WTAuthor. A small, hand-made, hand-assembled watch shop in Shropshire, England. It all sounds so proper. It’s a lie. The WTAuthor Final Countdown watch is not a watch you wear when you’re invited to social functions.

Final Countdown is the watch you wear when you’re in your finest zebra stripe Lycra, crashing the fucking party. It’s badass, takes-no-prisoners, and doesn’t care that you don’t think it’s fit for polite society.

WTAuthor has 10 rules of watch design. Be Unique, they said. Leave a legacy, they said.

Made in small numbers, serialized editions, with clear pricing. With design and tooling done in England.

One of the things they say is, “be comfortable in your own skin.” And you certainly have to be, to pull off the WTAuthor Final Countdown watch.

But that’s a good thing. It’s really easy to buy a watch that’s a lot like any other watch, because you know it’s acceptable, and to be fair, it’s a design that’s lasted through decades and many brands all doing iterations on it, more or less faithfully.

If you’re going to wear a 44mm Final Countdown, you’re going to either need to already be confident in your own skin, or you’re going to learn to be confident. WTAuthor doesn’t promise it will imbue you with superpowers, but when you put it on, you have very few options: You go big, or you go home and take it off.

The Final Countdown

The watch itself is 44mm across. 49mm lug to lug, and 13.4 thick. 44mm sounds and is big, but it’s tempered by the only slightly long 49mm, and very normal 13.4mm thick dimensions. Even though it’s wider on the wrist, it’s not going to wear excessively large to the feel.

The case itself is a sandwich of materials and finishes. We borrowed the No.1986 Yellow Variant (Doomsday). It’s got a large, square-ish matte block of stainless steel that’s been ion-plated to appear bronze. That block is sandwiched by the stainless silver lugs and the polished silver bezel. The square plate forms the crown guards, protecting an anodized red crown at 4 o’clock.

The case is topped with a 12 sided bezel with polished raised numerals in the matte black ion plated (sensing a theme here?) bezel insert. The exhibition back is printed with the serial number and allows you to see the automatic Miyota 9015 movement.

The yellow Doomsday model has no lume outside of the hands. The other variants have lume. If a bright glow in the dark dial is important to you, look to those. If a bold-as-love yellow that takes no prisoners is who you want to be, this one will tell everyone, if they didn’t already know by the way you park your car sideways. No one will question if you have enough class.

The strap is FKM rubber (Fluoro-elastomer). The short version is, there are different types and qualities to be had in rubber. FKM is the good stuff. Soft, comfortable, and a polished buckle at the end.

All of WTAuthor’s watches are named for years. The No.1986 is this big yellow one. There are 1989’s, 1968’s, what have you. Each one represents a different style. I think they’ve nailed it – the year absolutely feels like my memory of 1986.

How’s it feel to wear it

I’ve written a lot of fancy words about confidence and the way this watch sets you apart. It will get you opinions, like “Holee shee-it, what the fuck is that!” and “what on Earth are you wearing?” But at the same time, if you go about with a sense of who you are, you can pull it off.

On the wrist, I expected it would feel large, heavy, and weigh me down. I thought, “this is a nice watch, I’ll say nice things, but it’s not really for me.”

And I did get those opinions, those, “what are you thinking wearing this thing” expressed by people who were genuinely concerned for my mental well-being.

But the truth is, this is a watch that was light and comfortable, despite being much larger on paper than I would ever choose for myself. As I said on the Hourtime Show, it’s a watch that should be impossible. It’s big, large, and yet wears completely comfortably.

A word about packaging

The watch arrives in a wax-sealed cardboard box made of recycled material. That sounds like it ought to be bad, but it’s actually very nice, and for those of you who don’t like keeping packaging around, it’s sensible to recycle it.

It comes with a nice booklet telling the story of the watch, with assembly photographs, and technical drafts that are signed and match the watch’s serial number.

And if you place value on exclusivity, remember, there will be only 50 of each variant. Ever. There will be no re-issues, no wider production. If you want one, you get it now. Get it at Kickstarter.com

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: WTAuthor Final Countdown
  • Price: Earlybird pricing starts at £350 / $435
  • Who we think it might be for: You don’t mind wearing something other people might consider out of place. Bold colors are your style.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I didn’t think I would. I would.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Frequently I have something to say here. But these guys know their vision so clearly, there’s nothing to offer.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: It’s all there. The easy to turn bezel, the color choices. I like this thing even though it seems impossible

Tech Specs from WTAuthor

  • Case size: 44mm, 49 lug to lug
  • Height: 13.4mm
  • Case material: 316L stainless steel
  • Crystal: sapphire
  • Strap: FKM rubber, or jubilee bracelet (upgrade) – 22mm lugs
  • Movement: Miyota 9015

By Victor Marks

sometimes described as "The best bang since the Big One."

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