Kickstarter has played an incredibly important role in keeping small businesses alive during the past year. In a year where retail shops have seen closures, offices have been shuttered, and the logistics of international shipping has dwindled drastically, Kickstarter has still been an absolute boon for small-time creators looking to connect directly with passionate customers and patrons. If anything, it’s helped the independent watchmaker reach a larger audience without having to jump through the hoops that the luxury watchmaking industry has set up precisely to keep outsiders out. Just ask UK-based independent watch-design and watchmaking studio WT Author, who is taking to Kickstarter to release its 8th watch since the company’s inception in 2013.
The Nº 1973 is the latest in WT Author’s watch series, which has been looking to chronologize watch design over the years. In September 2013, they launched the Nº 1905, a modern reinterpretation of a vintage classic pre-war men’s watch. With each subsequent watch, WT Author’s aimed at capturing how watches have evolved with time, and the Nº 1973 pays tribute to the birth of the NATO strap and the spawning of the diving watch. With a distinct watch-face covered with large, legible, high-contrast symbols, the Nº 1973 feels like your classic diver’s watch… but with a contemporary spin.
The Nº 1973’s vibrant design takes the eye on a journey. You’re bound to notice the watch itself, but also the energetic orange NATO strap. Move your eyes back to the watch itself and you notice its use of eye-catching imagery and colors, as well as its prominent knurled crown at the 4 o’clock position. The watch features a unidirectional rotating bezel around the outside, within which sits the brightly colored watch face – available in chrome yellow, neon green, blazing orange, navy blue, and classic black. The watch face comes populated with high-contrast diver-style indices that are further coated with a layer of Super-LumiNova, making them as clearly visible under the water as above it… and even in pitch darkness. The multi-colored hands come with the SuperLuminova coating too, as does the hand on the 24-hour subdial at the 10 o’clock position. On the opposite side of the subdial sits a date window at the 4 o’clock position, creating an asymmetric-yet-balanced design that’s difficult to ignore!
Flip the Nº 1973 over and you’re treated to an exhibition back that showcases the watch’s Miyota Calibre Nº 8217 mechanical movement with its hand-assembled balance wheel. The movement is manufactured by Citizen and comes with a 40+ hour power reserve. It sits sandwiched between sapphire crystal displays, on both the front and the back, encased within a 316L Stainless Steel casing. True to its origin, the Nº 1973 is every bit a diving watch, and is built to be water-resistant up to 20ATM or 200 meters. The Nº 1973 watch comes in 5 face colors, with production limited to 100 units of each color. The watch’s exhibition back features its serial number, reminding you of how unique your timepiece is. Each wristwatch even ships with two interchangeable G10 NATO straps in bright orange as well as a more classic black. You can additionally upgrade your purchase to include a 22mm solid stainless steel jubilee strap (although the NATO straps definitely help showcase the Nº 1973’s true diver character). The box also includes signed and numbered sketch-prints, watch blueprints, and watch assembly photographs… plus a 24-month warranty against any manufacturing defects seals the deal!
Designer: WT Author
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$695 (30% off). Hurry, only 46/70 left!
Nº 1973 – Built-to-order Automatic Watch
Named after the year the iconic G10 NATO strap was issued by the British Ministry of Defence, the Nº 1973 is a built-to-order automatic and hand wound mechanical wristwatch with a quick date setting, 24 hour subdial display, unidirectional rotating bezel and exhibition back.
Built by WT Author, is an independent designer and watchmaker that builds limited edition, handmade watches from their workshop in Shropshire, UK. They collaborate with talented CNC toolmakers, leather artisans and sustainable print studios to assemble bespoke products full of character, meaning and originality.
The Mechanical Movement
In 1959, Citizen Watch established a movement manufacturing factory in the town of Miyota, Japan. The calibre Nº 8217 is both an automatic and hand wound mechanical movement, assembled using only parts manufactured at Japanese plants.
The balance wheel is produced by human hands. Adjusting the eccentricity and horizontality of the balance spring is the most difficult procedure and cannot be expressed in numerical form by machinery.
The movement is precise and durable with high impact resistance. It is valued for its craftsmanship, artistry and beauty; all major parts are made of metal to enhance color and texture.
The Stainless Steel Watch Head
The Nº 1973 watch harks back to the golden age of diving from the 1970s. They have taken every essential aspect of this legendary style and modernised it from top-to-bottom within our own expertly engineered unique components.
The watch head securely houses the intricacies of the delicately assembled mechanical movement, displaying its complexity through the uninterrupted solid sapphire crystal rear lens. It has been designed to fit perfectly on the wrist within a robust and solid watch head that has been assembled to be put through its paces. The result is a timepiece with a 45mm diameter, a length of 49.5mm (lug-to-lug), all contained within a depth of 14.45mm (including lugs).
Brushed and highly polished surfaces that meet to create a clean aesthetic with incredibly strong properties. The knurled watch head wall brings a dynamic style to catch the light at any given opportunity whilst offering a fantastically machined aesthetic.
Unidirectional Watch Bezel
The bold unidirectional rotating bezel offers quick functionality through substantial grip areas on the edge of the component. The high contrast aesthetic presented through the black, ion plated surface and silver-tone markers is enhanced further by a strong combination of matt and highly polished finishes.
The bezels original function serves to record the elapsed time for a diver’s descent. The 12 o’clock marker, containing Super-LumiNova, is aligned to the prominent minute hand to record up to 60 minutes of elapsed time. The unidirectional ratcheting mechanism stops any accidental movement to the bezel thus avoiding any chance of less time being recorded on a descent. As standard, the point of a diver’s return is clearly indicated from the 20 minute marker end point on the bezel.
Screw Down Exhibition Back
The intricately machined screw down exhibition back includes deep, tooled recesses to reflect their established signature “poker chip” aesthetic. The component includes a robust gasket to create a powerful seal that ensures water resistance tested to 200m / 20 ATM.
The exhibition back is fitted with a solid sapphire crystal lens to ensure the watch retains its maximum water resistance whilst offering an uninterrupted presentation of the mechanical movement’s inner workings.
The stable construction with precisely defined architecture has been designed and machined to be as beautiful as every other component on the watch. The rear lens is finished with our intricately printed mark and serial code to indicate its allotted number in the limited edition collection.
Screw Down Crown
The custom-machined, screw down crown enhances the water resistance. To defend the component from accidental knocks or other interactions, it is housed within a substantial crown guard that flows directly from the lines of the lug straight into the side of the watch head.
The crown is deliberately placed at the 4 o’clock position with lugs that fall tightly to the watch head, avoiding any discomfort to your wrist.
Solid Sapphire Crystal Lens
The solid sapphire crystal lens is constructed in extremely high temperatures and made up of crystalline aluminium oxide. Each item is precisely cut with diamond saws that are then grinded & polished into shape for the finished product.
It offers significantly more scratch resistance vs. traditional glass, plastic or acrylic crystal as well as being extremely strong and shatter resistant. The solid sapphire crystal lens has an identical hardness to natural sapphire.
The Watch Dial
The Nº 1973 watch comes in five different color options: Blue, Green, Black, Orange and Yellow. Each one carries a specific correlation of meticulously designed hour, minute and second indices. The hour markers utilize a correlation of our signature “tuning fork” indices applied securely to the dial, all with a Super-LumiNova infill to compliment the thick matt painted WT Author mark at the 12 position.
Thick gloss painted inner and outer minute tracks surround the dial, allowing details like the date window and model information at the 6 o’clock position to be picked up through a palette of contrasting colours. The result is a timepiece that’s rugged, reliable and legible.
The Super-luminova Details
Super-LumiNova is based on a non-toxic formula consisting of strontium aluminate. This is one of several powerful luminous pigments available in the watch industry today. The team have opted for a light green lume for the Nº 1973 watch.
Click Here to Buy Now: $489
$695 (30% off). Hurry, only 46/70 left!