Preview: Cobra de Calibre Melancholic Love Open Heart

John J.Y. Lee has turned out some bold watches. From the original Cobra de Calibre, to the twin crown Bronzo, to the Crossfire. Each was a burly piece rendered in John's own brand of testosterone-fueled style. But just when I thought I had him figured out, he goes and launches a new project on Kickstarter that flips everything on its head: Melancholic Love.


Seeing the dearth of women's watches in the micro brand world, he created a bejeweled open-heart watch with stylized heart cutouts in the dial. The round, stainless steel 36mm case is polished and encircled by 48 cubic zirconia set into the bezel. While some inexpensive watches just glue down some bling, John secured the stones with a proper jeweler's setting for enhanced appearance and durability. A sapphire crystal and a leather strap with a butterfly deployant clasp are standard. A window case back displays the decorated to show the decorated 21 jewel Miyota 8N24 automatic within.
The dial displays John's characteristic dramatic flair. It is an open heart in the most literal sense, with two loopy heart-shaped windows low in the guilloche dial, displacing markers 4 through 8 to show the skeletonized movement inside. The remaining numerals are raised, oversized, and gleefully irregular, as are the windows' borders. "Melancholic Love" is rendered in script near the center. I have not seen the watch in person, but I do worry that the slender feuille hands will get lost against this busy backdrop, but perhaps practicality is second for a watch like this. It all has a hand-drawn look, fanciful and very personal. Indeed, the project presents as an intimate horological love note.

Three models are available. Blue: white dial with blue markers and strap in a polished silver case; Pink: pink dial, markers and strap in a polished silver case; and, Brown: white dial with brown markers and strap in a rose-gold tone case. Kickstarter pricing starts at $369 CAD ($280 USD).  ⬩

Photos courtesy of Cobra de Calibre




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