It’s time once again to round up some of the Kickstarter watches that we have not managed to review hands-on.
The 5th Swiss
First up is the 5th watch – that’s the name of a new Swiss Made watch on Kickstarter. It’s got a rather conservative design that evoked the non-chronograph TAG Heuer Carrera, and is powered by an STP1-11 26 Jewel movement. For those whoa re unfamiliar with STP (Swiss Technology Production), it’s a movement-maker owned by the Fossil group that produces movements that are basically clones of old ETA designs – much like Sellita. In the brand-name pecking order, it’s firmly behind ETA and Sellita, but there is no reason to think that the movements will be any worse than the ETA 2824/Sellita SW-200 with which the design is shared. If you want to research it, this article by A Blog To Watch (and its comments section) will give you a good primer.
Skipping over the quartz options to the automatic movement options in the Kickstarter, at $339 the watch is priced about right for its specs – although we’re not sure we’d risk our money on this project rather than saving a bit more and buying something like a Christopher Ward Trident Vintage.
ROTA Tasman Chronograph
The Panda chronograph design is a perennial favourite. The latest brand to bring one to market is ROTA watches with their Tasman chronograph. As you may have guessed, the brand hails from Australia. You’re getting a VK64 movement for the price – that’s a quartz movement with a mechanical-style instant reset and smooth ticking sweep seconds hand when you engage the chronograph function. It’s extremely popular in low-end watches for good reason: it is accurate, reliable and – to all intents and purposes – resembles a more expensive mechanical option. We’re not so keen on the 24-hour dial at 3 o’clock, but that’s the movement’s problem and not this watch’s.
As well as the Panda there are a number of other black and white dial/subdial combinations on offer. At under £150 and with some sharp styling, we expect this one to do very well.
Eiffel Watch Winder
Finally, for a change, something that is not a watch: The Eiffel Watch winder. Opinion is divided in the watch world as to whether watch winders are worth it for the convenience of keeping your automatic watches wound and ready, or if they cause premature wear to the mechanism.
We must admit we think the winder looks more like the Atari logo than the Eiffel tower, but it will certainly make a statement on your dresser if you buy one. At £500, when you can get something functionally equivalent for £35 on Amazon, this is one for those who value style over cost. We’re sure there is a market for this kind of thing, as Barrington and others have proven, but we’d rather buy another watch instead!
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.