This is a guest post written by my brother-in-law Bradley.
Over the last couple of years I have become more and more interested in watches. What started as the appeal of having something nice looking on my wrist to tell the time became more of a fascination over how all the gears, wheels and springs of a mechanical watch work in harmony to keep accurate time. A modern, quartz (battery operated) watch will always keep better time – a good mechanical may typically gain or lose 10 seconds or so a day. It may sound a lot, but in reality that means it’s accurate to within 0.02%. When you look at the inner workings of a mechanical watch it’s difficult to comprehend the precision engineering that goes into it.
If the main point of a watch is to tell them time, then why on earth would anyone want to pay more than £30 for a simple quartz watch? The truth is that a lot of people wouldn’t want to. Many people are happy to check the time on their mobile phone or on their computer screen, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Look around you though. A lot of people will be wearing a watch, and almost all of them will be different. Human nature means that there are a lot of people who want something that looks good on their wrist. Although you might not be able to see it straight away, there are a lot of people who enjoy knowing that a simple swing of their arm sets in motion over 100 tiny precision pieces which all combine to tell the time. I’ve been conducting some interviews for work recently, and something struck me. When you first meet someone, what do you look at first? Their eyes? Their smile? Their shoes? For me, I look at their wrist (obviously I don’t make judgements based on this, but it’s one of the first things I notice).
So, while browsing online I came across a guy from America who is setting up his own watch company. Chris (“Doc”) Vail became frustrated at the lack of options for people who wanted to own an automatic chronograph but didn’t want to pay the earth. His solution was to create one himself. It may sound like a foolhardy venture – there is a saying that goes: the best way to make a small fortune in the watch industry is to start with a large fortune.
What is an automatic chronograph and what’s so special about it? Well, a chronograph is a watch which also has a stopwatch function operated by pushers on the side of the case. When this extra complication is added to a mechanical watch, the complexity and price of the watch movement go up. Take a look online and you will see that most automatic chronograph watches cost £1,000 upwards. The Lew & Huey Riccardo – the Rally Inspired Chronograph is priced at $475 through Kickstarter or the Lew & Huey official website. If you look carefully, you will be able to find other automatic chronograph watches in this price range, but none that look as good or have specifications as impressive as the Lew & Huey Riccardo watch.
Because Chris has started this project as a watch enthusiast first and foremost, he has sought advice and listened to the opinions of his potential customers and come up with a watch which has received much praise amongst online watch communities.
The reason for this post is to try to promote this new business. I’ve had various communications with Chris and can tell that he is passionate about watches. He has some other great ideas for unique, stylish watches and hopes to be able to produce a whole range of watches in the future and price them all under £300. Like many small businesses starting up, he is committed to investing his own money into this project but is also looking for backing through Kickstarter or pre-orders on his own website to make sure this project gets off the ground. 200 watches will be produced in the first run and each will have a limited edition # engraved on the back. Production samples are now in hand and full production should be starting shortly. If you are interested in watches, or want a unique timepiece on your wrist, then this is an opportunity not to be missed.
- Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
- Caseback: Sapphire Glass and 316L Stainless Steel
- Display Glass: Domed Anti-Reflective Sapphire
- Water Resistance: 10ATM / 100M / 330FT
- Case Diameter: 42mm
- Case Length (Lug-to-Lug): 49mm
- Case Thickness (Dome Crest to Caseback): 14.5mm
- Distance Between Lugs (Strap Width): 20mm
- Strap: Leather with Deployment Clasp, 10″ incl. case
- Warranty: 1 Year/li>
- Movement: ST1940 Cal