Sometimes a watch just hits you in the feels. The moment you see it, the connection is so visceral you don’t even realize what has occurred until Paypal sends you an email verifying your purchase. For me that watch was the Aquastar Deepstar.
The Avro Pilot is available in three colourways: Black, Navy, and Grey. Each iteration is limited to 105 pieces, in honour of the aircraft’s designation series. Like the Arrow, the Avro is a Flieger-styled pilot’s watch with a 43mm titanium case and oversized crown. It also employs AR-coated sapphire crystal, but rather than a solid etched caseback, the Avro has a sapphire exhibition glass.
The launch of any watch by Farer is reason enough for fanfare. The brand’s new Field Watch Collection is no exception. And unlike a lot of microbrand launches, there will be no wait time on this one. The Exmoor, Lomond, and Pembroke are ready and waiting for immediate shipping.
Trampe, unlike a lot of microbrand founders, is himself a watchmaker. He studied the craft for four years in Schoonhoven, Netherlands before seeking to launch his own company. In fact, he also studied commercial economics and undertook two important internships—one at a jewelry and watch business, the other behind the bench at a Rolex service centre. Simply put, Trampe had apprenticed himself to both sides of the watch industry: technical and commercial.
That a microbrand might wish to democratize the watch purchasing process—that is avoid markups while producing a quality product—is nothing new. What does, however, differentiate Lorier from other brands is that they are not fixed on collectors. Lorier, instead, has constructed their brand around the principle of the “one watch collection.”
The Ambassador takes it lead from the Flieger tradition which put the Whitby Watch Co. on the map, but then banks hard right with more contemporary design cues. The lovely sweep of its traditional stainless-steel pilot-style case offers a choice of modern updates: a brash brushed silver or a deep black PVD.
The whisper of it conjures images of Cousteau, Marianna’s Trench, and the Trieste Bathyscape—in other words, the Aquastar invokes the Golden Age of maverick ocean exploration when divers pushed the limits of technology and sanity in plumbing the depths.
It is the platonic ideal of a vintage dive watch. It ticks all the boxes and leaves nothing wanting…once you’ve held it, if you didn’t know better, you’d swear to have come across a NOS version of a true vintage diver that had been waiting patiently in someone’s drawer for you to come along and claim it as your own.
In some respects, The Windrose defies categorization. It is not a dive watch, in the traditional sense, though it enjoys 200 meters water resistance with a screw-down crown. With its dearth of legible numerals, it certainly isn’t a field or pilot’s watch. Its bezel does not have a tachymeter, diving increments, or a 24-hour GMT function. In fact, it’s fixed. But in a weird way, that’s what is so attractive about this piece. It’s not like anything else.
One of the more exciting microbrand launches on Kickstarter right now is the Ama Diver from Albany Watches. Clearly inspired by the skin diver aesthetic of the 1960s, the Ama is nonetheless a modern diver all its own.