Hi to all of you Watch Enthusiasts around the globe…
The Compass (Windstar) with four cardinal directions and Astrolabe was invented to help sailors and captains to travel throughout the sea and they are synonymous for navigation, so this collection are inspired by the art of directing vessels through traditional practice, geometry, astronomy, and special instruments.
Here is a watch, actually current KS campaign for WindStar watch from Martin Design or, in short MD WindStar.
I received this watch just few days ago and was first checking campaign on KS website. In full honesty, I wasn’t sure if I like it or not. Bezel was looking huge, dial small and plus that, I was receiving black PVD version of watch and I’m not big fan of black watches.
After checking some general info, decided to open a parcel and revile the watch box, which wasn’t looking bad, not bad at all especially because it is pre production box went thru many hands. Nice watch box with metal plate and engraved Windstar (compass) on it. On opening of watch box and revealing the watch I was, well, there is no other word than, surprised.
But, let start with specification of watch. Pure and simple:
- Case – 44mm 316L stainless steel
- Overall thickness – 13mm
- Front glass – Sapphire crystal, flat with inner AR coating
- Case Back – Screw on, closed with engravings or open with sapphire crystal
- Lug to Lug (L2L) – 48mm
- Between Lugs – 22mm
- Water Resistance – 100m/330ft (10ATM)
- Strap – Leather, Full Grain or Croc, with deployment clasp
- Luminescent material – Swiss Superluminova C3
- Movement – automatic, Swiss Sellita SW260-1 (31jewels/38hr power reserve/28.800BHP) or SeaGull TY2706 (ST17) (26jewels/40hr power reserve/21.600BPH)
- Warranty – 24 month against manufacturing defects
There are several options regarding case colour, dial numerals with or without lume and two different movements and you can combine an option you like the most, so everybody could find something for herself/himself. Cases are silver, gold/black colour PVD or full mat black colour PVD. There are choices between two similar by layout but in different price range automatic mechanical movements, SW260-1 or TY2706(ST17). You also can choose between Romans or Arabic numerals on dial and by latest info, both are will be available with inserted lume in numerals. Handset is available with or without applied lume on them.
My personal choice is gold/black or silver case, TY2706 movement, dial with Roman numerals and applied lume all over dial and handset (minute and hour hands).
Silver case is combination of high polished and satin brushed surfaces. Black PVD has matt finish but Gold colour PVD parts have satin brushed finish.
Back case will come in two options, full silver stainless steel with Windstar logo engraved in centre or with exhibition sapphire window. Think that open show back case is worth with SW260-1 because that is one nice finished movement.
Crown is with sand blasted logo on top and is screw in/out type with a lot of grip but not too massive and in shape of flattened onion. On each side are crown guards and they are machined without any sharp edge. Lug tips are nice down shaped with clear radius which will naturally follow wrist curvatures.
My honest guess is that this watch, without any problem, will be wearable on smaller, elegant wrists without any problem. First, because small L2L, than because natural curvature of lug tips and in the end, because even if overall diameter of watch is 44mm, bezel is only 42mm in outer diameter which visually make this watch smaller than actually is. Perfect combination for all wrist sizes.
Bezel is following same style as case. Silver and Gold PVD bezel are satin brushed in circular pattern and Black colour PVD is matt finished. But this is not some usual bezel. At 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock from outside, bezel is cut out machined with silver pointers embedded on each side for West and East. On top and bottom of bezel are screwed silver round pins with letter N on upper one for North and S on lower one for South. Between this compasses markings are silver screws which hold bezel firmly connected to case and also are additional compass markings.
Width of bezel is 3.8mm which is in fact less than many other bezels. In rendered pictures on KS website watch looks like is whole made from bezel. In reality, the truth is exactly opposite. Big dial and thin bezel which is not movable, and watch have Water Resistance ratings of 100m/330ft/10ATM.
Dial is story of its own. It is a big dial with a lot of different elements which are complementing nautical design idea. There are elements of Astrolabe instruments, Compass mirror surfaces, Compass styled hand set and true star of dial or real Wind Rose styled small second hand at 6 o’clock position. Few times I catch myself looking at small second Windstar when I was actually wanted just to glance on current time, beautiful and addictive. Rose Star or WindStar with ring are layered for small second hand movement with one tip in red colour.
The two different indexes lettering, Roman and Arabic, are chosen to bring different worlds together. Arabic lettering is painted on high polished stainless steel outer ring for minute markings, and for Roman lettering indexes they chose 3D half circle ring with silver matt finish. Superluminova will be applied on hour indexes and on hand set which will also have bright red tip on each hand. I actually numbered 5 different elements on dial plus hand set and small second shaped as WindStar. I am sure that you will spend a lot of time just looking at dial and explore all dimensions of it.
Current leather strap, which I did find on the watch, is very comfortable, soft and very important for me, long enough for my 21cm (8.2inch) wrist, but that can be also thankful to butterfly clasp with double button release. On top of clasp is etched Windstar symbol.
There will be more different strap colour to choose from and type of (Full Grain or Croc). Because I can’t tell how good the other leather strap will be, I can only say that current, soft padded strap is made from quality leather and red stitching finish is nice touch to whole picture and it works really nice with whole watch.
I receive watch in box very similar to production one. One of changes will be using real leather, which will give even better experience and feeling.
After some Q&A with designer and creator of this watch, Martin Iglody, I find that there will be some changes on better in production model from this one I have for review, which is only second prototype. So, maybe the best option is to check on MD WindStar KickStarter Campaign for latest updates.
Conclusion: Must be honest and say that I do not like renders from campaign page and was a bit suspicious when was opening the box with watch inside, plus I’m not big fan of black/very dark PVD or DLC watches. But I did promise myself and did tell Martin that I will be brutally honest and objective.
Well, lets say that I was surprised in good way. Renders on the page are totally misleading because watch looks like whole face is made from bezel, but in reality, bezel is less than 4mm thick, and dial is full of embossed details which are just popping out from dial. Crazy.
As I mention before, my choice is TY2706 movement with Roman hour numerals and applied lume everywhere (hour numerals and hand set). Only thing I’m not sure is will I go for silver, clean 316L case or Gold/Black PVD finish. But, regarding the current price on KS (185eur/165gbp/230usd), most probably, both. Also, you can find quick unboxing and first thought of the watch on my YT channel “Dado Ribich”. It is not real video review, just recording when opening parcel and box with watch, in case something is damaged during transport, but I will record review and follow up in few days, just before returning the watch, so stay tuned.
For all my pictures and videos I’m using Samsung Note5 camera.
Thanks for reading, take care of yourself and Happy Watch Hunt.