In an increasingly complex world, the best tools are the simplest.
Founded in the UK by furniture designer and watch collector Charlie Fowler, alkin watches is born out of a long-held desire to build a watch brand uncompromising in it core values of high quality, democratic design that will stand the test of time.
During his time as a designer Charlie has become increasingly passionate about products that are built to last and go on a journey with you, but understands that it’s often hard to make this available to everyone. From the outset, his fundamental aim was to make the alkin Model One an accessible automatic designed with simplicity, functionality and longevity firmly in mind.
The case, dial, hands and branding have all been designed from scratch by Charlie, while the Arabic numerals are designed by British typographer Gareth Hague. The Model One, with its pared-back style, has evolved into a watch with form and function in equal measure while still retaining its character and identity. All elements have been distilled to create a simple, visually balanced piece that offers maximum utility and versatility.
The product development journey for the Model One took over two years, with numerous prototypes and revisions made to ensure that the watch was just right. During this time we built strong relationships with our suppliers to ensure that the very best standards of quality, consistency and attention to detail can be delivered in production.
The dial and crystal
Every detail has been considered to perfectly balance the dial and make it as legible as possible in all light conditions. The satin black is combined with white pad-printed numbers and minute markers, while the hand-applied hour markers are raised up to add a sense of depth. The hour markers, numbers, and hands are all are lumed with pure white Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9, both for great visibility in low-level light and at night.
In order to preserve the simplicity and symmetry in the dial we chose not to go with a date window. This also allows for the watch to be more of a ‘grab-and-go’ piece, with no need to set the date if you haven’t worn it for a few days.
A domed sapphire crystal at the front and a flat sapphire crystal on the back have been used to achieve the highest level of clarity and durability. Sapphire is immensely scratch resistant (only diamond is tougher) and far superior to cheaper mineral alternatives. Applied to the inside of the crystal is a multi-layered, anti-reflective coating that further improves performance in all lighting conditions.
The caseThe 42mm case has a utilitarian style with proportions that give it a presence on the wrist without being overly bulky. The short lugs (50mm overall) help to balance out the larger case diameter, while the screw-down crown is located at the 4 o’clock position for maximum comfort. Due to the short lug length we have added a small cut-out in the case to facilitate thicker straps.
The case is manufactured from surgical grade 316L stainless steel, considered the best quality steel for watches and used by the world’s leading watch manufacturers. The case is rated at 10 ATM/100M water resistant, which means it can be worn in water but is not rated for diving.
The case is available in either raw stainless steel or black PVD finish. Different surface finishing processes have been chosen for the two case options to make the very best of each colour. The stainless steel version has been brushed in alternate directions on the bezel and case to create a more elemental look, while the black PVD version has been given a fine bead blast finish to produce a very flat matt finish overall.
We chose the Seiko NH35A, as it has consistently proven itself to be an immensely durable and reliable movement. This brilliant piece of Japanese engineering boasts great accuracy and has a 41-hour power reserve, so will keep itself wound if worn every day. It also has a hacking second hand, which means that when the crown is pulled out the second hand stops, making it very easy to set the time accurately. The fact that it is made by one of the most respected watch manufacturers in the world not only represents a universal seal of quality but also means it can easily be serviced anywhere around the globe.
So that you can appreciate the simple magic of the automatic movement every day, the Model One has a sapphire crystal display case back. To add a touch of individuality the alkin logo has been laser-engraved on to the rotor.
Our German-made vegetable-tanned leather straps use organic tanning techniques instead of the immensely polluting chromium tanning process most commonly used in commercial leather production. Despite being made for thick 3.5mm hide, the straps are very supple and soft, and will only improve with age. They are made by people who have been crafting straps for generations — the quality and finish are second to none.
The straps will come in a choice of three colours: black, brown and cognac. The buckle will be finished to match the case and laser-engraved with the alkin logo.
Limited edition blue dial
To make things really special we wanted to mark the Kickstarter campaign with a complete one-off and have developed a blue dial option that will be available only for the duration of the campaign — then it will be gone forever. This option will be limited to 55 units.
The double watch pouch
Each Model One will ship in a vegetable-tanned leather travel pouch that can be used throughout the watch’s lifetime. The leather we have chosen for the pouch has a raw colour and finish and is much stiffer than the straps. With time and use the leather will slowly soften and the finish will darken and age beautifully.
We have developed the alkin Model One to the point where we are now ready to push the button on mass manufacture. This has been a long journey of design, development and prototyping of the watch, strap and pouch. If we are successful and reach our funding target, this Kickstarter campaign will allow us to place orders and begin mass production.
By pledging for this project you are placing a pre-order for a watch, which means you will have to wait for the watch to be made. In return for helping to launch the alkin brand you will have a high quality automatic watch at a discounted price.
When the project comes to completion we will contact you to confirm your final finish and colour choices, and check your shipping details. If we reach our funding target, only then will the money be debited from your bank account and we will place an order for manufacturing. If we do not reach our funding target, you will not be charged anything.
We are confident we can stick to this timeline, but we will not ship anything until we are completely happy. If we encounter any unforeseen problems we will be fully transparent with all our backers and keep you in the loop throughout the entire process.
Please note that if you live outside the European Union, you will be responsible for any applicable import duties or VAT charges.
Giving 1% back
We recognise the impact of just creating more stuff, so have put the sustainability of the alkin brand central to the business mission. Fundamentally, designing a product that is rooted in longevity is key to keeping the product in use for as long as possible. The quality of the components and a reliable, widely used movement that can be very easily serviced or repaired are essential factors.
In addition to this, if we are successful with our funding, we will pledge to annually donate 1% of gross profit to environmental causes around the world.
A huge thank you to everyone who has given their support on this journey and taken the time to follow this campaign. It has occasionally been very challenging, but has always remained a real labour of love. To achieve funding and see the alkin brand grow would be a long-held dream come true.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch, either through Kickstarter or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best, Charlie Fowler
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Risks and challenges
Over the past year or so we have developed a strong relationship with all our supply chain and have full confidence in them. We have consciously chosen partners that have a proven track record of delivering quality and consistency over many years.
The transition from working prototype to production can be a challenge, but we cannot foresee any major problems at this point. All production tooling have been made and were used for the production of samples, so we are confident everything is in place to transition smoothly to mass production.
Parts are being sourced from Europe and the Far East, but all final checks and quality sign-off will be done in the UK prior to shipping to customers.
Most importantly, we will ensure that we keep our backers fully in the loop every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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