Another Saturday, and it’s time for another edition of Watching the Web. In this series, we bring to your attention interesting articles from around the web, as well as posts from our own site that were popular over the last week or so. Today, we have a modular smart watch, a book on an important piece of historical clockwork, and a list of approachable watches from independent makers. From our own site, the most popular recent posts was a massive Estonian watch, the recent Steinhart release (again), and an article on the Seiko Monster. Read on for all the details!
First up from the wider world of watches, we have a modular smart watch that is getting closer and closer to production. The Blocks Modular smart watch has been makng its way off of the design board for two years now, and the company is turning to crowd-funding to secure the money to turn their prototype into the first round of manufacturing, with watches expected to be available y May of 2016. PRicing seems like it might be a bit of a hurdle for the watch, given that you’re putting down at least $250 to get the modules, and that’s putting you into the range of existing (and established) examples. Hot-swappable modules, though, that could make things rather interesting, customizing the watch to whatever you have going on that day. For the full run-down, you can check out the article over at TechCrunch.
Second, we have a new book about the Antikythera Mechanism. For such an ancient piece of technology, it is one that holds a lot of interest. Of course, it helps that it was only more recently discovered, and has presented itself as a rather perplexing puzzle that many have tried to unravel (including Hublot, who released a miniature version in a watch back in 2011). In this new book, Constantin Stikas goes over the allure surrounding the clockwork, and has conducted a lot of research to present this ancient marvel in a modern context. For more on his thoughts on the device, and excerpts from the book, you can check out the full interview here.
Third, we have a rundown of five accessible (according to the author) watches from independent brands. Accessible, in this case, really refers more to the actual usability and wearability of the watches from such brands as MB&F, Romaine Jerome, and Urwerk (along with two others). Many times with the independents, there can be some crazy implementations that get used, which can make the day-to-day utility something that is not there. While none of the watches listed in the article on TheHourGlass are inexpensive, they are good introductions to the sort of work these independent luxury brands are producing.
Finally, we have a quick one on another Kickstarter project that is setting out with the lofty goal of (eventually) bringing more watch manufacturing back to the States. I’ll just put one thing up front about this watch – if you are not a fan of Southwestern art, this watch is very much not for you. Everyone else, read on. This first watch from Brillier, the Native, is the first chapter in what the brand hopes will be an evolving history, in watch form, of the United States. The brand is rather up-front about the fact that they want to bring as much production as they can to the States. For now, though, it’s all done overseas – even the hand-made dial (which I had really hoped they would have made locally, but alas). The Brillier Native is currently funding (project page), with pricing starting off at $265, and going up from there.
Now, let us turn our attention to our own pages. First up, we had an article I was rather surprised to see crop back up, that on the inagaural offering from Estonian brand Aegaon. I’m personally interested in it due to my familial connection to the country, and it seems our writeup was picked up by some online news outlets there. If you missed our take on it first time around, take a look now at this massive watch.
Next up, we (once again) have Matt’s take on the new Steinhart Ocean Titanium 500. Like him, I have never seen a Steinhart in person, but they are rather highly regarded in the online communities, and this latest model is a tidy take on the classic dive watch. When you realize you’re getting titanium, a ceramic bezel, and a Soprod movement, the sub-1k price is all the more surprising (and tempting). Check out the full writeup here.
Last, but certainly not least, we have our Historical Horology post from last weekend. This one was a different sort of article, but HH was the best way to categorize it. While the writeup does get into the history of the watch a little bit, it’s really more a discussion about what makes up the watch via a teardown. If you ever wondered what the inside of your Seiko Monster looked like, you will want to give this a read.
Did you know that John Biggs’ latest book, Marie Antionette’s Watch, is only 99 cents on the Kindle, or you can buy a paperback from Amazon. Oh, and even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can always read via their free apps or their cloud read (check those out here).
Hopefully you have this figured out by now, but it is a new month, so we have a new giveaway. This month, we are sticking with Mr. Jones, but switching models to the Mr. Jones Chatterbox. Patrick managed to spend a bit of time with it in hand, and he thought that “as a more art-oriented piece, the $260 watch meets it’s goal.”
We also want to put the call out for wrist shots of our reader’s favorite (or at least favorite of the moment) watches. Put together an email of your wrist shot and tell us a little about the watch and why you love it. If you happened to be introduced to it through our site (or won it through a give-away), even better. Just make sure the image is a JPEG and at least 800 pixels wide. The last two weeks have had reader wrist shots, so keep it guys (and gals).
With that, I will wrap up this edition of Watching the Web. As always, if there’s something you think we should be covering, feel free to drop us a line. If you bring something up that we end up writing about, we’ll be sure to tip our hats (electronically, if not literally) in your general direction.