Kickstarter is a brilliant place to try and build a dream, anything from a new haircut drone robot to an automatic wristwatch. Hell, why not? We are addicted to watches here at the Northern Watch Co naturally, so here is an updated post, with the latest Kickstarter watches that have caught our eye here in Manchester UK. Enjoy!
ALTAIR – CELEBRATE THE MINIMAL
There are some legendary minimalist watch designs, like the Junghans Max Bill, or Movado’s Museum, which captures something of that spirit of the Jet Age, where progress was clean, modern, a refreshing change from the chaos of war. That’s why we like Altair’s less-is-more approach with black dials, quartz movements, Milanese bracelets and a dash of colour/lume on the hands and that classic 1950s sub-second dial.
These aren’t Swiss automatics that will rev the engines of diehard collectors, but Altair are making a fashion watch that knocks spots off the baroque, and some might say, kinda gaudy M Kors type of watches? The only fly in the ointment for this project that we can see is that Hamilton once used the model name Altair – so maybe Swatch Group might take out trademark protection on the name? We ain’t leagal beagles, so that remains a mystery.
We can’t see a suggested RRP on the Altair pagebut the project has about a month to go before closing on its £3300 funding target. Good luck to `em we say.
FIRLE SENNEN AUTOMATIC
Here’s another true minimalist design, inspired by the colours of Cornwall’s rugged coast and taking in elements of old school English pocket watchmaking, the Firle has a Swiss STP-11 movement inside, which has its roots in the ETA 2824/Sellita SW200 series. When you look at the movement it has the same two rotor drive gear cogs that the old ETA2783 power unit had, in pretty much the same place. But those design principles are good things – ETA equals reliability, plus easy servicing.
There’s an undeniable feeling of high class polishing and finishing on the Firle Sennen – it really does look like a labour of love, that’s taken four years to come to fruition. They’ve exceeded the Kickstarter funding target on this one, so hopefully the Sennen watches will going to new owners soon.
Check out the Firle promo video here by the way;
EGARD HAS A STEAMPUNK EDGE
This one offers a twist of Aubrey Beardsley etched into its DNA, with an almost Gothic look about the chunky bracelet. Engraving isn’t for everyone, but if you like tattoos, a bit of Sherlock Holmes in the evening and a malt whisky, then perhaps the Egard is the watch for you.
The Egard Bermuda watch is extra interesting because it capitalises on one of the basic tenets of human nature; gift giving on landmark birthdays. It’s squarely aimed at 30-40 something men, keen to give a unique one-off engraved watch to their father, or other male relative in their life. Swiss movement inside, sapphire crystal, and kind of baroque style engraving on the case and linked bracelet.
So far over £95,000 has been raised towards volume production on this one, so it looks like a runner. If you don’t fancy an automatic at $355 then there’s a Ronda quartz option too. Definitely different in terms of looks and with a genuine handmade feel about it.
The Hamtun Kraken has been a runaway success recently, with over £220,000 worth of funding helping to make these punchy, sharp looking, divers watches a reality. Who can argue with a SwissTech/ETA/Sellita powered Kraken H3 auto, titanium case, ceramic bezel GMT watch for just £499? That makes so many Swiss watches look distinctly over-priced.
Titanium bracelet too, so this watch should feel super-light on the wrist.
The dials come in great shades of blue, white, orange, black and a colour we would call dark grey, all with nice lume touches, date windows and some feature orange tipped second hands too. Hamtun is a UK based company, looking to bring real value to the auto watch sector – good luck to `em.
NEWMARK 6BB PILOT REPLICA
In 1980 500 pilots in the RAF received a Newmark watch, which makes it a true collectors item. Those who flew the Vulcan bombers to bomb Port Stanley in the Falklands war, on that famous long distance raid which many thought couldn’t be done, wore Newmark watches.
It’s a classic black/white dial, military issue chronograph, with a quartz movement inside for accuracy. Just £237 gets you in as an early backer on this project and although there isn’t a Swiss automatic movement inside, we love the ultra clean, functional look of the Newmark 6BB and the story behind the original watch too.
There’s a 316 grade brushed steel case, acrylic crystal – sapphire glass may shatter under pressure changes at altitude of course – serial numbered casebacks, recessed winding crown and pushers, and a NATO strap of course, all finish off that utility look in detail.
If you pledge more funding you can get a souvenir piece of Tornado jet engine blade as well – nice touch for military watch collectors we reckon. Newmark also make a beautiful automatic dive watch, the 71 Sports model, by the way – plus a white dial version of the 6BB, which has a mode 1940s Fleet Air Arm feel about it.