As we’ve said in the past, one of the really great things about being a reviewer is that you sometimes get to see things that are not even quite available yet. For bigger brands, that means stuff that’s embargoed to such-and-such a date, which we gladly observe. With smaller brands, though, it allows us to spend time with watches to help inform you, dear reader, so you can start making your mind up before, say, a campaign launches. The latest to allow us to do that for you is the Biotic Formicidae.
First, let’s talk about that name – Biotic Formicidae. Formicidae is the formal name for the family that is comprised of all ants. For this watch, Biotic views them as little navigators, and that makes sense then for why we’ve got a compass on the internal bezel (as well as the cartoon character on the caseback). How they’ve chosen to arrange things for that internal bezel is definitely unique.
As the photos show, the Biotic Formicidae is a dual-crown watch. Rather than having those crowns at 2- and 4-o’clock, they’re opposed, at 3- and 9-o’clock. It gives a sense of balance, sure, but it also put me in mind of an old school robot head. Perhaps not a fit for the ant theme, but it’s the idea that just sort of stuck with me. And hey, why not try out different placements for that second crown? The one for the movement, well, you’re interacting with the movement, so it’s needs to be where it is. Something totally separate from the movement? See what fun you can get up to in the design, I say.
There are other interesting things going on with the Biotic Formicidae as well. For instance, the sculpted sides of the steel case, the rounded octagonal crowns, and the H-link bracelet with it’s hidden divers extension. The most striking part of the design – for me – was the dial, because of all the layers. Coming down from the crystal, you’ve got the compass chapter ring angling down. Below that, you’ve got the minutes track and hour indices. From there, however, you’ve got an inverted pie pan coming back up to form the dial. While the red of our sample certainly made it striking, I think any of the dial colors will highlight what a dimensional, and visually interesting, dial that the watch has going on for it.
Driving the three-hander-plus-date layout of the Biotic Formicidae is the trusty Miyota 9015. Much of it is obscured by the cartoon ant, but you can still see some bits of the movement. Once you see that movement, you know we’re talking about a more affordable watch. While the MSRP of the Biotic Formicidae is listed as $599, crowdfunding means you can pick up a discount.
When the Biotic Formicidae launches on Kickstarter on June 12, 2022 (and runs until June 22, 2022), you’ll find Super Early Bird pricing that has the watch for $399 in one of four dial colors, which is a tidy little discount. If you want to be notified when the campaign goes live, you can go to BioticWatches.com and get on their mailing list; you can also have Kickstarter notify you when things launch. To our eyes, it’s a rather unique design, one that felt well-sorted and well-built in our time with the watch, and definitely worth the price being asked, particularly in the crowd-funding campaign pricing structure. BioticWatches.com
Tech Specs from Biotic
- Diameter: 39mm
- Lug to Lug: 47mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Lug width: 20mm
- Water Resistance: 20ATM/200M/660Feet
- Crowns: Dual Screw down crowns with Logo Engraved
- Caseback: See through caseback with inside tinted sapphire crystal and printed graphics
- Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Crystal: Flat Sapphire crystal with inside AR-coating
- Calibre: Miyota 9015 (24 Jewels)
- Complication: Time and date
- Mechanism: Automatic and hand-winding
- Power Reserve: 42 hours
- Frequency: 28,800 bph (4Hz)
- Bracelet (Included)
- Material: 316L Stainless steel
- Buckle: 316L Stainless steel
- Buckle type: Button style pusher
- End links: Solid
- Links: Screw-in
- Spring bars: Double sided quick-release
- Finishing: Brushed with chamfered and polished edge
- Width: 20mm
- Taper: 20/18mm