Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A new twist on mechanical watch design. Uhuru Watches is proudly South African with global aspirations.
A new twist on mechanical watch design. Uhuru Watches is proudly South African with global aspirations.
A new twist on mechanical watch design. Uhuru Watches is proudly South African with global aspirations.
77 backers pledged NZ$ 21,304 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

The Impi Automatic - A South African mechanical watch project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

The Impi Automatic - A South African mechanical watch

NZ$ 21,304

77

                 

 Follow our progress on Kicktraq.

Final 48 hours

As a bonus to backers, low serial number Impi Automatics can be reserved by adding $50 NZD to your pledge. These are reserved in order of pledge adjustment. For more details please check the Backer Only updates. The current lowest serial available will be posted in the comments periodically. 

As an added bonus to those who back at the $319 Kickstarter Backer Tier, they will get the next available serial at the time of backing as well as a handmade Zulu wire and bead animal. If you've already reserved a serial number and would also like an animal, simply add $10 NZD to your pledge.  

Animal size and type will vary due to the handmade nature of their manufacture.
Animal size and type will vary due to the handmade nature of their manufacture.

As seen on 

The Time Bum: "Since my interview with Nick Warner, I have eagerly awaited his project" 

Master Horologer: "Uhuru is a young watch brand from South Africa, and like many Kickstarter micros, the company at the moment is chasing the dream of making awesome watches." 

A2.0: An interview with Nick Warner of Uhuru Watches

Wrist Watch Review: Lastly, for this edition, is another watch from a novel location across the globe. The Impi Automatic is a design out of South Africa by Uhuru Watches.

Uhuru Watches

Uhuru Watches was born from a desire to build an African brand that has a global market appeal. We believe that Africa has a place in the world defined by success and prestige and we want Uhuru Watches to be a part of building that successful image.

I was born and raised in South Africa and growing up it was my dream to create an exciting international brand that remained true to its African roots.

Uhuru in Swahili means 'freedom'. To me its the freedom to be successful, admired and proud. That's the spirit I hope to capture with Uhuru, that no matter who or where you are, you can be proud.

There is a philosophy in South Africa known as "Ubuntu" (it's not just an operating system!) The basic principle of this philosophy is 'A person is a person through other people', that we are interconnected and defined by our connections with others. It's a principle that isn't unique to Ubuntu, it's the philosophy of open source software and of course, the philosophy of Kickstarter. Together we can be more than the sum of our parts. That is why we are so excited to be a part of the Kickstarter story and to have the opportunity to be a part of yours. Please help us make Uhuru Watches a reality by backing us today.

So why watches? 

A fine watch is an heirloom, a link from the past to the future. It is an intricate machine that is a symbol as well as a tool. Luxury watch brands are displays of wealth and power and have mainly been iconic Swiss brands with long histories. But every history starts somewhere. 50 or 100 years from now we want a CEO to be torn between a Swiss brand and an Uhuru Watch. This project is the planting of a seed for future success.

The Impi Automatic is the first watch from Uhuru Watches.

An impi is a Zulu warrior, armed with an assegai spear and a large cowhide shield. The curves of the case and the strap design of the Impi Automatic draw on the shapes and textures of the shield. The assegai can be found in the shape of the spearhead hands. One of the most distinguishing features is the double crowns. The 9 o'clock crown operates an internal rotating bezel and the 3 o'clock sets the time and date as well as provides a hand winding option. All this comes together to create an appealing retro-modern case design with a highly functional and legible dial.

The specs of the Impi Automatic are:

  • 316L stainless steel case.
  • 44mm diameter case (excluding crowns).
  • 22mm lug width.
  • Miyota 8215 movement.
  • Double domed sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating.
  • Exhibition mineral crystal back.  
  • Internal rotating bezel operated by the 9H crown.
  • SUPER LUMINOVA C3 on hands, hour and bezel markers. 
  • 20 ATM water resistance.

 Automatic Movement

The Impi Automatic is powered by an automatic mechanical  movement, the Miyota 8215. This popular movement has been used in many brands since its release in 1977. It is durable, reliable and it can take a lot of abuse with minimal maintenance. The movement is powered by a spring which is wound by your own body movement or by a few turns of the crown. 

Rewards

Backers will have the choice of the light or dark dial with the choice of a black or brown strap. Your choice will be collected in a survey at the end of the campaign. Our Kickstarter Backer price is 100USD off the RRP and the limited number of Early Bird pledges available are 150USD off the RRP. If you are interested in retailing the Impi Automatic or want an extra one for a gift we also have pledge tiers that will give you a discount for pre-ordering multiple watches. For your convenience the tiers are converted below with current exchange rates (12/12/14) from NZ Dollars to US Dollars, South African Rands, British Pounds and Euros.

Funds

The funds raised will be going to production costs of the watches, packaging and shipping. Any surplus funds will go towards development of our next model which we hope to bring to Kickstarter in late 2015.

Changes

The watches shown in the campaign are prototype models and as with any prototype there will be some changes between these and the production models. The most noticeable change will likely be the strap which we are looking into upgrading to a better quality.

Another noticeable change will be the Uhuru logo on the dark dial. The word "UHURU" will be changed to white on black rather than the current black on white.

The lume shown below will be improved with a similar brightness level on all elements.

30 second exposure
30 second exposure

 Stretch Goals

We're working on a few more but the current stretch goal is a modest $25,000+. If we reach this goal all backers who pledge $50NZD or more will receive a pair of logo cufflinks in addition to any other rewards they have already pledged for.

Also at $25,000+ the mineral exhibition back will be upgraded to a sapphire exhibition back. 

At $30,000+ all watches will come with a NATO strap. Perfect for use in water.

Timeline

The production window for the Impi Automatic is going to fall over both Christmas and Lunar New Year so we've made allowance in our timeline for those holiday periods. While it is a little longer than other watch projects, we would rather be upfront about the likely wait than promise a shorter delivery time and disappoint you if its delayed. 

Thanks for checking out my project. If you're looking for some other great projects to support on Kickstarter, here's some we really like: 

DIY Technology in East Africa- A Documentary. A project to teach a two week long robotics camp, help automate aspects of a farm and teach key electronics production skills so that Ugandans can produce their own electronic products instead of relying solely on imported technology.

The Key Caddy - a key organizer by the team at Liquid Co. A swiss army knife inspired key organizer slim enough to fit in a coin pocket from Melbourne, Australia.

Risks and challenges

The manufacturer we will contract to produce the Impi Automatic is a well established watchmaker. They specialise in producing small runs for watch microbrands like ourselves. They have worked closely with us on the prototype production and technical details of the design. While manufacturing delays can occur, we believe the risks are minimal in this regard. If there are any delays, we will communicate these with all backers.

Logistics is another potential risk area so we will contract with established courier companies to ensure all deliveries are made in a timely manner.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 5 or more About $4

    THANK YOU - Every little bit helps and to say thanks, you'll have the option to have your name on the Backers page on the Uhuru Watches website. You will also receive project updates and news about future projects.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 259 or more About $197

    EARLY BIRD (approx 199 USD) -

    One Impi Automatic in your choice of dial and strap colour
    150 USD off RRP 349 USD.

    (Please note: Your colour choice, shipping information, etc. will be collected after the campaign)

    Includes worldwide shipping

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 55 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 319 or more About $243

    KICKSTARTER BACKER (approx. 249 USD) -

    One Impi Automatic in your choice of dial and strap colour
    100 USD off RRP 349 USD.

    (Please note: Your colour choice, shipping information, etc. will be collected after the campaign)

    Includes worldwide shipping

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge NZ$ 499 or more About $380

    ULTIMATE IMPI BACKER (approx. 385 USD) -

    One Impi Automatic from the sub 10 serial number range in your choice of dial colour on a custom, limited run, handmade, hand stitched strap.

    (Please note: Your colour choice, shipping information, etc. will be collected after the campaign)

    Includes worldwide shipping

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 599 or more About $456

    DOUBLE DEAL (approx. 475 USD) -

    TWO Impi Automatics in your choice of dial and strap colours
    223 USD off RRP 698 USD (349 USD each)

    (Please note: Your colour choice, shipping information, etc. will be collected after the campaign)

    Includes worldwide shipping

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge NZ$ 1,295 or more About $987

    RETAILER PACK (approx. 1010 USD) -

    FIVE Impi Automatics in your choice of dial and strap colours
    735 USD off RRP 1745 USD (349 USD each)

    (Please note: Your colour choice, shipping information, etc. will be collected after the campaign)

    Includes worldwide shipping

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    NZ$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)