Today, we have a quick preview of a watch that just recently hit Kickstarter, the McDowell Time DelRay. Why a preview? Well, as it turns out, I also have one of the prototypes here on the watch review desk, so we will be able to give you a hands-on impression here very soon. In the meantime, let’s run down what the McDowell Time DelRay is offering.
Before we get too far into this, I do want to point out that, yes, the McDowell Time DelRay does have similarities to the Manchester Watch Works Trench Watches (reviewed here). We are in talks with both companies, and we’ll dive more into this in our upcoming review. For now, let’s just deal with the McDowell Time DelRay on its own.
One of the most unique aspects of the McDowell Time DelRay, aside from the design, is the movement utilized. Here, it’s the Seiko YT57, which is a quartz movement. What makes this a bit more unique is that, instead of a battery, the YT57 relies on a rotor (just like on an automatic mechanical) to charge a capacitor that then powers the movement. This is intriguing, and I’ve not encountered a movement like this before.
Past the movement, it’s really the design of the McDowell Time DelRay that makes this an interesting watch. It follows trench watch aesthetics (including wire lugs; here, these are simulated as it relies on spring bars). What I like about this style is that it really focuses the eye on the dial, as the bezel is fairly minimal, and the lugs are about as narrow as they can be to still be reliable.
For the dial of the McDowell Time DelRay, we have a simple, clean style. Bold, lumed numerals are just inside a railroad track, which itself features pips on the hours. On the blue dial version of the McDowell Time DelRay, those pips are lumed, which I like. Unfortunately, that lume didn’t make it on to the pips on the other two dials (black and white), mainly due to the colors being used. Oh well, that just makes the blue dial variant all the more attractive to me.
Overall, the dial of the McDowell Time DelRay seems very functional, and there is not a lot of text cluttering things up (a good thing). If I were to change anything on it (past lumed pips on all variants), it would be to eliminate the date display, and then increase the size of the hour numerals a bit. As it stands now, the date display seems a bit cramped, and I think the dial could have more impact with slightly larger numerals. Then again, perhaps that is why I’m a watch reviewer and not a watch designer.
The McDowell Time DelRay just launched on Kickstarter this week, and funding is at a hair over 10% (as of the time of this writing). For those jumping in on the earlybird special, you can pick up a McDowell Time DelRay for $250 with your choice of dial color and case finish. The project closes on May 26th; we’ll update you with how things are progressing once we get into our hands-on review. mcdowelltime.com