Kickstarter projects are one of the most controversial topics in watch circles around the world. Brand dilution, unimaginative design and sub-par craftsmanship have marred the platform’s public image and spread distrust around the industry. Little has been done to restore consumer faith in projects that many believe are designed to fail. Over the past year I have extensively covered projects on this platform- the good, the bad and the ugly. Hopefully today we can take a look a project that is doing something pretty unique.
Admittedly when I started writing about Kickstarter I was very bullish on the idea of crowdfunding watch projects start to finish, but somewhere along the way the largest crowdfunding platform- Kickstarter, took on a different persona. Projects lacked the depth and creativity that initially captured my interest. My writing today is not about the pitfalls of Kickstarter but instead about a rare project that breaks the mold, hear me out on this one. Wouldn’t you like to see a brand create affordable, stylish and quality timepieces? Wouldn’t you also like to see a brand that shares your passion for watches and wants to create a brand that will be successful in the long term? Well all of this may be too good to be true but I will leave my cynicism on the sideline for the moment. Newly created brand- Tusenö, is taking a different approach to the traditional Kickstarter watch project. The founders, Alexander and Johan have set out to create a brand that will stand the test of time. From an outsider’s point of view, all of this sounds a bit trite but let’s take a deeper look at Tusenö.
Tusenö is launching their first collection aptly titled the “First 42.” This watch features a surgical grade stainless steel case that is 42mm in diameter. Other features include a Seiko V64 Meca-Quartz movement, a domed sapphire crystal as well as three different strap options- leather, suede and mesh. After speaking with Alexander about the ethos behind the First 42 collection, he explained to me that the goal was to create a well-made, stylish and affordable watch that would have a timeless appeal (similar to Daniel Wellington’s collections). This laudable and lofty goal has caught the attention of the masses so much so that the project is nearly $8,000 USD over the funding goal with 18 days left! Perhaps just as impressive is that the project has raised a total (at the time of publication) of $43,373 USD through 115 backers! While I did take a moment to analyze some of the funding metrics, I don’t want to get bogged down in the financials as history has taught us to be cautious. There have been a number of overfunded watch projects that have turned out to be catastrophic failures. Airing on the side of caution, I still think there is a lot of value behind this project. The same meca-quartz movement behind the acclaimed Autodromo Prototipo is behind the First 42. For $299 USD you are getting a tested movement that can be found in watches over double the price. That may not be a huge deal for everyone but keeping the costs down means something for the budget-minded folks among us.
I personally found The First 42 to be a very attractive watch that reminds me of the IWC Portugieser collection. As a fan of IWC in name only because of my budget, I was surprised to see an entry-level company take a stab at the elegant chronograph design. Sure there are plenty of legendary chronographs from Tag, Omega and Rolex but they are pricey to say the least. The elegant/functional chronograph design is exactly what Tusenö is offering here and it makes me excited. I certainly hope that this project is not the smoke and mirrors that so many Kickstarter projects have been. In their defense, regardless of Tusenö’s commercial success, the way Alexander and Johan are approaching this project is fundamentally different from the rest of the market.
Expect me to keep a close eye on this project moving forward. I am not afraid to fall on the sword and admit when I miss the mark by supporting a project but I think this particular brand has a different DNA. Let’s be hopeful! The watches will ship in late February/ March if you buy before the project is over.
Head over to their project page for more details and a closer look at the brand.
Offered in four different variations here is a look at the First 42 collection.
Size- 42mm x 11mm
Dials- Black sunray pattern & White
Case- 316L stainless steel ( rose gold plated or silver)
Crystal- Sapphire domed
Movement- Seiko V64 Meca-Quartz
Strap- Leather, suede and mesh
Water Resistance- 5 ATM