The essence of a fashionable, sturdy timepiece has often been captured by Omega, Brietling, Tag and other precision made pieces designed not only to reflect sophistication but to alleviate the heavy feeling in your wallet. Ritot not only delivers sophistication, it provides a link to the technological world in which we live. Ritot customizably provides its users with text messages, caller id, reminders, emails, alerts, Facebook notifications, Twitter updates, weather, alarms, and updates by many other apps, all without the large, bulky screen of a smartwatch. The unique projection technology enables day or night use with an extended operating life so there’s no worrying about preserving battery power: Ritot turns itself off after projecting for 10 seconds, lasting for up to one month in standby or 150 hours in projection mode. The unisex design is waterproof and the projection is changeable for left or right hand use. If you don’t like the look of the projection, just change the color with one touch. And if it’s just too much work to raise your other hand to your Ritot wearing wrist, just shake your hand to activate.
Hit up IndieGoGo to pledge – $120
Tempis fugit when you’re having fun. Now you can count the seconds on a fully mechanical, manually wound timepiece made in the USA. The Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch is comprised of over 100 precision parts and hand assembled in a solid piece stainless steel caseback. Sapphire crystals used on both the front and back of the watch showcase the masterful work inside, ticking away at 18,000 beats/hour keep to keep close to perfect time through a 46 hour power reserve. Securing this 42mm diameter piece to your wrist is an olive green Cordura canvas strap reminiscent of the type worn 75 years ago, while luminescent paint allows for easy reading of the sold steel hands in low light.
Preorder at Weiss Watch Company – $950
Grovemade’s wooden accessories for smartphones, tablets and the like have garnered our attention from the get go, so naturally, so did their first foray into the timepiece department. But rather than just sub out traditional materials for wood – as many others do – Grovemade’s Wood Watches still employ stainless steel for its durable case and vegetable-tanned leather or silicone for their straps. Eastern Hardrock Maple or Claro walnut make up the watches’ distinctive twelve-windowed face, backed by attractive, colored circular minute and hour hands that are spun by a Japanese quartz movement.
Preorder or learn more at Grovemade – $200 to $240
On the move, a watch is safest while on your wrist. Or within worn&wound‘s Watch Fold. Crafted of 18oz filter twill canvas and finished with heavyweight Italian leather, the Watch Fold unfurls to reveal two suede-lined pouches sized perfectly for carrying two watches, a few straps and a strap changing tool, and/or even a pair of sunglasses. They’re compact at just 6-inches long when folded, padded for protection, and come in two colors – hunter and waxed tan (shown).
Find it at worn&wound – $80
Think of Victorinox’s Inox as a high end G-Shock, except with about 50 times more resilience, streamlined features (namely, just time telling), and a somewhat sleeker design. Crafted from a solid block of stainless steel, Inox was put through hell, i.e. 130 homologation tests, to ensure that it’ll shrug off whatever adversities are thrown its way. Whether it’s frozen, dropped 10-meters onto concrete, doused in corrosive liquids, or run over by a 64-ton tank, Inox’s Ronda 715 quartz movement will keep on ticking. Plus, slip on the included nylon and silicone bumper for further protection.
Touching down later this year. Until then, read more at Victorinox – $TBA
Picking out a stellar watch strap is as important (if not more so) as selecting the watch itself for reasons both ergonomic and aesthetic. As for us, we’re into NATO, and few are finer than Hodinkee’s Kangaroo NATO straps. These handsome straps are ethically sourced from Australia where there’s a bountiful Kangaroo leather, and are naturally far thinner than your run-of-the-mill calf leather bands, something we consider particularly important for these types of straps since, when worn, they’re folded over 3 times on themselves to tame the excess. Else, they’re 20mm wide, come in two colors (dark brown [shown] and black), are extremely durable, and won’t stretch out over time.
Preorder at Hodinkee – $85
Travelling with watches that merit a touch more protection than Hodinkee’s Waxed Canvas Rolls can offer? Their Leather Travel Tube should do nicely. Sourced from a small Italian artisan, each handcrafted tube features a solid brass buckle with roller bar to keep the tube shut, a soft insert around which to wrap your watches, and a plush lining to keep them nestled safely within your handbag or carry-on. The tube also holds up to four watches – contingent on their size – which should be more than enough to get you through even the longest of trips.
Order at Hodinkee – $250
As far as taking inspiration from one’s own historic timepieces for modern reinterpretation, Tudor’s long extinct Ranger wasn’t a bad place to start. Tudor’s modern Heritage Ranger is true to the original’s aesthetics but also boasts numerous modern touches including a larger 41mm case diameter, photoluminescent hands, a self-winding calibre 2824 movement, domed sapphire crystal, choice of four straps, including a camo fabric bracelet (shown), and waterproofing to 500 feet. Sure, it’ll cost you, albeit far less than any of their parent company’s comparable models sporting a Rolex badge.
Check it out at Tudor – roughly $3,000+
While it’s not quite ready for prime-time just yet, Android is officially on its way back to occupy a spot on your wrist (what with Samsung’s departure to a proprietary OS with the Gear Fit) with Android Wear. This watch-adapted extension of Android brings with it a wealth of functionality – but mainly convenience – to touch screen-enabled wrist-bound devices, including (predictably) fitness tracking, voice commanded search and messaging, calendar access, updates and notifications, control of your other devices’ music and movie players, and much more. The specific hardware Google’s partners will pump out remains to be seen, but at least one model is confirmed in their video - the stunning Moto 360 (shown).
True wooden watches are few and far between, but even fewer are those that really cast a lasting impression. Element24′s timepieces do it for us with their simple, minimal faces, chimeric stainless steel and wood casings, and comfortable, conforming cord-based straps associated to custom clasps, but they’re not pushovers functionally speaking, either. Five ATM of water resistance (approximately 165 feet) and a lacquer finish means both wood and mechanism – Miyota, by the way – are ready to take on the adversities of everyday life.
Choose between maple and walnut at Kickstarter - roughly $280