When I met with someone from Watchismo to first check the 666 Barcelona watch collection, I quickly wanted to get a question I had out of the way. On the 666 Barcelona page on the Watchismo website, there is a small story about how the retailer learned about the brand by literally stumbling upon it while in Spain during a walk down a busy street. As the story goes, the brothers who run Watchismo saw the collection in a storefront, and later learned that the brand was locally distributed only. The cool, modern styles of the brand fit their tastes and eShop well, and soon after they brought the brand aboard.
666 Barcelona ("666") is a fun, lighthearted watch brand with a lot of character, and not a lot of price. Not luxury watches, these are instead enjoyable diversions that make a fun impression. While you don't have to like the entire collection, there are some gems in the mix. Here I'll show you a sampling of the cool things you can get from 666 Barcelona, for between $150 - $200. These are fashion watches for people who don't actually want a fashion watch.
666 designs range between mod retro and purely avant garde. Lovers of quirky LED timepieces will find offerings here, and people who want a "big, different watch for not a lot of money" will also spend time browsing the brand's offerings. Actually, the brand has a lot of pieces, and ones for both men and women. I would say that the design theme is a sort of polished deconstructionist. Shedding away rules of conduct that govern most conventional timepieces. 666 watches don't want to obfuscate telling the the time, but are more interested in playing with themes and visual space. Take for example the 666 Megabyte collection. An offering of large black square dialed watches with a mystery face. Looking more 2001: A Space Odyssey than timepiece, the watch uses a Swiss quartz movement to push around two discs with dots of them around a colored ring to tell the time. It is actually not hard to read, and the colored ring comes in a few colors as well. 45mm wide and $199.
666 has a funny habit of making the hour and minute hand the same size. Differentiating them in color as opposed to length. It can be hard to get used to, but it is charmingly quirky. Speaking of charmingly quirky, notice the 666 "John" watch for women. A large 45mm wide steel watch for ladies with a really long thin leather strap. The dial is clean but crazy, and has those equal size hands I was talking about. Watchismo can't keep these pieces in stock. To wear the watch, a woman must creatively wrap the strap around her wrist many times bondage-style, to attached the piece. The interesting watch isn't for every woman, but it is a fascinating experiment. Feels like something out of sci-fi limbo when you don't know whether the future is going to be better or worse that today. The stark uncertainty of the design plays with horological traditionalism.The 666 John watches come in various colors and go for $149.
Probably the most iconic of 666's current collection is the Under Pressure models. Based on the style of a pressure gauge, this is a weird, but oddly wonderful watch. Also 45mm wide in steel, the dial comes in metallic orange, gold, silver, or textured black, with an orange seconds hand an a negative LCD display for the time. The watch actually has two movements. One for the LCD based Swiss quartz movement, and another for the independent seconds hand that goes around the dial once each 30 seconds. The two movements aren't connected, and you can start and stop the central seconds hand by pulling the crown out. Weird? Totally, but it has a really fun appeal. Also comfy on a wide black leather strap in the lugless case that 666 likes to use. $159 each - a possible gotta-have for trendy types.
The most standard looking piece here is the 666 XXL Hand timepiece. Set in a large 45mm wide black steel case, the XXL Hand has a sloped flange ring and a simple to use dial. The layout here is the most traditional out of their pieces, but still interesting. Futuristic font with black and red accents looks nice on the dial. This is the most fashion-equse of the watches here. The design of the particular model I am showing you here reminds me of Porsche Design a bit. Do you see that? Other models come with different dials in metallic brown. I also like the spelled out hours. each is $159.
Gadget guys love digital watches, but you don't always want to be as predictable as a Casio. So there exists a whole world of non-Casio digital watches out there when you want to be a bit different. I love Casio (a lot), but sometimes you want something a bit less.. plastic. As example of 666's "brick" style LCD watches is the James. Coming in steel or gold toned steel, the watch has a sense of humor. Strong and aggressive looking in its angular block of a case, the actual LCD display is but a small part of the watch. It has large pushers to adjust the time, and is almost a joke on the concept of "over-sized." You know I hate the term "over-sized," but this watch actually does represent it. It is too big for the LCD screen, and that is the point. The James is actually one of my favs because it looks good, and has a sense of humor. Comes on a leather strap of a matching metal bracelet. Priced $149 - $199.
So there you have it. New watches from a quirky Spanish brand. Not perfect, but priced for spontaneity. If they cost much more, I could easily go over the designs and construction with a fine comb, but not at these prices. These are the types of watches you see, and know for a fact you'd wear once in a while or for a period in your life. Not serious time telling tools, but man-cessories (wait, there are women pieces too) you feel like strutting around with once in a while. 666 Barcelona watches are exclusively available via Watchismo.com in the US, where you can go to buy them online.
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Thanks to Watchismo.com for the review units. Opinions are 100% independent.