Preview: Apollo Regulator

The Apollo is a new Kickstarter project by the iDEA group of Dubai. Using a Miyota 8219 automatic regulator movement, an eye-catching twin dome case, and a star map dial, the team created a distinctive design that is already paying off. As of this writing, the project is fully funded with 31 days still to go. Why is it so appealing? I'd wager is it a combination of a lovely case and a very tempting $199 starting price.
If you follow microbrands, you may have already seen a case like the Apollo's. CJR used a similar design on the Airspeed and the Commander. It consists of a slim central barrel made from stainless steel, sandwiched between two domed crystals without bezels that stretch right to very limits of the case. The result is smooth, voluptuous, and quite out of the ordinary. Measuring 38mm across and 12.75mm thick, the Apollo is a true unisex size, although I suspect the broad, flat arms of its lugs will lend a bit of visual weight to beef up its wrist presence. Both front and rear crystals are Hesalite acrylic. I believe this is the ideal choice for this type of case as the massive exposed dome is particularly exposed and acrylic will absorb impact better than sapphire and all but the deepest scratches can be polished out. 
Around back, you get a view of the 8219 automatic and its skeletonized rotor. It's a 21 jewel movement with 21.6k bph beat rate and a power reserve of over 40 hours. It has a large central minute hand, offset 9 o'clock hour sub-dial, and a small seconds sub-dial at 5 o'clock. Regulator layouts are an acquired taste, but the offbeat layout complements the distinctive case design. Three different shapes make up the handset: a faceted semi-skeletonized minute hand, arrow hour hand, and needle-shaped second hand. The dial features a map of the night sky with a degree index. Twelve stars mark the hours on the sub-dial. A date window peeks through at 2 o'clock. It's an attractive layout and I like the fact that the celestial map is not immediately obvious. 
The Apollo is currently offered in four color combinations: white/silver/black Full Moon, white/silver/white Uranus, blue/silver/blue Neptune, and the triple black Eclipse. Each comes with a two-piece Italian leather strap and a leather NATO. Additional colors and styles are extra cost options including perforated rally style, and NASA Velcro pass-throughs. The Uranus and Neptune models start at just $199, while the Eclipse and Full Moon start at $229. Full retail will be $359 and $399, respectively. 

For more information or to get on board with an Apollo of your own, see the Apollo Kickstarter page. ⬩

Photos courtesy of iDEA

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