When it comes to crowd-funded watch projects these days, everyone and their brother seems to be coming up with a minimalist quartz watch. Not that there is anything wrong with a minimalist watch, or a quartz-driven one. It is just that we are not seeing a whole of of differentiation in the projects (check out this editorial to see what we think makes a project interesting) out there. So that is what we try to focus in on, what makes a watch different or unique, and will be bringing those to light. Which then brings us to the subject of today’s article, the Vejrhøj Nautic.
First things first – what in the world does Vejrhøj mean? As it turns out, it is a region of Denmark that has a number of high hills, and is where the founder of the company, Janus Aarup, was born and raised. So, right off the bat, you can tell we are in for a particularly Danish feel to the watch. Now, if I were simply to list off the specs (42mm case, 10.3mm thick, quartz two-hander), that would not inspire all that much interest. How about if I mentioned the fact that wood is used in the assembly? Again, probably a yawn, as we have seen wood watches before. That is where the design of things comes in to play.
For a young brand starting out, they scored quite a feat in this regard. To create the Vejrhøj Nautic, the brand brought Bo Bonfils, a well-known Danish designer. While I cannot say I was familiar with him, or his work, prior to learning of this project, I do think it lends some gravitas to the watch design itself when a known quantity like Bonfils attaches himself to it. He designed a case that has two levels to it, with the steel on the lower half, and the wood warming things up on the upper half, as well as appearing on the dial. Speaking of the dial, while I do like the two-section look they designed, it seems a bit odd that that did not replicate the angled split seen on the crown and caseback. Then again, I am not a designer.
All in all, it makes for a very interesting look. In particular, the Vejrhøj Nautic 70° North with the lighter-color maple wood on the blue strap is rather captivating, and seems like it is just ready to hit your wrist for summer. There are other color combinations, of course, and likely something would work to your tastes. While the early-bird level for the project has been snapped up (and the project is fully-funded), you can still get in on the project for around $198 (depending on currency conversions) which is not that bad of a price for something with this much design appeal to it. We will see about getting one in for a review once it is available in March; in the meantime, you can check out the project page before it closes up on November 30th. vejrhoj.com
- Brand & Model: Vejrhøj Nautic
- Price: $198 at current funding levels
- Who we think it might be for: You like clean designs that marry steel and wood
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Quite possibly – there is something about them that calls to mind visiting my great-aunt and -uncle
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Play with the angled split (on the dial) to mimic what we see on the caseback and crown
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: How well the merging of the materials is done
Tech Specs from Vejrhøj
- 42mm casing crafted from natural hardwood & 316L stainless steel
- Swiss made movement: Ronda, caliber 762 3H
- Highly scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass with bevelled edges
- 9.3 mm thick case (10.3 mm including the sapphire crystal glass)
- Genuine calf leather strap, which runs through the inside of the watch
- 3 ATM waterproofing
- Two years warranty
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