playing D&D with a close set of friends, and have fond memories of those days.  So, right off the bat, the Valimor Caliburnus is in my good graces.  Then we get to the dial.  Oh, those dials.  There are three options here of various semi-precious stones, but my favorite has to be the lapis lazuli.  Ever since I discovered that lapis lazuli existed many years ago, I have been enamored.  There’s just a depth and variety to the blue that is intriguing to me.  And while I’ve not yet picked up a watch with a lapis lazuli dial, I did managed to get some cufflinks on a trip back from Argentina a while ago, so I know what I would be pairing with this watch.

Safe to say, design-wise, there is a lot going on with the Valimor Caliburnus that I am a fan of.  Hands and indices are filled with SuperLuminova (always appreciated), and they’ve managed to turn a cow leather strap into something that looks like a hornback crocodile strap (much nicer than your normal croc-embossed stuff), which keeps the reptilian feel to things.  The buckle on the strap also has some interesting engraving going on to keep the theme going.

Tucked into the Valimor Caliburnus is a well-known commodity, the Miyota 821A automatic movement.  As always, I like seeing known movement brands showing up in new watch startups, as that gives one a bit more confidence that things can be maintained, and parts will be available for said maintenance.  The presence of the Miyota also helps to keep pricing down.  Speaking of, early bird pricing for the Valimor Caliburnus starts at just $239, which represents about a 50% discount off the future retail price.

As I mentioned at the outset, the campaign for the Valimor Caliburnus is currently underway, with funding sitting at about 65% as of the time of this writing.  The campaign runs through July 31st, and delivery (provided the funding goals are hit) is anticipated for October.  I have seen some other watches be offered in limited runs with stone dials of these nature at this price, but none have had quite this level of detail and adherence to a theme.  Should funding levels be met, and production commence, we’re in talks with the brand to get one in for a hands-on review.  Give us a shout out in the comments (or over in Slack) if you jump in to help pull the sword from the stone.  valimor.com

Watch Overview
  • Brand & Model: Valimor Caliburnus
  • Price: early bird pricing starts at $239
  • Who we think it might be for: You like semi-precious stone and want to sport one in an affordable watch
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen? I have to admit it is very, very tempting!
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Getting that WR bumped up to 100m would be appreciated
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: The stone dials and that interesting-looking dragon scale bezel
Tech Specs from Valimor
  • Reference: VA001A
  • Certification: EUIPO Design Patent #004742294-0001
  • Case: Ø42 mm – Aged 316L Stainless Steel
  • Coating: PVD
  • Dial: Natural Black Galaxy Granite
  • Glass: Sapphire Coated Hardness Mineral Crystal
  • Hands Luminous: Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9
  • Crown Crystal: Swarovski
  • Water Resistant: 5 ATM (50 m)
  • Strap: Genuine Leather
  • Caliber: Japan-Made Miyota 821A Automatic
    • Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds and Date
    • Jewels: 21
    • Thickness: 12.65mm
    • Frequency: 21,600 vph
    • Power-reserve: 42 hours

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