Origin Watch Co. is inspired by the traditional craftsmanship and the rich history of mechanical watchmaking. We design and build vintage-inspired timepieces, with classic and modern styling, at an incredible value.
Ch 1: WHO WE ARE
Back to the Origin
Origin is the beginning of something, the first stage of existence, the root. We created Origin Watch Co. in 2014 to honor the design heritage of classic pocket and wrist watches and the 400-year old tradition of mechanical watchmaking. In the present age of digital wearable tech and computer-run assembly lines, we go back to the origins of watchmaking craft to design and build vintage-inspired, fully mechanical wrist-instruments.
Our passion and horological inspiration comes from classic timepieces of an epoch of traditional craftsmanship – the late 1800s and the middle of 20th century. It was an era of rising industrial watch production, invention and adoption of a wristwatch, advancements in precision and reliability of mechanical movements, tested in the battlefields of two World Wars.
Many watches of today attempt to multi-task your life, run on dying batteries, and have complex designs. We strive to bring back the simplicity and functionality of design, classic styling, sturdy construction and appreciation for the engineering genius of a mechanical watch.
While we do not manufacture watch components in-house or have a source for US made parts, we design, assemble, calibrate and test in our workshop in Memphis, TN. Building watches from high grade components manufactured overseas and bypassing the traditional wholesaler and distributor network allows us to be kind to your wallet and offer our timepieces for hundreds, if not thousands, less than a typical luxury watch brand.
Our first Kickstarter watch
Our first Kickstarter project is the second edition of our Field Watch. It is the next generation of our 1st edition Field Watch, which we have been building since 2014. Our Vintage Field Watch, inspired by the military timepieces of the 1940’s and 50’s, offers modern interpretation of a classic field watch. It is simple, clean but elegant in design, reminiscent of Elgin, Waltham, Breguet and Hamilton watches of that era. It is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement, originally developed in the 1950s for use in pocket watches.
If you'd like to read reviews about Vintage Field Watch from #watchfam community, please check out links to reputable watch review sites after the Timeline section.
Ch 2: DESIGN AND VARIATIONS
Vintage Field Watch 2nd Edition is a three register manual-winding mechanical wristwatch, offered in three dial variations: black, grey and white.
VINTAGE FIELD WATCH 2nd ed. BLACK features high contrast black dial and white numerals. The hour register and hands are painted with white luminous paint that glows blue in the dark. The hands are palladium-nickel plated. The remaining indexes, railway, logo and model name are printed in white. The case is strapped to a grey nylon canvas watch strap, with matching stitching and polished hardware.
VINTAGE FIELD WATCH 2nd ed. GREY features high contrast dark grey dial with khaki green numerals. The hour register and hands are painted with khaki green luminous paint that glows green in the dark. The hands are palladium-nickel plated. The remaining indexes, railway, logo and model name are printed in white. The case is strapped to an army green nylon canvas watch strap, with matching stitching and polished hardware.
VINTAGE FIELD WATCH 2nd ed. WHITE features white/silver dial with contrasted black numerals. Palladium nickel plated hands with a gun-metal finish are painted with white luminous paint that glows blue in the dark. The indexes, railway, logo and model name are printed in black. The case is strapped to a grey nylon canvas watch strap, with contrast stitching and polished hardware.
Case / Crystal
Field watches require sturdy construction using corrosion resistant materials. We selected 316L stainless steel, also known as surgical or marine grade steel, to design a case that is rugged, corrosion resistant, yet very comfortable on the wrist and highly appealing to the eye of the wearer. We chose steel over titanium or other materials for its durability and to ensure that the weight of our timepiece conveys a feeling of quality.
The case is constructed from three parts with alternating finishes; the middle section has distinctive linear brushing on the sides and top of the lugs, where the bottom of the case, the unique stepped bezel and the open caseback are mirror polished. These variations beautifully catch the light and reflections, making for a rugged, yet attractive case on your wrist.
We did not build a slim watch. Our 42mm case is visibly present on your wrist at 14mm in height. Despite its presence, we believe it is sized right and wears equally well in the field, with a casual outfit, and suited up, under a dress shirt and a jacket. To accommodate wrists of various sizes we angled and sloped down the lugs to provide additional comfort and a more fitted and natural look.
High-end Swiss and other watch manufacturers use high quality sapphire vs. less expensive and less durable mineral, acrylic or plastic crystals in luxury watches. We did not want to cut corners by using mineral or acrylic crystal. We are using a double-domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating to protect and display the dial and a flat 2mm-thick sapphire crystal on the back to guard and exhibit the mechanical movement. While sapphire crystals are expensive, it is the most durable and scratch resistant glass available today for watches.
The hands and setting the time are controlled by a pull-out crown. The crown is decorated with mirror polished edges and the 'OWC' (for Origin Watch Co.) letters that are machined and polished on top of the crown.
Typically, watches of this type are rated 30 (3 ATM) or 50 (5 ATM) meters water resistant. Our case is rated to 10 ATM or 100 meters water resistant, which means that you can wear the watch while washing hands, showering, or even swimming (but not diving.)
The case is fitted with a polished screw-in edge-to-edge open sapphire glass caseback to display gorgeously decorated mechanical movement.
Finally, we designed the case lugs for a 22mm curved end watch strap that nicely contours around the top and bottom of the case for an integrated fit and a refined look, nearly eliminating the empty space often found between the end of the strap and the case.
Dial / Hands
The dial is a large canvas that features big Arabic numerals, a 24-hour register, a recessed seconds sub-dial at 9 o'clock, military-style broadsword hands, and generous luminous properties for legibility in the dark.
We paid a lot of attention to every design detail of the dial. With the goal of less is more, we kept the design extremely simple where legibility rules the day (or night). The brass dial is painted with a flat finish, with indexes sharply printed in a contrasted paint (white on black, green on grey, or black on white). Since this is a field watch, we added a 24-hour register, tucked away between the railway track and the hour markers.
The flat finish of the dial is differentiated by the stunning radial pattern and the mirror-polished edge of the recessed sub-dial. The sub-dial features a simple 60 second or one minute counter that is swept by a nickel-polished well-balanced sweep-style seconds hand.
See some finer details of the White and Grey dials as we work to assemble the watches in our workshop:
The reflections of the sub-dial and its edge are mirrored by the polished finish of the nickel-plated broadsword hands that indicate the time of day or night, with the aid of luminous paint, clearly and precisely.
Here is a quick video demonstrating the sunburst effect of the sub-dial and the reflection of the nickel-plated hands:
To enhance visibility in the dark, we are using two SuperLuminova luminous paints on our dials and hands:
- Black dial watch has BGW9 white paint that glows blue in the dark
- Grey dial watch has khaki green C3 paint that glows green in the dark
- White dial watch has only BGW9 paint on hands as there is no luminous paint for black numerals
The hand-wound movement is the most original of all watch movements. We chose to build a hand-wound timepiece, because winding the crown of our watch directly connects you to more than 400 years of watchmaking craftsmanship. The process of hand winding the mainspring that sets the watch in motion is an authentic ritual, directly bonding you to the engineering marvel of tiny precision parts working together to tell time.
The beating heart of our timepiece is the Chinese-made mechanical hand-wound TY3600 caliber. TY3600 caliber is inspired from and manufactured after an old, but tried-and-true Swiss movement, originally built in the 1950s by Unitas for use in pocket watches. Some say that the movement actually originated with Cortebert as caliber 727, which is nearly identical to Unitas 497. Unitas became part of the Swiss ETA SA Manufacture Horlogere holding and the movement was released as ETA6497.
ETA6497 (and its brother 6498), known for its simplicity and reliability, became a wildly popular mechanical movement, when many Swiss, German and other luxury watchmakers used it as a base movement for their timepieces. The popularity of this mechanism can be attributed particularly to the luxury brand Panerai, which has been using the movement in its Radiomir, Luminor, and Luminor Marina models. Brands such as Alpina, Omega, Rado, and Tissot also use this movement in their manually winding watches.
We chose the TY3600 mechanism for several reasons:
- Swiss version ETA6497 is not available to a boutique watchmaker such as us, because ETA only sells their movements to companies in the Swatch Group conglomerate. Buying this movement from resellers would make our watches cost prohibitive.
- Purchasing directly from the movement manufacturer instead of resellers assures authenticity and guarantees quality.
- In our four-year experience using this movement we found it to be of high quality and excellent reliability. On top of that, TY3600 is beautifully decorated.
The movement has Rhodium finish. Plates and bridges are gorgeously decorated with parallel 'Geneva' stripes and secured with blued screws which offer a nice contrast in color to the 17 ruby jewels. Ratchet and crown wheels are beautifully polished in rhodium finish, while the remaining wheels (center, escape, fourth, and third) are polished in a contrasted gold finish.
Here is what The Wrist Watch Review had to say about our movement:
A true field watch needs a true field strap. For our watches, we selected a nylon fabric that is blended with canvas material. In the US, this fabric is known as Cordura and was originally developed by DuPont corporation. This type of fabric is known for its durability and resistance to abrasions, tears and scuffs and has over 45 years of applications in the military.
Just like with our leather straps, we matched the strap colors to the dial colors. The Black and White watches will come with the Grey Field Strap and the Grey Dial (with khaki green numerals) is matched with the Army Green Field Strap.
Each strap has matching color premium nylon thread stitched throughout, one sewn in and one floating keeper, mirror polished 316L stainless steel hardware with a laser-edged logo on the square buckle.
We used high quality leather liner on the back of the strap and decorated it with our company logo and 22 mm numeral, marking for the size of the strap.
These straps are sized at 120 mm (for long end) x 75 mm (for short end) in length and are about 3.5mm in thickness. Each strap is equipped with curved spring bars that attach it close to the body of the case for a polished, fitted look.
If you choose the Field Pack Reward, you will also receive a FREE Leather Field Strap. Our leather straps are crafted out of thick premium calf leather that has been dyed to achieve a vintage look, with light patina throughout the strap. We selected three different colors to compliment the three dials; a dark brown for the white dial, a light brown for the grey dial, and a brown band for the black dial watch.
Each strap has been stitched with a premium waxed linen tan thread. The edges are finished with a dark flat paint to match the black supple leather lining. Origin Watch Co. logo is embossed on the back of the strap. The strap secures to your wrist with a custom-designed square buckle. The polished stainless steel buckle features laser engraved company logo. We wanted to create an integrated fit between the case and the band, so we chose to design straps with curved ends, reducing the empty space between the band and the case. Each strap is equipped with curved spring bars that attach it close to the body of the case for a polished, fitted look.
Each strap has been stitched with a premium waxed linen tan thread. The edges are finished with a dark flat paint to match the black supple leather lining. Origin Watch Co. logo is embossed on the back of the strap. The strap secures to your wrist with a custom-designed square buckle. The polished stainless steel buckle features laser engraved company logo.
Ch 3: PACKAGING
We carried vintage inspiration into the design of our watch packaging. Your watch will be delivered in a vintage style pencil box, crafted from beautiful pine wood and finely sanded for a natural finish. The watch is securely protected by a foam insert inside the box.
Ch 4: REWARDS OVERVIEW
Ch 5: SPECIFICATIONS
Ch 6: TIMELINE
We have been successfully building watches since 2014. For this release we have already manufactured all the components necessary to build the watches for you. Since we have all the components at our workshop, we anticipate building and shipping watches immediately after the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign. This means you will be receiving your timepiece within a couple of weeks after the end of the campaign, and will not be waiting the typical four to six months required of the overseas manufacturing, assembly and shipping.
We need your support and help in funding the final assembly of the Vintage Field Watch.
Lastly, we want to share with you feedback from the #watchfam community about our watches. Please visit these sites to read reviews about our Vintage Field Watch 2nd Edition:
"Classic. Ageless. Timeless. These are all good descriptors for the Origin Vintage Field Watch. A watch that will always be in style, no matter what decade. Something you can wear whether you are 20 or 80." https://www.watchreport.com/origin-vintage-field-watch-hands-review/
"Anyone wowed by Shinola’s tale of American resurgence should be doubly impressed by Origin Watch Co.’s more refined take on what an affordable American watch can be. Like Shinola, these watches are assembled from foreign parts in the American heartland. But unlike Shinola, the star of the show here is a highly detailed mechanical movement. The dial, hands, and case of the Origin Watch Co. Vintage Field are also head and shoulders above most anything coming out of Detroit." https://wristwatchreview.com/2017/10/10/origin-watch-co-vintage-field-asks-shinola-who/
"There is something fun about hearing the loud ticking of this watch. It accomplishes one of OWC’s stated goals and what I look for in a field watch – something that takes me back in time each time I manually wind the watch. I am excited to see what else Origin Watch Company produces... This is a company to watch out for as they continue building and growing." https://sofrep.com/96437/origin-watch-company-merges-modern-watchmaking-historical-field-watch-roots/
"Like the first Origin, the 2nd Edition draws upon classic military watches, particularly those made by Elgin, Waltham, Breguet, and Hamilton in the 1950’s, but while the two models share a similar inspiration and layout, the 2nd edition is all new and to my eye, far more refined." http://www.thetimebum.com/2018/01/origin-field-watch-2nd-edition.html
Risks and challenges
Our main challenge is funding for labor required to assemble and test the watches in our workshop prior to shipping. If we are funded sooner than the end of the campaign, we anticipate shipping watches in batches even before the end of the campaign period.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)