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Unique case design, swiss made movt, sapphire crystal, custom components. Our camera inspired watch launches on Kickstarter first.
Unique case design, swiss made movt, sapphire crystal, custom components. Our camera inspired watch launches on Kickstarter first.
38 backers pledged $5,577 to help bring this project to life.

About

Foto Nouveau: Swiss Movt Watches Inspired by Camera Design project video thumbnail
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$5,577

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Foto Nouveau combines design elements of classic film and modern digital cameras into unique small batch time pieces and accessories. The results are products that reflect visual and tactile elements of medium format and 35mm camera design. They are easily worn to a formal function or your next photo shoot.

A camera is amazing product design, both functional and beautiful. Classic manufacturers like Hasselblad, Leica, Mamiya and Olympus built film cameras that even 50+ years later are reliable, solidly built, and iconic. The textures, the dials, and weight of these cameras give you confidence to frame your shot. Foto Nouveau aims to bring these camera design elements and sentiments into something tactile that you can wear every day. We balance quality with camera aesthetics and design to create something special and unique. Our products are made in small batches with high craftsmanship, Swiss made movements, and quality components.

Our first watch case is inspired by the camera lens. The knurled edge mimics the focus ring and the red dot reflects the mounting point of a camera lens to the camera body. The domed sapphire crystal peeks over the case when viewed in profile mimicking the glass element of the camera lens.

Domed sapphire glass peeks over the case
Domed sapphire glass peeks over the case
Inspiration for the case design
Inspiration for the case design
Etched back
Etched back

The case back has a deep etching of the logo and component information. 8 screws are set flush to the case and tighten down for water resistance up to 5 ATM.

Another Kickstarter watch?

What makes this watch different from many projects on Kickstarter? There are many watch companies that use components off the shelf. Spend a few minutes looking around and you'll see a common theme: minimal, case that you think you've seen before, inexpensive movement, pry off case back (that offers little water resistance). The results are often generic watches that look similar to others. Our case was designed and built from scratch and is made from three parts. We spent as much time considering the front look as the design on the back of watch. We use a sapphire crystal with custom silver trim. We don't use spring bars to connect the straps, instead a more expensive screw bar. The strap, hands, internal bezel, buckles, crown, and dial faces are all custom made for Foto Nouveau.

Swiss Made Quartz Movement

Why use quartz? Quartz watch movements are extremely accurate and low maintenance. We wanted to use a high quality, respected movement supplier. Ronda is a swiss company specializing in quartz watch movements and parts. They provide parts for watch movements of brands like Shinola. Ronda AG has been a supplier of quality swiss made movements and parts for 70 years.

We are launching with two watches, offering one style in two colors.

VIEWFINDER With Black or White Dial Face

Our Viewfinder watch is inspired by the optics used in many cameras to frame, compose, and often focus a shot. A camera's viewfinder often conveys critical information such as the aperture, shutter speed, and in some cases the autofocus points. 

  • 42 mm diameter, 50 mm from lugs, 11mm thick
  • 316L stainless steel case, matte PVD black finish 
  • Swiss made Ronda Big Date movement
  • Multilayer dial
  • Domed sapphire crystal 
  • 20 mm lugs 
  • Calf leather strap
  • Etched screw case back 
  • Water Resistant 5 ATM 
  • Threaded strap screw bars 
  • 1 year warranty
Viewfinder black dial face
Viewfinder black dial face
Viewfinder white dial face
Viewfinder white dial face

OBJECTIVE With Black Dial Face

Our Objective watch references the glass lens element closest to the subject and is inspired by workhorse 50mm prime lenses. The 50mm lens is often regarded as replicating a perspective closest to the human eye.

  • 42 mm diameter, 50 mm from lugs, 11mm thick
  • 316L stainless steel case, matte PVD black finish 
  • Swiss made Ronda movement 
  • Multilayer dial
  • Domed sapphire crystal 
  • 20 mm lugs 
  • Calf leather strap
  • Etched screw case back 
  • Water Resistant 5 ATM 
  • Threaded strap screw bars 
  • 1 year warranty
Objective
Objective

The T shaped lugs give the case an unbroken circular shape. When viewed from most angles, the case appears to be "floating" on the wrist.

Viewfinder on male wrist
Viewfinder on male wrist
Viewfinder white dial face
Viewfinder white dial face
Objective on small female wrist
Objective on small female wrist

For over a decade, I have been working in the photography industry as an Art Director at a large photo agency. I've been fortunate to work with photographers on photo and video productions around the world and I love the community and talent I have been lucky enough to collaborate with. I am also a photographer, illustrator, and educated in industrial design. I have always considered myself a maker, whether shooting my own photography or building a piece of furniture.

In 2013, my venture into creating Foto Nouveau began with the purchase of my first 3D printer. Creating tangible objects with the 3D printer without having to rely on classic means of fabrication was exciting. It allowed me to quickly iterate and vet designs faster than ever. Although my team used traditional manufacturing techniques for the end product, the 3D prototyping creative process was vital in the conceptual design of our watches.

3D printed prototype and sketches
3D printed prototype and sketches

Building our company and brand from the ground up has been more than a two year process. Manufacturing times can range from 6-12 months depending on the supply chain. We view this project as ongoing. The first part begins with our initial line of watches. These watches will ship to our Kickstarter backers in April 2016. Your financial support will be spent on our marketing expenses for launch to the general public, final product packaging, and to get a head start on future batch manufacturing.

Final watches and packaging being assembled
Final watches and packaging being assembled

Risks and challenges

The risks for this project are low. We have absorbed most of the risk by self funding our initial batch of watches. After two years of development, we have the final production pieces in hand. There is no manufacturing remaining for the first phase of this project. The project will be packed and shipped first to Kickstarter backers in April 2016 before being offered to the general public.

As a Kickstarter project supporter you may need to pay additional shipping and VAT. Shipping to lower 48 states of the United States is FREE, but the following countries will have additional shipping charges:

Lower 48 United States FREE
Alaska and Hawaii, United States $20
Canada $20
United Kingdom $30
France, Germany, Spain $45
Hong Kong, Japan $50

Customers in Alaska and Hawaii, please choose U.S. shipping and add an additional $20 to your pledge.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Your name published on our site as a founding supporter. You will also receive the opportunity to purchase future accessories before the general public. And most importantly, our heartfelt thank you.

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    10 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Receive one Objective watch at $100 off retail. Includes watch, custom leather strap, lens case inspired box, and 1 year warranty card. We will publish your name on our site as a founding supporter. A Kickstarter exclusive includes an additional PVD black watch buckle to swap out with the brushed stainless steel for a different look.

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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 6 backers
    $
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive one Viewfinder watch with black dial at $100 off retail. Includes watch, custom leather strap, lens case inspired box, and 1 year warranty card. We will publish your name on our site as a founding supporter. A Kickstarter exclusive includes an additional PVD black watch buckle to swap out with the brushed stainless steel buckle for a different look.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive one Viewfinder Watch with white dial at $100 off retail. Includes watch, custom leather strap, lens case inspired box, and 1 year warranty card. We will publish your name on our site as a founding supporter. A Kickstarter exclusive includes an additional PVD black watch buckle to swap out with the brushed stainless steel buckle for a different look.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

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

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)