1… 2… Say Cheese ! Click Click ! That’s the sound of a camera, and these days they come in many form; there’s DSLR, semi-pro, mirrorless, digital camera, etc. and smartphones with HD camera & video too. Wait a minute, isn’t this Microbrand Watch World ? Why the heck am I writing about cameras now ? Well, this next watch that I’m about to write a review for is a different version of an existing model by the same company that is already in the market today, and will be made available on Kickstarter !
Introducing TACS, which stands for Taste, Attractiveness, Creativity, Style and the story begun through Yoshiaki Motegi (Yoshi) who was inspired by the Japanese Zen philosophy. He believes that everyone should live in the moment and embrace their surroundings, which is why through one of his passion, photography inspired the birth of Vintage Lens. As mentioned, it’s already in the market but the latest Limited Edition Automatic Vintage Lens on Kickstarter will be a total upgrade from their existing version which are as listed below :
- Sapphire Crystal vs Mineral Glass
- Automatic Miyota 82S0 vs Quartz Miyota 2036
- Black IP with Gold Plated case vs Stainless Steel case
- Skeleton front and back case vs Enclosed design
- Water Resistance of 10ATM vs 5ATM
I had the privilege to field test it for a week now, and finally, I’m able to share my thoughts about it with you so that you would have a better idea what you are about to get… First of all, TACS isn’t a new brand in the watch industry and that ticks off the worries for most kickstarter backers like myself about pledging for a new brand without any experience as well as dodgy campaign that sometimes deliver what was not originally planned and sometimes doesn’t deliver at all. Secondly, they have a working prototype that is being reviewed by several watch reviewers including myself and an actual life product that is in the market today, which I’m referring to their Quartz version. And finally, you are backing a reputable company that believes Unique is Simple, and Vintage Lens is truly a unique design in today’s market.
What do i think bout it ?
Let’s begin about my experience from the moment I received the parcel. So, it came through courier, and opening it is a white squarish estimated 12cm x 12cm x 12cm. Don’t worry, on kickstarter you’ll be getting a much better packaging that what I received… Anyway, back to opening up the box, I see a watch that is covered by leather cover and understanding the concept, every lens should have a cover protection (lens cap) and Vintage Lens is no exception in this case. I love how TACS looked into this perspective in detail and though the leather cover serves no purpose but to protect the watch case only, it’s this sort of little extra effort that would attract photographers that has no interest in watches. I knew the design was inspired from a camera lens, but once I opened the cover, the fisheye effect lens truly amazes me even though I knew what I am about to see. That’s a lens on a watch !
The center part is a see-through dial that offers the view of the Miyota movement, which resembles how a lens can only complement with a body, and that body is the dial that turns moment into pictures. The markings around the dial is given focal length and aperture numbers which resembles what a typical lens would be, but instead with a twist it’s also indicating time. On most lens, there is a focus ring feature (rangefinder) and it’s no exception that is made available on Vintage Lens whereby it’s bezel is bidirectional, rotatable without any clicks and feels like a focus ring too. The bezel engravement indicates the diameter of the watch which felt like how a lens filter would look like. However, the bezel serves no purpose at all on this design.
Moving on with the caseback of the watch, which is a see through display case that offers the Miyota movement view. I like how the caseback design where it incorporates 3 small screws and 1 large screw that gives it an unbalanced view to look at but interestingly a different perspective to see. Finishing the case off with black IP and gold plating is a thick genuine leather made from American Calf with Vegetable Tanning, and need TACS confirmed that the strap is made by SPALDING, the same brand that makes basketball for NBA ! Now that is the strap I love to have on my wrist all day long…
What I didn’t enjoy bout it ?
Overall, it’s a design-theme watch which focuses its’ inspiration purely on photography. For me, the lack of lume on its’ hand or dial is something I missed a lot as it’s very difficult to tell time especially in the dark. The hand contrast with half black and half gold against the background dial colour is not really readable even on broad daylight. Nothing against the strap that came with it (which I like a lot), but would love to see it on a vintage denim strap instead.
So… my final words on this…
Besides the lacking of lume and the poor contrast of the hand colour, I still find this an interesting watch worth to consider to be added into anyone’s collection and especially if you love photography. Oh, did I mentioned that this is made in Japan ? Yes, that’s right, not your typical made in China or Swiss kinda kickstarter campaign, right ? I’ll end this hands on review with a full specs of the watch below and to advise all readers to consider backing them on kickstarter ! As saying goes, “We see the world through the lens of all our experiences and time is a lens for experience“