off topic – watch design

Saw this blog and thought how interesting this change to standard design was. Most watches get complicated or expensive or tech. This appeals to the nerd in me and the travel part in equal measure.

Klokers 02

Klokers Watch Times 2, For the Nerd, and the Not Quite a Nerd

Klokers 03I first saw the Klokers Watch on their own web site, before it was launched on Kickstarter, and I was interested in the project.  Life being what it is, I did not have a chance to cover it right when it launched, but I did see that they received a lot of coverage, both from watch bloggers and from gadget watchers.  Now, with a little time remaining before the project closes, Klokers introduced a second model into the mix.

Klokers 01The first watch, the Klok-01 is an homage to a circular slide rule.  It is definitely a nerd friendly design.  I graduated from a tech-heavy university, and I grew up with calculators, but I am not far removed from the generations who had to use these instruments for calculations.  So for me, this is a fun watch design concept.  As a watch in and of itself, it is simply a clever way to do a three hand watch.  Instead of the hands rotating against a static time scale, the time scale rotates around a static single hand.  Because the time scale is moving, the discs have to move in retrograde, opposite the normal motion of a handset.  But the overall effect is a fairly simple way to tell time.

Klokers 02The second Klokers model, the Klok-02, was introduced half way through the funding campaign as an optional reward and is a distant cousin to the first model.  You have the same basic shape, as well as the curved, bezel free acrylic glass case, but the styling cues are less nerdy and more innovative.  A Soprod movement controls a series of micromotors moving the second hand and minute hand in a more traditional (watch world-wise) retrograde movement, where the hands move through an arc and then reset back to the far left once they make it all the way over to the right.  The hours are displayed in the center of the watch, and the window to the right represents the time zone.  Move to another city, and just click through the cities to change the time zone, an hour at a time.  A long push on the pusher displays the date in the center window.

Klokers 04As if the time displays and micromotors were not enough, the team at Klokers also came up with a new watch strap, where a tab locks into a slot on the back of the watch, allowing for easy strap changes, or easy watch head changes, whichever way you want to look at it.  The project has been wildly successful, with about $600,000 raised against a target of $56,000.  Super early bird watches are gone, but there are still early bird and night owl rewards in the low to mid $300s for the Klok-01 and mid $500s to $600s for the Klok-02.  It is hard to assess how feasible it will be to actually produce these watches at this price.  Both watches use existing movements, (a Soprod SOP 813 in the Klok-02), which means they are not inventing the watch technology, just packaging it.  With any crowd funded project, and especially with an innovative one, do your research.  Crowd funded projects by definition are not retail transactions, but rather the backing of the development of a project in exchange for a reward.  klokers.com

Watch Overview:

  • Brand & Model: Klokers Watch Klok-01 and Klok-02
  • Price: ~ $339 to $556 for the Klok-01 and ~$566 to $981 for the Klok-02depending on timing and options
  • Who we think it might be for: You want to fly your nerd flag (Klok-01) or you want something different on your wrist (Klok-02).
  • Would I wear one myself based on what I’ve seen?: I think I would make an exception to my automatic/manual only trend for the Klok-02.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I like it as is.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: With so many watches, especially crowd funded watches, looking alike, these are truly different.

Tech Specs from Klokers:

  • Movement: Swiss Ronda Quartz with micromotors (Klok-01) or Swiss Soprod SOP 813 micromotors movement (Klok-02)
  • Functions: Three hander (Klok-01);  World time, date, retrograde minute and second hand (Klok-02)
  • Case: Composite metal and polymer
  • Crystal: Acrylic polymer
  • Water resistance: 5 meters (Klok-02)
  • Lug width: Proprietary strap connection
  • Straps: Leather
  • Diameter: 44mm (Klok-01), 43.2mm (Klok-02)
  • Thickness: 11.5mm (Klok-01), 13.2mm (Klok-02)
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