Yep, they even put some Superluminova on the crown on this watch, which is kind of extreme, but it’s proving popular. The fundraising has already been smashed on this UW model, so it’s going into production.
Featuring a Seiko NH35 auto movement, steel case and a very keen retail price of just £176, this 200m depth rated watch has a steel bracelet and a domed caseback, with the Aequorea jellyfish design on there.
Produced by UW watches in Hong Kong this is a unique looking 42mm wide watch – we love the sandwich type dial, which lets some of the superlume markers really stand out. They used different types of lume on the watch to add to the appeal at night too.
Verdict; a bargain spec watch at this price point.
The Brew watches Retromatic is back and why not? This 70s style, TV dial inspired watch combines Seiko automatic engine power with a modern US led design theme. Featuring a 36mm case diameter it also has a more modest 70s era width too.
Brew say the dial’s many perforations are inspired by espresso machines, although it is channeling Tetley tea bags for us Brits. Maybe even a hint of industrial soundproofing too? Very different and it has that tiny window showing the balance assembly, which is another industrial `inspection hatch’ feature we love.
It retails at $425, but you have to add on import duty and VAT of course.
Here’s the tech spec;
CASE DIAMETER: 36MM x 39.5MM CASE THICKNESS: 10.5MM LUG WIDTH: 20MM CRYSTAL: SAPPHIRE GLASS (FRONT & BACK) CASE MATERIAL: STAINLESS STEEL 316L CASEBACK: STAINLESS STEEL 316L BRACELET: 20MM, BRUSHED STAINLESS STEEL 316L, QUICK RELEASE DIAL: SUNRAY DEEP GREEN, 3-TIER PERFORATED DESIGN WATER RESISTANCE: 5ATM (50 METERS) MOVEMENT: SEIKO NH35A, AUTOMATIC
Blanchard watches in Florida are doing the retro motorsport thing in style. They’re making chronographs for guys who race, and they don’t care if it sounds sexist and upsets the professional grievance hunters that lurk under every troll bridge on Twitter. Good for them we say.
The Seiko VK64 powered watch has three different dial designs, with the white dial, black sub-dials being our fave, plus four bezels. You get a little Allen key to undo the three tiny nuts that hold the bezel in place. There are two race circuit themed bezels as well, plus you get a springbar and spare straps in case you fancy a NATO option. 100m of water resistance, steel case, wonderful blue superlume dial at night.
This has a lot going for it and considering Robert Blanchard decided to start making watches in 2019, the company are offering a classy, old school motorsport chrono for not a great deal of money. A fast start is crucial, as they say in racing circles. Plus, they say they have more models and custom variations in the pipeline. Here’s the word from Blanchard;
The Gentleman Racer, gives you the ability to interchange bezels. Currently we are offering four designs with more to come in the future. The Gentleman Racer comes with your choice of three dial colors, and the options of a custom nylon NATO signed strap or a beautifully crafted tapering stainless steel bracelet with signed clasp. This premium chronograph was designed for race car drivers and spectators like yourself.
The project is already well funded by the way, delivery expected in June 21, price is about £213, plus import duty and VAT etc.
Niche watch brand HYT in Switzerland has filed for bankruptcy – and yes, we missed this news earlier in the month. Interesting to note that even the wealthy are not persuaded by the liquid powered movement tech that was the USP for HYT.
Clever stuff is great, but many watch buyers are actually seeking two things when they spend 50K plus on a watch; one is validation from their peer group who rate them as powerful, wealthy types. Secondly, the watch is a long term investment which might appreciate in value over a decade or so. Sadly HYT didn’t really tick those boxes on either count.
HYT may continue in some limited form, for example a Kickstarter one-off project. But the high entry price and lack of old school gears n cogs might just act as stumbling blocks. That is a shame because ultimately watchmaking needs tech advances beyond George Daniels’ co-axial escapement, or a heart rate monitor in a smartwatch.
This latest model from Boldr in Singapore is a tribute to a bold graffiti artist. Here’s the press info;
While pursuing his dream of being an independent graffiti artist, Malaysian-born Kenji Chai drew inspiration from an unlikely source – the many stray dogs that littered the outskirts of KL city. Growing up in a broken family, Kenji could relate to being estranged, having to fend for himself from a young age. Unlike the strays, however, he had the power to decide from then on to live life on his terms. And so, Chaigo was born.
The image of the neon blue stray dog with his tongue sticking out represents the spirit of having fun with life and never giving up. Incidentally, Kenji is born in the year of the dog, and Chaigo is a combination of his surname with the Mandarin word for dog, ‘Go’.
Kenji has steadily gained a reputation and amassed a loyal fanbase through his graffiti artwork which has travelled from random Kuala Lumpur city street walls to adorn popular restaurants, buildings, and office spaces. He has also been commissioned to create huge art murals in Jakarta, Kazakhstan, Shanghai, New York, and many other cities around the globe. Over time, Kenji has become the go-to graffiti artist for multiple world-renown brands and creative personalities.
Resonating deeply with Kenji’s story, we were eager to spread his inspiring message through merchandise bearing the Chaigo identity. The titanium Venture Chaigo comes with a comfy lightweight titanium bracelet, workhorse NH35 automatic movement, and an interchangeable custom NATO strap designed by Kenji himself. It’s a 38mm case, screwdown crown and the whole kit comes in a collectos box with a Chaigo toy figure as well. Limited to 160 pieces.
“If success is about taking one step at a time, keep moving forward” – Kenji Chai
Valhalla watches have been going a few years in Norway, making sunglasses and watches.
The latest Oks model capitalises on that whole Vikings TV show vibe complete with axe marks on the steel case, and a range of dials that feature Nordic runes, plus an axe shaped second hand. Blue, red, black and white are the dial colours, with a plain blue option also listed. Featuring a Seiko NH35 movement these automatics will be reliable and you get a leather plus steel bracelet as part of the early bird offer. We like that chainmail type bracelet too.
The tiny studs on the bezel are inspired by Viking battle shields and there’s a little R at the 5pm position – cool detailing there. All in all, this is a well thought out themed watch, truly different. There’s a healthy application of lume on the markers and hands too so this will stand out at night. It’s making us want to drink beer in a long house and start throwing axes around frankly, but we are easily influenced by non-PC history.
Delivery is expected in July 2021 and the price starts at just £240 plus UK import duties and VAT.
Verdict; Great value Seiko auto with a Nordic twist.
Indie UK brand Strond has launched its DC-3 model, which pays homage to one of the most durable military transport planes of the mid 20th century. The watch is being produced in a limited edition of 930 pieces, with a 24 jewel Seiko automatic movement inside the steel case. There is a little piece of DC-3 wing attached to the dial at the 6pm position too.
Sapphire crystal, superlume and a vintage Italian leather strap make this excellent value for £369 and you can find out more details here.
The tonneau case style is classic 1970s style. You will see tons of old watches on ebay from Swiss brands that are still around today like Tissot or Omega, or lesser marques like Buler, Damas or Leno. Now Singapore based OSO are bringing back the classic gents dress watch case look, with a touch of Panda dial magic, in the shape of their Orbit models.
There are three dial colours; green or two shades of white, with two sub-dials offering chronograph timing features. The Orbit Quasar model has a blue inner tachymetre ring, plus blue finishing on the sub-dials, looks great we reckon. The reverse Panda with black sub-dials also stands out. Inside there’s a Seiko V series Meca-Quartz movement, with a sapphire crystal and some discreet, semi-recessed pushers on the side of the 40mm steel case. There are different finishes on the tonneau case, so you can get that pure retro gold plated look – although it isn’t actually gold plated.
It’s on the Indiegogo fundraising platform now, with about 25K in funds already committed, so it’s a runner. The early bird price is around £185 and you get a standard leather plus NATO strap package, there is a steel bracelet upgrade too.
Verdict: Hard to fault at this price point, which is about the same money as something like an Armani AX chrono quartz. But this is far better built with a sapphire crystal, engraved logo on the caseback, a Seiko movement rather than a base camp Miyota inside – and dare we say more interesting that a black PVD coated case to look at every day.
Trikona watches have a new Kickstarter project live right now, with Swiss quartz movements inside UK designed cases. They’re striking, clean, modernist designs and funding targets have already been reached so the project is a goer. Here’s some details from Trikona.
Trikona London introduces their affordable range of Swiss Made Warrior watches. The SIGNATURE and R3SOLUTE collections both champion the ethos of “The Power of 3” and “A New Dawn”, evoking the strength, resolve and endurance of our warrior spirit. Every model in the SIGNATURE collection comes in 40mm 316L stainless steel, with the iconic triangle appliques at the 6, 9 and 12 position, and the number 3 at position 3 embodied under sapphire crystal glass.
A unique design features of the SIGNATURE models is the Tri-Crown. Specially designed, as an empowering symbol of the brand, with moleté design. Powering the watch is Swiss Made Ronda 715 Quartz movement, with 60 months battery life. It offers a power saving mechanism when the crown is pulled out to the time setting position, thus, reducing the battery consumption by approx. 70%. Water resistance is 5ATM, and every watch comes with a 2 year warranty.
To add some woke credentials to the Signature models, they feature vegan alcantara straps. Which is an excellent marketing ploy we reckon.
R3SOLUTE brings a radical look to a classic, elegant design. Stylish watches in 3 different statement options. All 3 models (R1, R2 and R3) have Superluminova to represent the light within us all, as a reminder to continuously “Rise”, no matter what
Every model in the R3SOLUTE Collection comes in 40mm 316L stainless steel, with the iconic triangles at the 6, 9 and 12 position, embodied under a mineral glass. The unique Tri-Crown has been simplified in this collection, to offer a more minimalistic, yet sporty feel, without taking away from the iconic symbol of Trikona London.
R3SOLUTE hosts Swiss Made Ronda 515 Quartz movement, offering 45 months battery life and a power saving mechanism when the crown is pulled out to the time setting position, reducing the battery consumption by approx. 70%. Water resistance is 5ATM(50M) , and every watch comes with a 2 year warranty.
Hoffman has updated its Racing 40 model. The Seiko Mecaquartz powered watch has that classic motorsport chronograph feel. The latest Yellow Gold edition has a polished and brushed yellow gold case with a black bezel with engraved markings.
The updated dial is dual-layered with a black upper dial, and creme-colored lower dial. The sub-dials, accentuated by a circular pattern, show chronograph minutes and 24-hour time. The stainless steel watch features a scratch-proof sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, and polished leather strap. It retails at $229.