Leyden Watches, a one-man operation out of Leiden in the Netherlands, is following up on a successful Kickstarter campaign from 2016 that launched the inaugural Velox Chronograph. The Velox did, in fact, mark the second attempt by the company to raise funds on Kickstarter, since its first watch, the Power Reserve, never got funded. The Lorentz dress watch is now the third crowdfunding proposal from Leyden and is named after Hendrik Antoon Lorentz, one of the most renowned physicists from Holland (who later moved to Leiden to teach at Leiden University). It’s a classic, understated dress watch that goes well with a suit or more casual attire. Powered by a hand-wound Swiss movement and with three colour options, this new offering from Leyden is another solid, affordable entry in the microbrand space.
The goal for the founder of Leyden Watches was to create a versatile, elegant dress watch that was simple but with a high level of attention to detail. The stainless steel case has a combination of polished and brushed elements and, at 39mm, is a fairly universal size (and a reasonable 10mm in height). A domed sapphire crystal sits up front with an anti-reflective coating on the underside and an exhibition caseback displays the hand-wound movement. The crown is stamped with the company’s logo and the case is water-resistant to 50m. It’s a relatively straightforward and simple design but with enough character to keep it from feeling generic.
The dials come in three colours: black, white and blue. Each of these “founder’s editions” is limited to 50 watches per colour and will be individually numbered. All dials have a seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock and LEYDEN is printed small at the top. There are applied indices every five minutes with C1 lume forming a T-shape on the indices and also illuminating the silver hour and minute hands. A printed minute track spans the outer edge. The black dial has a matching black seconds sub-dial, while the white dial has a matching sub-dial as well. The blue dial has a contrasting white seconds sub-dial that gives it a more sporty look.
The beating heart of the Lorentz is a hand-wound, Swiss made Sellita SW-216 calibre (basically an ETA 2801 clone). It has 24 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz), has a 42-hour power reserve and hours, minutes and sub-dial seconds. It’s an undecorated movement, but the company’s logo is engraved on a plate. It’s both simple and reliable and, with proper maintenance, should provide decades of service.
The 20mm leather straps come in blue (blue dial), tan (black dial) and black (white dial), and have a stainless steel butterfly clasp. Both the band and clasp are marked with the company’s logo.
The Kickstarter campaign will run through October 12th with delivery anticipated for February/March 2019. The Super Early Bird price (first 10 backers per model) is EUR 380, with a standard backer price of EUR 435. The retail price after Kickstarter is EUR 615. More details on the Kickstarter campaign page.