Hello and welcome to our weekly Saturday feature, Watching the Web. Here, we take a moment to look at some watch reviews and watch related news we find outside our own site, and then we highlight a few of our most popular recent posts. This week, we have an Indian watch, and new watches from HYT and Harry Winston. From our site, the readers found the articles on the Defacto Kinetic, Icon Automatic, and Matt’s editorial on crowd-funded watches to be rather interesting. On with the show!
First up from the wide, wide world of watches, we have a look at a watch that is from the other side of the world (at least from me) – the Airvata. Now, you will be forgiven for not being aware of this particular watch, as it was the product of a group effort over on WatchUSeek. Long story short, Prateek SHujanya commissioned a special run from the very well-known HMT. The starting point for the design was the HMT Janata, with the case upsized to 40mm, housing the long-lived HMT 0231 movement. TheTimeBum finally got his in, and gives us a full rundown on what this particular watch (with perhaps one of the last production runs of movements from HMT) has to offer.
Next up, we have a solid writeup (and a rather helpful video) of the new HYT H4 Metropolis watch over at aBlogtoWatch. Yes, we have seen HYT watches before, but each one brings something a little different to the table. This time around, it is the ability to check the time in the dark. This is accomplished by two small LEDs that are embedded in the dial (and powered separately from the movement) that set the liquid marker aglow. How the light is powered is pretty cool as well, as there is no battery. Instead, there’s a small crown you need to wind up to store energy in a capacitor, which is then used for the lighting.
aBlogtoWatch also had another very cool watch show up on their pages this week – a brand new Harry Winston, the Opus 14. The first thing that I thought when I saw pictures of the watch was that it was a very American-influenced watch, and it indeed is. The Opus 14 is an homage to 1950’s America (replete with red, white, and blue) and has a lot of cues that hearken to the records and jukeboxes of the era. This is most evident in the automation built into the watch, and is best served by checking out the video that ABTW has up on the page.
From our own pages, the Defakto Kinetik was out most popular article of the week. Which, to my way of thinking, means that this is a three-hander that is resonating with the larger community. As we have seen time and again, basic three-handed watches have become tired retreads in many ways, so for something like this to come along and mix it up – just with a simple change to the handset – that makes us take notice. It also helps that the Defakto Kinetik is relatively affordable as well. You can get the full rundown in our writeup here.
Next up, we have the new Nite Icon Automatic, the brand’s first non-quartz movement. In some of the discussion on the article, the date window was called out, and I think the remarks are not totally out of place; perhaps future versions will make a change here. For what we have now, though, it’s an automatic watch equipped with tritium tubes, and those are not something that there are an abundance of these days. Yes, Ball has a lot, and they are the standard-bearer in that regard. For something a touch more affordable, though, this new Nite seems like a solid option.
Finally, we have Matt’s editorial from last weekend that talks about what we have seen going on with the crowd-funded watch scene as of late. While there are plenty of examples we could pull from to point out what we feel is wrong, instead, Matt has gone through and highlighted what he feels has been done right by a variety of brands. While these are certainly not any hard and fast rules, it should give anyone who is looking to create their own watch some food for thought. It also serves as an explanation as to why we’re being more selective as to what it is that we’ll be highlighting on our pages when it comes to crowd-funded watches.
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).
This is the last day of the month, so you only have a few more hours left to enter our 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.