Over the last few months I had several conversations with people I admire in the world of horology. I really respect these individuals personally and hold their opinions in high esteem. Ultimately their message is that the watch industry is a very tough environment and brands are finding it hard to survive. Maybe the Apple watch has tempted away a certain amount of buyers. I am probably one of the only watch writers who haven’t actually tested this timepiece in the metal. However based on the two dimensional visuals I have seen it does look pretty impressive.
A few weeks ago I was approached by a small independent brand called No-Watch. They are based in Greenwich (London), England and produce a select range of entry-level watches. Certainly this sector of the market seems to be pretty vibrant. For example I have featured many watchmakers (like Deutsche Master, MEW Tactical and Division Furtive) on Total Watch Reviews that are producing pretty decent timepieces for well under $1,000. Most of these watches have been launched on Kickstarter and have achieved a phenomenal amount of success. Recently Swiss label Kloker exceeded it’s goal within two hours of the campaign and realized over €200,000. This just illustrates that watches don’t necessarily need to be expensive to stimulate consumer interest.
Although all the of No-Watch models are pretty interesting my personal favourite is the Traveler CL1-1111. For a watch retailing at only $280 it does deliver a lot of bang for your buck. Admittedly the timepiece will have been manufactured in China and not Switzerland to keep the costs down. However the watch does have a high quality finish and looks well made. Dimensionally the timepiece is well proportioned and measures 44x52x9.5mm. It also felt fairly lightweight (73 grams) and sat comfortably on the wrist. Primarily this is down to the elegant case design and choice of 316L steel in production. With the exception of extreme sports I reckon this watch could be worn on most occasions.
Visually the Traveler CL1-1111 punches well above its weight on the appearance front. The coin edge detailing of the case is reminiscent of much more expensive brands like Chronoswiss. I absolutely love the complicated cream dial displaying 24 individual time zones and IATA airport codes. Other features include black skeleton hour/minute hands, GMT indication, water resistant screw-down crown system and sapphire crystal lens. Overall this is a really cool and affordable Pilot style watch. However if this watch was powered by a Swiss mechanical movement (instead of a Quartz Ronda) I feel this timepiece would be even better.
The Traveler CL1-1111 is limited to 787 pieces and comes with a 22mm black leather strap. Priced competitively at: $280.
For more information about No Watch UK visit the company’s website: http://no-watch.co.uk