June Watch Pre-orders

Have you got a little money and a lot of patience? Good. Because I've got let another roundup of delayed gratification deals for you. I've got a little bit of "must have it," a dose of "looks like a good deal," and a pinch of "wait, what the hell is that?" Enjoy.
(All photos courtesy of the respective brands)

Laventure Marine

This one stopped me in my tracks. The Laventure Marine is a modern spin on a 1960's diver and it is just gorgeous. The 41mm case is rated for 200m water resistance. The shape has shades of Patek Philippe Nautilus and shows off a lovely mix of finishes. It boasts a strong vintage vibe with a high domed sapphire crystal with inner AR coating, gilt hands, a vibrant ombré sandwich dial, and creamy beige lume. Even the Laventure logo looks like it comes from another era. The movement is a Swiss ETA 2824-2. In fact, Laventure claims 90% of the watch is Swiss, well above the legal standard for the Swiss made appellation. It is a perfectly lovely watch, but then there's the price... early bird rewards start at CHF 1570 ($1630 USD), 39% off full retail. Now, I understand Swiss production does not come cheap, but that is one hefty chunk of change to drop on someone's first Kickstarter campaign. Still, it is awfully pretty...

Mercer Lexington

Mercer Watch Company is taking pre-orders for the Lexington, a classically styled mechanical chronograph. Like the mid-century watches that inspired it, the Lexington is refreshingly small, just 39mm wide, and powered by the venerable SeaGull ST1901 column wheel movement, itself derived from the 1940's Venus 175.

It has a white dial, applied markers, and either silver or black sub-dials. A high dome K1 crystal completes the throwback look. You can pre-order one directly from Mercerwatch.com for $349. Full MSRP will be $529.

Kosmos 24

The three French fellows behind Kosmos 24 have turned their love of old Russian 24 hour watches into a three charming watches. Like the Soviet-era pieces that inspired them, they use a three-hand movement (in this case, a Ronda 515.24 quartz) on a 24-hour dial to counter the disorientation that can occur in environments without a defined day or night. Designed in collaboration with Konstantin Chaykin, the watches are 37mm wide and just 8.4mm thick to the top of their domed sapphire crystals. Russian artist Anna Karakozova penned the bold avant-garde graphic dials. At a Kickstarter pre-order price of €124 ($138 USD), they are hard to resist.

Freeda Plano and SS36GT

Can't get enough retro watch design? Then here is another one. Two, actually, from Italy's Freeda Watches on Kickstarter. The Freeda Plano looks for all the world like a 1950's or 60's dress watch with a diminutive 35mm case, domed sapphire crystal, and applied numerals and darts. Unlike the watches of old, it is water resistant to 50m and runs a Swiss Ronda 1064 quartz. Pre-orders start at just €119 ($134 USD); 48% off expected retail.

The Freeda SS36GT is a sporty three hand automatic. It has a 40mm barrel case with front and rear sapphire crystals, a leather rally strap, and a Miyota 8215 under the hood. The only colorway is an appealing British Racing green sunray dial with yellow hands and accents. Early Bird rewards start at €169 ($190 USD); 52% off expected retail.

DELTAt Heavy Armor

The DELTAt Heavy Armor is a 1000M diver with all the goodies you would expect: helium escape valve, 120-click unidirectional timing bezel, AR-coated sapphire crystal, lumed index, and a solid Seiko NH35 automatic movement all wrapped in a burly 44mm case. Its signature element is the bezel, which features four sets of user-replaceable, interchangeable plates. I see where they were going with the idea, but I don't think it works. It's hard to tell without having the watch in hand, but in photographs, the plates look very similar and the markings are not very distinct. Because there is such little contrast, I can't imagine it would be of much use on an actual dive. Finally, I'm not too keen on removing and replacing 12 screws on six plates to get a slightly different look - particularly when I need a special tool to accomplish the task. It seems like a case of high effort, low reward. The Heavy Armor is selling on Kickstarter for $2490 HK ($320 USD), but as it is currently 41% short of its goal with only five days remaining, it does not look like it will be successful. The removable plate idea has promise, but I think it needs some work.

The Harambe Memorial Watch

As you may have guessed, the Harambe Memorial Watch pays tribute to the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016. They claim their design team spent "hundreds of hours" on this watch - only to scrap it for a complete redesign. That kind of time-wasting disaster seems like a weird thing to brag about, particularly when the result is a forgettable, "minimalist" quartz with an absurd oversized logo. Could there possibly be a better way to remember this noble creature? Well, you could give $100 bucks to an organization that actually protects gorillas like the World Wildlife Fund or the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, or maybe you could just spend that money on bananas for a year. Harambe probably would have appreciated that. He certainly wouldn't have given one hairy shit about this watch. ⬩

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