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The Lightwell is an affordable, durable, and low-maintenance solar-powered field watch that never requires battery replacement.
The Lightwell is an affordable, durable, and low-maintenance solar-powered field watch that never requires battery replacement.
224 backers pledged $47,048 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Most Capable Solar-Powered Watch under $200

$47,048

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We’re Centric Instruments, a young, independent design studio based on the Northern California coast. Driven by a desire to lead more focused and centered lives, we create mindful tools that simplify the modern day to day.

We’ve seen watch trends come and go, but one thing has remained a constant for the last fifty years: the 38mm field watch. It’s a hard-wearing totem of sorts, but one that’s about as classic an adventure partner as it gets with three hands, brushed steel, and a no-nonsense numeric dial. 

But we didn’t want the Lightwell to just look the part. We started with a special light-powered Seiko movement and fortified it with a 316L surgical grade stainless steel case, a scratch-proof sapphire crystal, a screwdown crown and caseback to ensure 100 meters of water resistance, and a lifetime of faithful, worry-free service.

The Lightwell is driven by a reliable solar-quartz movement from Seiko. A discrete solar panel underneath the dial converts both natural and artificial light into electrical energy, so the watch is constantly charging– even indoors and in cloudy weather.

Just one minute under the sun provides 24 hours of autonomous time-keeping power. At full charge, the movement will continue to operate for 6 months without light. Unlike conventional quartz watches, this movement does not use a silver oxide battery and will therefore never require a battery replacement.

The case of the Lightwell is a nod to the classic WWII-era field watch: a bold chamfered bezel atop a cylindrical center case with slab sides and tapered lugs that come to a smooth, flat end. It’s constructed using surgical grade 316L stainless steel, chosen for its high strength and corrosion-resistance. It’s made using 60% recycled scrap material which minimizes industrial waste. Measuring 38mm wide, 10mm thick and 45mm from lug to lug, the case is compact and well-proportioned, perfect for both men and women.

We integrated a screwdown crown and caseback to achieve a 10 ATM water resistance rating. Capable of being submerged 100 meters underwater, the Lightwell is tough enough to go surfing, fishing, or snorkelling in the deep end.

A thick, flat sapphire crystal protects the dial while offering low-maintenance durability. Incredibly scratch-resistant, Sapphire is rated nine out of ten on the Mohs hardness scale, second only to diamond. It's far greater than mineral glass and acrylic in terms of longevity and is widely used in high-end designer watches because of its luxurious finish. We applied several layers of anti-reflective coating to further improve clarity and light transmittance.

The Lightwell’s beveled dial layout features polished indices along the hour track. The hands and numeric markings are coated with Swiss luminescent paint that glows in low-light environments, allowing you to read time in the dark. The dial is available in black, white, and a vintage-inspired “gilt” colorway.

Our adventure-ready, waterproof straps are custom-made using high-tensile silicone rubber. Lightweight, flexible, and extremely resilient, silicone offers the best of both worlds in terms of comfort and durability. The silicone strap comes in a matte black finish with brushed 316L stainless steel hardware.

We also offer two leather strap styles, classic and modern, both made from Italian vegetable-tanned leather. Although standard chrome-tanned leather is much cheaper and faster to produce, we chose to use vegetable-tanned leather because it is made using organic tannins instead of toxic chemicals, making it the smarter and healthier choice for both the planet and the people that hand make the straps. The straps are available in black, tan, and brown with brushed 316L stainless steel hardware.

All our straps feature convenient quick release spring bars that make it easy to change straps without the use of a spring bar tool. Simply pull the lever back to unhinge the pin and you can change the look and feel of the watch in seconds.

As a thanks for your support, we've unlocked the Gunmetal PVD finishing as an option with the black dial. We achieve this stealthy tactical finish through an innovative PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) process that hardens the case of the watch, making it more resistant to dings and scratches. The finish will stay true no matter what kind of abuse you subject it to.

Once we hit $60k in funding, we will be able to offer our Brushed Gunmetal PVD finishing in the Gilt and White Dial options.

After two years of countless prototypes, field tests, and late night collaboration with our manufacturing partners, the production line is queued up and ready to go. We just need your help to fund our first production order.

By backing this project, you are placing a pre-order for a watch that will be delivered between October and November. Please note that your pledge will be debited from your bank account at the end of the campaign, but only if we are successful in reaching our funding goal.

We will contact you once the Kickstarter campaign is over to confirm which dial and strap color variation you would like.

The perfect left. The sunlit coffee nook. The unbroken trail. The long, meandering way home. Here, and all the places where inspiration is found, is where each Centric Instruments watch was created to thrive. It’s why we prize design integrity, versatility and value over all else, and why we believe pure capability still matters.

So when we set out to create our ideal watch, we considered every element, starting with functionality and materials, to create a durable, low-maintenance, “do-everything” tool that we could depend on every day of the week. Between pre-work surf sessions, spontaneous weekend camping trips, and fast-paced urban commutes, the watch had to be capable of keeping up with every aspect of our lives.

Our connection with nature extends much deeper than weekend trips north of the Golden Gate. We are committed to building honest products that respect the world we all live in. For us, this means being conscious about the materials we use and partnering with like-minded factories that minimize environmental impact.

We’ve partnered with transparent factories in Shenzhen to produce our cases, dials, and hands in compliance with local and national environmental regulations to reduce carbon emission and increase energy efficiency.

Our solar movement is manufactured by the Seiko Epson Corporation, an environmentally-conscious and ISO14001 certified company with realistic goals of reducing their CO2 emissions by 90% by the year 2050.

We are a proud member of the 1% for the Planet Foundation and pledge to donate 1% of our annual sales to environmental protection initiatives across the globe.

 We’re Michael and Anthony– two friends who share a love of thoughtful design and “old-world” analog devices like film cameras, vinyl records, and print magazines.

While advances in “smart” technology promise a more connected future, overindulgence has left us feeling more detached than ever before. We created Centric Instruments to encourage people to, well, stay centered. Through mindful everyday tools, we aim to inspire lives led by action, meaningful relationships, and moments of connection with the world around us.

If you share our values, consider backing our project and sharing it with a friend. We hope you'll join us on our journey to a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.

                                              
  

Risks and challenges

After years successfully bringing new products to market for brands in the outdoor goods space, we have developed strong relationships with our manufacturing partners and are confident we can deliver the Lightwell according to our projected timeline.

We understand that in manufacturing, there is always a chance that our vendors may not deliver on time. If we run into any unforeseen complications, we’ll maintain a transparent line of communication and keep you all filled in throughout the entire process.

If you’d like to get in touch, feel free to reach out to us at info@centricinstruments.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    Our Sincere Thanks

    For a pledge of $1 or more, you will receive our heartfelt thanks, and you will be added to the list for exclusive backer updates

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Super Early Bird | 1 Watch + 2 Straps

    1 x Lightwell watch with your dial color choice (black, white, or gilt)

    1 x Silicone Rubber Strap

    1 x Leather Strap (classic or modern) in your color choice (black, brown, or tan)

    Limited to 50 units only

    (38% savings from $260)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 49 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Early Bird | 1 Watch + 2 Straps

    1 x Lightwell watch with your dial color choice (black, white or gilt)

    1 x Silicone Rubber Strap

    1 x Leather Strap (classic or modern) in your color choice (black, brown or tan)

    Limited to 250 only

    (31% savings from $260)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 137 backers
    $

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Launch Special | 1 Watch + 2 Straps

    1 x Lightwell watch with your dial color choice (black, white or gilt)

    1 x Silicone Rubber Strap

    1 x Leather Strap (classic or modern) in your color choice (black, brown or tan)

    (23% savings from $260)

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Super Early Bird | 2 Watches + 4 Straps

    2 x Lightwell watches in your dial color choices (black, white or gilt)

    1 x Silicone Rubber Strap

    3 x Leather Straps (classic or modern) in each color: black, brown or tan

    Limited to 10 units only

    (42% savings from $520)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 9 backers
    $

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $340 or more About $340

    Early Bird + 2 Watches + 4 Straps

    2 x Lightwell watches in your dial color choices (black, white or gilt)

    1 x Silicone Rubber Strap

    3 x Leather Straps (classic or modern) in each color: black, brown or tan

    Limited to 25 units only

    (35% savings from $520)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 12 backers
    $

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $380 or more About $380

    Launch Special | 2 Watches + 4 Straps

    2 x Lightwell watches in your dial color choices (black, white or gilt)

    1 x Silicone Rubber Strap

    3 x Leather Straps (classic or modern) in each color: black, brown or tan.

    Limited to 50 units only

    (27% savings from $520)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 5 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)