What others are saying about Vilhelm
WristWatchReview - "Those materials generally show up on the higher-end watches. What if there was an affordable watch that managed to combine all three? That’s what the Vilhelm Elemental is going for."
TheTimeBum - "an exceptionally strong, lightweight forged carbon central barrel with a cushion shape and marbled pattern."
MicrobrandWatchWorld - "Every so often a watch gets launched on Kickstarter that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible to build as a crowd funded brand. Vilhelm Watches have shattered those boundaries with the Elemental."
Worn&Wound - "the design is clearly eye-catching and far from a traditional round stainless steel cased watch"
WatchBandit - "alternative materials have cost thousands of dollars and been inaccessible to most men, but now one watch brand is changing that with the Vilhelm Elemental"
Three of the most advanced materials. All in one Package.
We wanted to create the most advanced watch on the market. Combining the latest in material technologies with cutting edge design, the Vilhelm was born. Each material serves a specialized purpose, yet blending together to form a cohesive design.
Swiss-made forged carbon or ceramic pieces cost tens of thousands, far out of reach of most collectors. We wanted to create a high-quality luxury watch in the Vilhelm - Elemental, that would still be accessible to most, and with our Kickstarter pricing, we believe that it is the most affordable tri-material mechanical watch on the market, today!
Forged carbon is created under extreme pressure to offer the lightest, yet strongest material available. It is created from carbon fiber strands and forged to achieve its legendary strength to weight ratio, unmatched even by titanium.
Forged carbon forms the main case, with an inner steel housing to maintain its water resistance. The marbled appearance is unique for every single piece.
To better demonstrate the hardness of ceramic, we took a hardened steel blade to the bezel to see which would come out on top.
Ceramic or specifically Zirconium Oxide (ZrO2) is one of the hardest materials available for watchmaking. Only sapphire or diamonds are able to scratch it. Ceramic ranks on the Mohs scale of hardness as 8. In comparison, sapphire ranks as 9 and diamond as 10. Iron is roughly 4 on the scale. Diamond tipped cutters were used to machine the bezel used for Vilhelm. The bezel features a brushed finish with sandblasted cutouts.
Ceramic was the first choice for the bezel due to its hardness. The bezel is the most commonly scratched area of the watch and this will be prevented with a ceramic bezel. A unique grey color was also chosen for the ceramic to match its titanium lugs.
Grade 5 titanium, or Ti-6Al-4V is most commonly used for aircraft or military applications due to its high strength and low weight, the best among all metals. Titanium also resists cracks which is its advantage over carbon fiber, yet far lighter than stainless steel.
Titanium is used for the lugs and crown guard. This is due to the stresses involved at the spring bars and titanium prevents any cracks that might form during years of use or abuse.
Design and finishing
We knew we wanted all 3 materials to be used in the construction, yet they had to blend into one cohesive design.
The forged carbon main case forms the base layer. It is mainly shielded by the ceramic bezel to prevent any scratches on the carbon. The usually plain case sides now offer an intriguing view of the forged carbon.
The matte grey of the ceramic bezel is matched by the titanium lugs and crown guard. Upon closer inspection, you'll noticed the bezel has a brushed top layer and sandblasted recesses. The lugs are sandblasted for a matching effect, with cutouts along the sides.
Dial and Hands
An advanced watch like the Vilhelm had to have an equally complex dial. It is made up of 4 layers.
-Base Plate : Sunburst Brushed
-Top Plate : Matte Sandblast with cutouts
-Hour Markers : Polished
-Outer Ring : Sandblasted
The hands are skeletonised to match. The prototype hands are lacking lume but it will be coated with a strip of Superluminova for the final production run.
43mm Tri Material case construction. 14.5mm Thick. 24mm Strap width
Forged carbon main case
Ceramic ( Zirconium Oxide ) bezel impervious to scratches
Titanium lugs and crown guard for lightweight strength
Swiss ETA 2824
100m water resistance with screw down crown
Titanium screw down caseback with display
4 layer dial with BGW9 lume hands
Strap - Kevlar with leather backing, 24mm at lugs and 22mm at buckle
1 year international warranty
Upgrade to Swiss ETA 2824 for Stretch Goal #2
Proven with many years of service across countless watch brands, the Swiss ETA 2824 is the perfect choice for the Elemental. With our amazing Kickstarter pricing, the Elemental with the ETA movement is a deal not to be missed.
Choice of : Steel Grey, Rose Gold, Electric Blue
End April : Kickstarter completion
May : Production Begins
August : Preparation and QC
End August : Shipment
Risks and challenges
Delays due to production and QC issues are a common problem among watch projects.
Having completed a few successful production runs, we are confident of managing the quality and delivery times. A reliable manufacturer is one of the key factors and we are confident the manufacturer will meet our quality requirements, judging from our previous projects.
Preparations have been made to ensure delivery schedules are met. All molds and toolings are ready to begin. We have gone through two rounds of prototyping to ensure all parts offer the best quality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)