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The number of watches on Kickstarter is creeping back up. The quality, however, seems to be taking a dip – with brilliant watches like the Newmark 71 only just getting funded and the Isotope Goutte d’Eau being cancelled and funded in a different way. What are the crowdfunded highlights (and lowlights) this month?

Instrmnt D-Series

The Instrmnt D Series is a Swiss Automatic Dive Watch designed in Glasgow and built in Germany. That’s quite the cosmopolitan mix, but it looks to have taken the best part from each nation that is involved.

We love the minimalist design, with a choice of either a black or steel bezel for two very different looks. The choice of straps is comprehensive too:

  • Italian-made rubber (black)
  • German-made stitched leather (black)
  • German-made stitched leather (tan)
  • NATO-style Nylon (colour tbc)
  • Steel Oyster bracelet (sandblasted steel)

We’re not so sure about the name: the similar look to MVMT might make the watch seem liek a cheap fashion piece which it certainly does nota appear to be! The asking price of £295 is good value for a watch equipped with a Sellita SW-200 and it’s already reached its funding goal with 20 days to go.

Click here to back the Instrmnt D-Series watch of Kickstarter.

IGEMON Watch

IGEMON draws inspiration from Greece with their new timepiece. The watch world is a conservative place and hour markers tend to be shown as Arabic numbers, dots or dashes. In this case, they are shown as Greek letters which certainly looks different and gives this timepiece its unique selling point.

The watch mechanism itself is not so unique – a reliable but unremarkable Ronda Swiss Quartz. We don’t think this one will find much traction in the watch collecting community but for those with Mediterranean roots, it might make a nice collectable.

Click here to find out more about IGEMON watches.

Buying a Watch on Kickstarter

Remember that Kickstarter is not a shop, it’s a place where you can back new businesses, That means you will have a wait before the watch you preorder arrives, and there is always a risk of losing your money. Don’t let that scare you off – read our guide to buying a watch on Kickstarter to find out more.

The post Kickstarter Watches Roundup – July 2019 appeared first on Wristwatch Review UK.

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We are big fans of UNDONE watches at WRUK, and they have now expanded their successful Peanuts collection. You can now buy UNDONE Peanuts Moon Watches to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Introducing the UNDONE Peanuts Space Program and Lunar Mission Watches

The new UNDONE Peanuts watches have 21 different dial designs and – like all UNDONE watches – you can then go on tom customise the design to your heart’s content. At the heart of the collection is the awesome Snoopy Moon Watch which gives you the ability to have a crossover Snoopy and space chronograph without shelling out for the limited Omega Speedmaster Moon Watch Silver Snoopy Edition!

UNDONE Peanuts Watch Specifications

The entire Peanuts gang can be added to the watch face, wearing ACES, or Advanced Crew Escape Suits, which were worn by NASA space shuttle crews from 2014 during ascent and entry. ACES are not just any shade of orange – they’re “international orange”, a colour used in the aerospace industry for maximum visibility against surroundings such as the sea. The watch also comes with a matching orange cordura strap.

  • Case Width: 40 / 41.8 mm excl. crown
  • Case Thickness: 12 mm incl. crystal
  • Watch Movement: Seiko Instruments Inc. VK61 / VK64 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Crystal Material: Hardened Domed K1 Crystal
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM / 30 Meters
  • Strap Size: 20 mm
What is the connection between the Moon Landings and  Snoopy?

The link between the Apollo missions and the Peanuts characters goes back to a comix strip of Snoopy landing on the moon that was published during the Apollo program. The Apollo 10 command and service module was nicknamed “Charlie Brown”, and the lunar module, “Snoopy”. Charlie Brown returned safely to Earth, while Snoopy was jettisoned into perpetual orbit around the Sun.

Buy an Undone Peanuts Space Watch

There are two ranges on offer: the Snoopy watches are limited to 300 pieces each and cost £360, whereas the ACES watches are priced between £235 and £275. You can read our UNDONE watch review here: https://wristwatchreview.co.uk/undone-urban-tropical-review

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We’ve seen plenty of wooden watches in the last couple of years. So far, none have managed to impress us. Is the new wooden watch range from owood any different?

Canadian Brand owood Launches New Wooden Watch Range

The trouble with most wooden watches is that they are very obviously fashion pieces. Therefore they tend to use cheap, mass-market quartz movements that just do not enthuse watch collectors. Canadian start-up owood claim to offer something different: their watches (presumably just the cases and bands) are made entirely from reclaimed steel and wood.

First Impressions: owood wooden watches

It is nice to see a sapphire crystal on the watches, which shows some intent to move wooden watches up from the bottom of the barrel. On the other hand, they are still made with quartz movements and are unlikely to convert many of the watch enthusiasts who frequent our website.

If you want a wooden watch and can live with the compromises, then you might want to consider these watches over other wooden watches that cannot demonstrate their environmental credentials. If quartz three-handers are your thing, or you are looking for an unusual gift, then these might just tick your boxes.

Specifications

Classic collection
 40 mm men watch
 1L32 Miyota Japanese quartz movement
 Stainless Steel 316L
 Silver case
 Sapphire crystal glass

Minimalist collection
 40 mm men watch
 GL20 Miyota japanese quartz movement
 Stainless Steel 316L
 Silver / rose gold case
 Sapphire crystal glass
 3 ATM Water resistant

Mira collection
 30 mm square women watch
 GL30 Miyota japanese quartz movement
 Stainless Steel 316L
 Rose gold case
 Sapphire crystal glass

Buy an owood watch

KICKSTARTER: The three types of owood watch will be available for pre-order on the
Kickstarter crowdfunding platform on July 16th at 10H AM EST Time. For more information see : www.owood.ca/kickstarter

The post Canadian Brand owood Launches New Wooden Watch Range appeared first on Wristwatch Review UK.

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We do like Spinnaker watches at WRUK – and not just because they keep sending them to us to review! Does the Spinnaker Spence match the brand’s recent high standards?

Spinnaker Spence Review

I’ve grown used to the packaging of Spinnaker watches by now, and the Spence is as spartan as the rest! If it keeps costs down it’s fine in my book, though.

Case

The Spinnaker Spence has a matt-steel case that reminded me of their Tesei Titanium model. This one is steel, though, and it’s finished well with no sharp edges. The crown is big – perhaps protruding a little too far beyond the square crown guards – and very easy to manipulate.

It looks like Spinnaker are only using quality movements now: this watch has the Seiko NH35 which is one of my favourite low-end automatic movements. It has Spinnaker’s trademark black roto which I am not too keen on, but at least the movement is decorated to justify the display case back. I really like the case, perhaps the bezel knurling could be deeper, but it’s an interesting texture and wears well. I was not so keen on the full-lume bezel: the application of paint left a lot to be desired and it feels like it won’t last as long as the rest of the watch.

Dial and Hands

The dial of the Spinnaker Spence is excellent. A textured black colour, it catches the light beautifully. Spinnaker – for their price point – have some really unique designs and great build quality. All the markers are applied straight and well-lumed. Maybe the Rolex Submariner style hands are out of place on this modern design, but they are perfectly legible in all light conditions.

The dial has a satisfying sense of depth and the red text adds a suitable splash of colour. It’s understated but attractive to my eye. The date is always welcome, but the stark white date wheel looks a little odd with vintage lume and the position makes the dial a little unbalanced.

Strap and Buckle

Spinnaker straps are always excellent for the price and this vintage-style leather is no exception. It’s thick, supple and feels like quality.

The buckle matches the bead blasted finish of the watch but, as usual, the engraving on the Spinnaker branding is very light and may as well have been left off altogether.

Spinnaker Spence Video Review What I Liked
  • The design is nice – reminiscent of more expensive watches but still original
  • Build quality is excellent all round
  • The Seiko movement is a good choice as a balance between price and performance
What I Didn’t Like
  • I’m not sure about the Mercedes hands, which are perhaps a little too “fussy” for the dial
  • The bezel doesn’t quite look right to me – the full lume makes it look a little flat
  • The date window looks a little odd in white with the vintage markers.
Spinnaker Spence – the WRUK Verdict

I’ve not yet come across a Spinnaker watch that we don’t like at least a bit – but bear in mind that they keep sending me samples to review when I say that. Objectively, for the price they charge, they..

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Wristwatch Review UK by Mike Richmond - 2w ago

Aereotec is a Malaysian brand that is bringing their first watch to market via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter in August. What is the WRUK verdict on the Aerotec Sea Hunt?

Aerotec Sea Hunt Review

The Aerotec Sea Hunt is presented in a really good presentation box. It looks and feels high-quality and the inner is made of a lovely brown (presumably faux) leather. Inside you get the watch and a space for the optional bracelet.

Case

The watch case looks, at first glance, to be a similar shape to the “standard” dive watch template. It has some nice touches such as the squared lugs and it is finished well. The bezel assembly is rather tall, which makes the watch look a bit top-heavy but it wears really comfortably. This is a loan review watch that is doing a circuit of the world, so be aware that it may have picked up a few knocks and scratches when reviewing my photographs.

I love the case back, which has a deep stamped diver’s helmet with a little window through which part of the Miyota 9015 movement is visible. I think this is a really nice touch and full marks to Aerotec for the quality of the case back which is not a thin etching like so many other microbrand watches. The crown is easy to grip, but a little too deep in my opinion, protruding perhaps a little too far past the crown guards. It has an engraved Aerotec logo with a little lume pip – nice touch! Perhaps the bezel could do with a few more numbers and not just markings but who actually uses the bezel on their watch except to point it back at 12?

Dial and Hands

I found the dial and hands of the Aerotec Sea Hunt to be a little too “mixed and matched” for my liking. The dial itself is similar to that of a 5-digit Rolex Submariner, with small raised indices. The date at 6 keeps the dial balanced well, and the applied logo adds a touch of class. A nice reddy brown sunburst makes the dial pop beautifully in the sunlight.

I was less convinced by two elements: the hands and the lume. The hands are a combination of what looks like a Mercedes hour hand (without the Mercedes style design) and a sword minute hand. For me, they just don’t fit. I have the same problem with the fancy hands on Christopher Ward Tridents and accept that some people love them and will love this watch’s hands. They’re just not for me. Nor is the lume, which is too green for my liking and doesn’t match between markers and hands. Thankfully, this is being fixed for the final production run.

Strap and Bracelet

Backers of the Aerotec Sea Hunt will receive the watch with a vintage leather strap which is quite superb. It’s comparable in terms of quality to the Spinnaker straps I reviewed earlier this year. Supple and thick, it exudes quality and is one of the best I’ve seen on a microbrand. I love the now almost-ubiquitous quick-release strap pins. I was less impressed by the optional bracelet. It is basically the same as the one on the Alcadus Opus (incidentally another Malaysian brand) with a thin clasp, few micro adjustments and push pins. It does have solid end links – which is a positive point – and at the price range it is acceptable, but compared to the strap it’s a bit of a letdown.

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We love motoring watches here at WRUK, and also chronographs. Combining the two with a vintage twist is a Kickstarter campaign from Germany: Can the Vintro Le Mans 1952 Chronograph knock the venerable Seagull 1963 off its perch?

Introducing the Vintro Le Mans 1952 Chronograph

The Introducing the Vintro Le Mans 1952 Chronograph has a tough task – as a mechanical chronograph watch with (in at least one configuration) a cream dial with blue and gold highlights, it is going to be compared with the most popular watch in this website’s history: the Seagull 1963. It even shares a similar movement, albeit the Vintro Le Mans 1952 has an automatic winding feature added.

If the price difference makes you baulk (the German made Vintro Le Mans 1952 with ST1940 movement costs about double the price of the Chinese Seagull) then you can switch to a Seiko VK64 movement and rebalance the books. And that Seiko movement is barely distinguishable from a mechanical movement to the casual observer anyway, apart from the lack of ticking seconds.

So what does the Vintro Le Mans 1952 have to offer, and why are we suggesting it might be our next favourite chronograph watch? Let’s have a quick look at the specifications.

Specifications

There are three different variations of the Le Mans 1952 chronograph; stainless steel case with a white/silver dial, rosé-gold with a black dial or yellow gold case with a crème coloured one. The gold/cream combo is our pick, although each one looks great. Unfortunately, you can’t mix and match so if you would like to see (as we would) steel and cream mixed together then it’s hard luck.

It’sá familiar vintage dial design, of course, but that didn’t prevent us from singing the praises of the Newmark 71. The oval pushers are nice, more modern than the circular ones on the Seagul 1963, and the 40mm case with sapphire crystal resolve our two biggest grumbles about the Chinese piece. The ST1940 movement is derived from the Venus 175 just like the standard ST19 but has the added convenience of automatic winding. It’s an unusual choice which we would like to see more often, most self-winding chronographs use the expensive – and relatively thick – ETA/Valjoux 7750. We’re not quite sure how thick this watch is, but will get the micrometer out when we review it.

If quartz – or cost-effectiveness – is more your thing then you get the choice of a Seiko CK64. We’ve seen this, among others, in the Undone Urban and Newmark 6BB and the verdict is that it’s a great compromise between cost, accuracy and that mechanical “feel”. For our money, it’s got to be the mechanical option, though!

Buy a Vintro Le Mans 1952

The Vintro Le Mans 1952 is currently live on Kickstarter but will be available direct from the manufacturers afterwards. We’re getting sent a watch to review within the next week or so so expect our verdict by the end of the month. Pricing (on Kickstarter) is €599 (£540) for the ST19 and £269 (£240) for the Seiko movement. That is a big chunk of cash, although your price comparison ought to be with German-made automatic-winding chronographs rather than the hand-wound Chinese-built Seagull 1963 which makes the Vintro pretty good value for money if the self-winding feature is important to you.

Back the Vintro Le Mans 1952 on Kickstarter at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/vintro-watches/vintro-watches-history-remastered



The post Introducing the Vintro Le Mans 1952 Chronograph appeared first on Wristwatch Review UK.

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Bauhaus beauty or fashion-watch folly? We take a look at the Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik watch.

Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik

When I first heard from the brand, I almost deleted the email – at first glance, it seemed like another of the “mushroom brands” that pop up to sell identikit minimalist quartz dress watches. However, after a dig around their website I realised there was a little bit more – and picked a Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik to review.

The watch arrived by courier a couple of days later, and I was not sure what to expect. When I opened the box and saw the “lifestyle photo” postcards within, I almost packed it up and sent it back as not being for me at all – but I’m glad I stuck with it, as the Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik is actually a very, very nice watch indeed!

Case

The Lilienthal Berlin Zeitgeist Automatik is housed in stainless steel case that, unusually, is bead blasted rather than brushed or polished. It adds a distinct feel to the watch which I liked. It’s 42mm in diameter but wears bigger thanks to the fact is is almost all dial, with very little bezel. The crown is inset into the case, which makes it a bit fiddly to operate, but it does help keep the crown from digging into your wrist, I suppose. I do like the balanced symmetrical look.

Flip the watch over and there is a display case back revealing… a Swiss Sellita SW200 movement. This watch is proud to be made in Germany, and does not pretend to be a Swiss watch by virtue of its movement, which I found rather refreshing. I am not sure I like the black rotor, and a display case back is not so exciting when the movement is an undecorated base calibre but if this were your first “decent” watch you’d probably be very happy with it! It’s a comfortable watch, with a relatively light weight (77 grams) for an automatic timepiece, and the 10mm thickness helps it fit under a shirt sleeve.

Dial and Hands

The dial, like the case, is well executed with clean, Bauhaus lines and a strong sense of depth. The date at 6 keeps things balanced, and I like the way that the inner ring on the dial contains the logo, date and model number.

The hands are white, but still legible against the dial, with a smattering of lume. The light blue second hand adds a dash of colour, which is replicated in the..

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Wristwatch Review UK by Mike Richmond - 3w ago

Kickstarter is full of dive watches, but not so many pilot watches. The Alcadus Opus intends to put that right when it launches on 28th June 2019.

Alcadus Opus Review

The Alcadus Opus eschews the recent Kickstarter trend of chunky diver’s watches by putting a Flieger dial in a 39mm case. It’s an odd choice, as pilot’s watches are normally 42mmm+, but it does kind of work. The watch brings to mind the Rolex Explorer, with a similar case design and its Oyster-style bracelet. The Opus improves upon traditional aviation watches by adding a big box sapphire crystal and the superb ETA 2892 movement.

Case

The case of the Alcadus Opus looks familiar – there are no unexpected lines, shapes or curves, and this helps to draw the eye to its dial. The brushing on the case is nicely done, and when you flip it over you can see the gorgeous custom rotor and that ETA 2892 movement. Arguably this watch looks just as good upside down!

The crown is a half-onion which makes it easy to grip and adjust the time. The winding is buttery smooth as you’d expect from the premium movement. The downside for me was that the watch is quite thick with its tall crystal, and the small diameter emphasizes the thickness somewhat. A similar criticism to the Seagull 1963 which also suffers due to its diameter to thickness ratio.

Dial

The Alcadus Opus dial is made of enamel, and  comes in white (as reviewed) or black, with a full-lume grey dial option also available. The applied markers are outlined in blue, as are the hands, which brought to mind the Omega Aqua Terra. It’s an unusual combination of colours that is very legible. I was surprised not to see matching blue stitching on the leather strap, but that’s an option for buyers to dress it up in the future. The date at 6 O’Clock balances the dial well, and I liked the stylish triangle pointer at 12.

I was a little disappointed that dial, markers, date wheel and hands are all slightly different shades of white. I hope this can be addressed in the final production.

Bracelet and Strap

The Alcadus Opus review model was sent to me with several straps, which I’ll cover in the video review. My favourites were the vintage leather and the rubber – with the others offering a variety of choice of colours and finishes. They’ve all got quick release pins, which is great. For your money you get a bracelet plus a leather strap with the watch.

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Another selection of watches has arrived on Kickstarter in time for summer. Here are some that we’ve not yet covered: are they hits or misses?

Neucarl Sept Mai

We heard from Neucarl earlier this year, then all went quiet so we were surprised to see this one pop up on Kickstarter. It’s a dress watch with a unique look, and we are quite surprised to see the low-level of backing. We’ve not handled a prototype so can’t speak for the quality, but the specifications certainly seem up to scratch.

Neucarl Sept Mai on Kickstarter

Click here to view the Neucarl Sept Mai.

Austin Sydney

What would happen if IWC and Filippo Loretti got together and designed a watch? We suspect they’d end up with something like the Austin Sydney. Although this looks like the kind of Chinese-built watch that seems to do so well on Kickstarter, this one has not got anything like the funding of the other efforts we’ve seen: at the time of writing they have attracted just nine backers.

Click here to see the Austin Sydney campaign.

The Irukandji Dive Watch

This one is getting a lot of interest on the Facebook watch forums, and with good reason. The Irukandji is a good looking, colourful dive watch at a good price point and with the unique selling point of a variable crown position. You get to pick whether you have the crown at the 4 O’Clock or 10 O’Clock position. That’s a level of customisation we’ve not seen before!

The Irukandji Dive Watch is on Kickstarter

Click here to back the Irukandji dive watch.

Buying a Watch on Kickstarter

Remember that Kickstarter is not a shop, it’s a place where you can back new businesses, That means you will have a wait before the watch you preorder arrives, and there is always a risk of losing your money. Don’t let that scare you off – read our guide to buying a watch on Kickstarter to find out more.

The post Kickstarter Watches Roundup – June 2019 appeared first on Wristwatch Review UK.

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We like the ethos behind Undone watches here at WRUK. They offer a “Subway sandwich” level of customisation and some strong base designs. The Undone Type XX is their latest model – an aviation chronograph.

Introducing the Undone Type XX

Aviation chronographs are always popular, and the Undone Type XX brings with it the possibility to customise the design of a watch to your liking. It is based on a vintage design: The original Type XX was a pioneering flight instrument used by the French Air Force and Navy aviators in the 1950s. The Type XX brings it bang up to date with a modern movement and the ability to change the colours and styling.

Specifications

The watch features the popular Seiko VK-64 “meca quartz” chronograph movement. It has the accuracy of a quartz watch, no ticking second hand (there is a 24-hour indicator at 3’O clock and elapsed minutes at ( O’clock) but it also has a 1/5 second sweeping second hand for accurate timing. It’s popular with microbrands as an affordable and desirable choice for low-cost chronographs.

The Type XX is made from 316L stainless steel, and weighs in at 52 grams. If you’ve already got an Undone watch, you may recognise the case: the Undone Type XX is built on the chassis of their best-selling Urban range. That means a 41.5mm diameter and 12.5mm thickness. Lug-to-lug length is 48.5mm and strap width is 20mm. A unique feature is the aviator-style “onion” crown, which gives the design a real vintage kick. We’ve not seen this model, but it shares many components with the Urban Tropical which got the thumbs up in our review.

Buy an Undone Type XX

At £235, we think this new Undone design represents excellent value for money, especially given the level of customisation on offer and the regular availability of discount codes. It’s available direct from Undone’s website. 

The post Introducing the Undone Type XX appeared first on Wristwatch Review UK.

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