Why are Revolution and The Rake e-tailing and championing a watch under $900? And why am I bigging it up? For several reasons. First of all, we live in a time when the mechanical watch is at risk of losing its relevance to the next generation. Not because of the dominance of technology, not because time is readily available from a seemingly infinite myriad of omnipresent electronic screens that blink and blare at us from every possible corner of our lives. But because of complacency and a little bit of arrogance. Arrogance in what way? Well this relates to the immense cost of luxury watches that in the context of a young person’s life, where they have rent, school loans, a car loan if they are lucky, the watch is the last priority in their lives. Especially if their starting price is three to five thousands of dollars. And I can understand in the context of today why Instagram friendly experiences like a road trip to Tulum, a concert, a culinary adventure has taken precedence. Not because the mechanical watch is not appealing, but simply in terms of relative value, it is not really that great of a proposition. I mean, you can have a hell of a lot of incredible experiences and create some really cool images for five thousand dollars.
The other thing, which I’ve always found somewhat amusing is that it is as if watch brands when creating a sub-$1,000 offer, were given the dictate from the parent groups: “Make it decent but not so nice looking that it might threaten the appeal of our more expensive watches.” And so the fact is that for many years anything in the price category with the exception of Japanese watches like Seiko Divers, which were particularly cool when modded by Bill Yao, was largely bereft of anything even vaguely appealing. The category was essentially an afterthought. Relegated to the junior designer and told that his target audience were people purchasing bland soulless timepieces from the Duty Free catalogue.
But all that has changed. Thanks to the rise of a handful of appealing startups which are designing great looking retro-modern timepieces at $500-$800 price points. And thanks in large part to one incredible brand named Hamilton. I defy anyone, your most hard core watch pundit, grizzled jaded watch journalist or urbane horological sophisticate to tell me that the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical is not an outright superb timepiece.