Things have really changed in the watch industry. When I was a boy, if you wanted a watch you went to a jewellery store and picked one out of the cabinet. If you were really particular, the dealer would let you look at his catalogue and you could order one and wait (and wait, and wait). Now if you want a watch you can go to an online retailer and have it shipped to you the next day. What if you don’t want a watch that already exists? What if you want a watch that is either technically or stylistically cutting-edge? Thanks to Kickstarter, you not only get to see the newest and greatest watches, but you also get to take a hand in their very existence! Trifoglio Italia, the brainchild of Alessandro Baldieri and Jessie Yeo are launching their first series of watches on Kickstarter: The Veloce (speed in English).
I spoke to Alessandro over the course of a conversation that ranged in subjects from the details of this new Kickstarter campaign to the types of cheese he uses in his potato croquettes and how he prepares chicken before breading and frying… I’m not making this up – he’s a dynamic individual to talk to!
Alessandro sees that the market for microbrands is dominated by Kickstarter campaigns – so why not join in? Launching a new watch on Kickstarter allows Trifoglio to reach a different audience and pay to fund just the watches that the market wants. Everything is in place for a successful first foray into crowdfunding with Trifoglio’s novel approach to timekeeping with concentric discs and an economical automatic movement. All housed in a 42mm mostly brushed and partly polished stainless steel case with a pair of attractive dials.
Using discs for the hours and minutes means that the readout can be on any axis; Trifoglio opted for the most ‘traditional’ – at 12 o’clock – as denoted by the red line running through the top third of the acrylic crystal. The dials of Veloce are stylistically reminiscent of a vintage speedometer – a FIAT Cinquecento (500 for all those who are not up on the parlance): a black outer ring with a tan/beige centre disc. The black disc uses beige text and the beige disc uses black text. The minutes dial inverts that combination: beige outer disc and black text with black inner disc and beige text. Each dial carries the Veloce name in red with a red centre seconds hand that spins independently of the other dials.
Under the hood sits a Miyota 8215 Automatic movement. The 21,600vph Miyota movement is the new go-to powerplant for microbrands looking for a reliable automatic to keep things spinning. It is reliable and cost-effective; perhaps the real winner of the crowd-funding revolution is Miyota as they seem to be seated in a lot of cases that used to be occupied by ETA movements.
Keeping everything fastened to your wrist is your choice of brown or black perforated Nappa leather strap with contrasting red stitching. The stitching ties the strap into the accents on the dial. The signed, brushed stainless steel buckle mimics the finish of the case.
The folks at Trifoglio Italia are quite eager to launch this to the world, justifiably they think it will be a success. I’m looking forward to these pieces landing in my mailbox. The first 100 of either colour variant watches will be USD 165 plus shipping. After that, all the pieces backed by Kickstarter will cost USD 195 plus shipping. Trifoglio Italia believes that through normal retail channels they could list this watch for a price of UDS 435 – and even at that price, the watch represents something of a bargain as comparable watches have an MSRP of USD 750 or more. Therefore, this truly is a value proposition. More details on the Kickstarter campaign here.