Gaia & Co., a new microbrand building watches in Besançon, France, is launching its Primavera collection on Kickstarter. This first annual series, which will be produced in three colours, is limited to 900 pieces and will be replaced next year with a new collection. The annual cycle is designed to maintain an exclusivity with the brand, although it likely helps control costs and inventory as well. The watches will have Japanese automatics and are what the company calls neo-vintage, providing the “missing link between classic and modern watches.” The vintage-inspired trend has been around for quite a while, so Gaia & Co. has a crowded field to contend with.
The founder of the company has had a passion for vintage watches since his grandfather passed down a piece on his fourteenth birthday. After studying and working in the design field for several years, he moved to Switzerland and worked in two of the largest watch design studios. He eventually decided it was time to start his own brand and Gaia and Co. was born. The name is inspired by Greek mythology as Gaia symbolizes creation (creator goddess).
The three watches in the Primavera collection vary only by colour and come with stainless steel cases in 38mm. The top and sides are brushed with a polished bezel around the crystal. The crystals are high-domed hesalite glass with an anti-scratch treatment, so not sapphire, but more durable than acrylic. The crown doesn’t screw down and the cases are water-resistant to 50 meters, so you should limit exposure to rain or a quick dip in the pool.
The dials come in three colours: Azzura (blue), Bianca (white) and Nero (black). Each colour is limited to 300 pieces and the backs will be engraved with numbers 001 to 300. The Azzura dial is a deep blue with silver hands and applied indices, and stops short of a white seconds track that spans the outermost perimeter. The seconds track has numerals every five seconds and is printed in blue. The company’s logo appears in cursive script at the top with AUTOMATIC underlined above 6 o’clock. The Bianca dial has a silvery white sheen with blue hands and indices. The seconds track is also blue with white markings. The Nero dial has silver hands and indices, and a white seconds track with black markings. All are time-only watches with central seconds. The look is simple and elegant, in line with the slightly retro inspiration.
Powering the Primavera collection is the automatic Miyota 8215 calibre. It has 21 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz), has a Parashock shock protection system and 40-hour power reserve. This is a common movement for microbrands as it’s reliable, plentiful and relatively inexpensive. The movement also has a date function but isn’t utilized in the Primavera watches.
The straps are vegetable French leather, meaning the tanning process is plant-based. This allows the leather to be more anti-allergenic and protects the material more effectively than other methods. They come in black for the Nero dial, tan for the Bianca dial and dark brown for the Azzura dial.
Only 900 watches will be produced in the Primavera collection with an early bird Kickstarter price of EUR 399 for each colour. Retail prices will be EUR 629 after launch. More details on the brand’s website www.gaia-co.fr and on the Kickstarter campaign page.