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The Toc 19 Watch – Elegant Bauhaus Design

It seems to us that a lot of watches these days are overdesigned.  People get in a tizzy over features, complications, gadgets, gemstones and who knows what else.  In the process, they sometimes forget how to make a simple, attractive watch.

Toc 19 watchThat’s what’s most appealing about the Toc 19 watch, which is currently completely funded through a Kickstarter campaign.  The founders of the company wanted to get back to basics and come up with a basic but attractive watch with a design inspired by the Bauhaus school of design from roughly 100 years ago.

The result is amazing.  The Toc 19 has a simplicity about it, yet it’s attractive and elegant at the same time.  Not only that, but it’s quite affordable, with prices starting at about $220.  (It’s priced in Euros, so the price will fluctuate a bit for U.S. buyers.)

While the company eventually plans to introduce other models, the Toc 19 is the only one that’s ready to go at present.  Options include one of six different face colors and several different colors of Italian leather strap.

Toc 19 watch case backSo, what do you get for your €189 or so?  The Toc 19 offers the following features:

  • 44mm case made from 316L surgical steel.
  • Sapphire crystal over the watch face and the case back
  • Manually wound Seagull ST3621 movement
  • 30 meters of water resistance
  • Six different colors

The face has a clean look, with a small inset dial to indicate seconds.  That’s it.  There are no chronograph features.  No date.  No chimes.  Nothing else to complicate the design, which was inspired by a long-gone German company that made watches prior to World War II.

As the watch is a relatively simple design, so are the funding options for the Kickstarter campaign.  You can get one watch for a set price, two watches for double the money, and for roughly six times the money, you can get all six different versions.

A lot of people seem to have found this appealing, as the company has already nearly doubled their funding goal.

It’s rare to see mechanical watches offered by new companies anymore.  It’s also almost unheard of to see sapphire crystal on a watch at this price point.  The see through case back is also a nice touch, but then again, if you’re going to include a mechanical movement, why not show it off?

The Toc 19 is considered to be a unisex watch, suitable for both men and women.  The company expects to ship this coming November.

It’s also worth noting that this watch is a limited edition.  The company says that they will not produce more than 1919 pieces.   The number was chosen to reflect the date of the origins of the Bauhaus movement that inspired the watch design.

We’re seeing a lot of new watch companies use Kickstarter to fund their products these days, and not just startups.  The nice thing about Kickstarter’s model is that you have an opportunity to gauge demand before you spend a lot of money manufacturing something that people many not actually want.  By going through Kickstarter, you’ll know if people are interested before you spend the money for production.  If they want it, you have the money and you build it.

It’s a great idea for watchmaking companies.

You can learn more about the Toc 19 at the Kickstarter page.

 

A Chronograph With a Single Button

Chronographs have been around for a long time, and due to their features, which include the ability to record elapsed time, they remain popular with average watch buyers and collectors.

Models are available in a wide variety of price ranges, as well; you can buy a chronograph for as little as $20 or spend tens of thousands on one.

porsche design They all generally have the same look to them, however – multiple dials, usually at 4 and 8 o’clock, and three buttons on the edge of the case.  The center crown controls time for the watch itself, and the upper and lower buttons control the chronograph features.

It’s been this way for a long time, and most people simply understand this design to be How It Is when it comes to a chronograph.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing.  People know a chronograph when they see one.  They understand what it does, and if you’ve ever worn one before, you’ll intuitively understand how it works and more importantly, how to use it.  That’s great, because you won’t have to spend time with a learning curve when you first buy one.  You can just put it on and go.

So leave it to Porsche Design to turn the tables on chronograph design.  They’ve come up with a model that looks quite a bit different, in more ways than one.

At first glance, you’ll see that the inset dials are not in the usual location, but are instead at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock.  That’s a bit different, but what really stands out is what you’ll see when you look at the crown.

One button.  Just one.

The Monoblock Actuator makes use of a rocking actuator arm that uses the crown as a pivot point.  This allows you to have a single control that has multiple functions.

It also streamlines the look of the watch, which, we must say, looks terrific.

The watch will be available with either a black face or a blue one, and with a leather strap or a titanium bracelet.

That’s the good part.  The bad part is the price.  While not in the Stratosphere, it will be out of the price range of most buyers, as the watch starts at a bit over $6000.

On the other hand, if you’re a fan of the company’s automobiles, and you already own one, then you’re already likely in the income range necessary to buy one of these beauties.