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.
That’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.
So, 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.