It has been awhile since a covered a story from the Kickstarter universe but I return once again to give my audience more options in the entry-level market. While many watch enthusiasts including myself have written off the majority of watch related projects on Kickstarter, every now and then you can find a gem in the rough. Some of the past projects I have covered are admitted failures for any number of reasons however, I believe this offering from Helgray can hold its own.
Helgray is a recently launched brand with a flare for vintage and utilitarian aesthetics. Their second offering, the Silverstone was a immense success on Kickstarter and eclipsed the funding goals for the project. With over 800 backers raising $220k in capital, people are undoubtedly drawn to the Silverstone. Currently only available for pre-order, the Silverstone is a 40mm Seiko VK64 meca-quartz movement chronograph with two registers. Some of you are wondering what is "meca-quartz?" In laymen's terms, "meca-quartz" refers to a quartz movement that has a mechanical component for the chronograph function.
The Seiko VK64 meca-quartz movement has gained recent fame as the workhorse movement behind the Autodromo Prototipo collection. Autodromo is a racing lifestyle brand that launched its first meca-quartz offering the Prototipo, in early 2014. Hovering at around $600 USD, the Prototipo has received copious amount of praise from the biggest names in the watch business, deservingly so. Fast forward to the present and Helgray has done an excellent job at providing direct competition to Autodromo and more broadly the sub-$1000 USD chronograph market.
Offered in a number of dial and bracelet combinations (leather and stainless steel), the Silverstone is extremely appealing. The dial is clean and not overdone. More importantly, the watch can be pre-ordered for $300 USD. That is a lot of watch for the money. As soon as Helgray begins shipment of the Silverstone, I will get my hands on one for review. Let me conclude by saying that I do not think the Helgray Silverstone will outpace the well-established Prototipo in the entry-level chronograph market. What I do believe to be true is that given the right PR, and build quality, Helgray has a shot at fragmenting the market. Anyone up for more attractive 60's inspired chronographs? Build quality to be determined.....
Take a look at some of the watches below-