We are in August and sure thing is that I never saw so many new brands in our industry than this year…and yet Straits Foundry, another new microbrand, will be launched next September. It is true that the industry is suffering this year, but paradoxically, we see more and more small brands making their big debut… Interesting thing is that they often provide original and quality products.
Unlike many young brands, Straits Foundry will sell their watches directly on their website and without going through Kickstarter. When we see the success of brands launched on the crowdfunding platforms, we are entitled to ask if this is the right strategy.
The team is based in Singapore, and they are a curious crew of engineers by training and explorers on the weekends. So don’t try to find a professional of the watch industry in this team. They are more than that… Watch enthusiasts who have design as a hobby for years and years. But again, you’ll not find here an ultra-design piece, but simply a sober and classy timepiece, with some design points that can make the difference. But as the founder of Straits Foundry told me : “As we continue to learn and improve, we aspire to venture into more complicated designs”… So maybe we can expect great things in the future.
Straits Foundry is based in Singapore and will launch 2 models, the « Maiden Voyage » and the « Expedition » which will feature varying case finishes. All in, there will be 5 different products, each limited to a quantity of 500.
The « Maiden Voyage » is a formal piece that transitions well from the office to after work activities. This entry level automatic dress watch keeps things simple. Under the sapphire glass, the bright ceramic coated dial creates soft edges thanks to a 0.1mm debossment just inside of the hour track, while a cutout at 6 o’clock exposes the heart of the Miyota 82S5 movement. Also a concentric grain is applied around the sweeping second hand at 5 o’clock to give more depth to this subdial.
Things I like is that they put blue hands to give more contrast to the piece. The movement can also be seen on the caseback thanks to the sapphire crystal on which we will find the logo of the brand. This logo represent a Merlion, a creature which is half fish and half lion with a trident in the hands, and which is an iconic symbol of Singapore.
The modestly sized 40mm x 12,5mm case made of stainless steel looks comfortable thanks to its curved lugs, and is held in place by a hand-stitched crocodile strap featuring a lambskin inner lining. This piece will be sell around US$740.
The second piece of the collection named « Expedition », and is a more casual, pilot-inspired piece. This watch features a glossy black ceramic dial and metallic hands with a touch of lume. Cool thing in my opinion is the lume-traced numbers that create a strong contrast between the extremely black dial and the indexes.
In this piece the founders decided to put the automatic Miyota 82S0, which can be seen also through the caseback. Again, this round piece measures 40mm x 12,5mm. This piece will be retailed at a price of US$625.
Both collection have a screw-type crown and are 100m water which is not bad and also allow you to swim with. Last detail and not least for me, is that both timepiece are finished with a deployant clasp. This clasp is designed to reduce stress on the strap of a watch, so it will preserve the lifespan of your leather strap. You can easily adjust it to fit your wrist size. Really practical as you shouldn’t need to repeat these adjustments again and the watch will be always ready to wear.
More information to come soon on their website that you can find here.