Devon Tread 1 Watch Hands-On

Devon Tread 1 Watch Hands-On

Here it is, hands-on coverage with a close to final production ready prototype of the highly anticipated Devon Tread 1 watch. While it tells the time and is a luxury item, the Devon Tread 1 shares very little with the rest of the high-end watch world. Despite the fact that it has plenty of moving parts, this isn't a mechanical watch in the traditional sense. It uses a micro-controller board, rechargeable battery, and small motors to power the movement, as opposed to being a purely mechanical machine that is spring powered. There are a series of small, micro one-step motors in the movement that pull the treads that indicate the time. The treads are sophisticated reinforced nylon belts that move around the dial in a ballet of synchronized moves. The video should illustrate that well. The Tread 1 is really among the most gadgety watches I have ever had the pleasure of wearing.

I wrote a bit more about it on the Jameslist Blog when it was first announced, but I wanted to wait to get further into it, until after I got my hands on the watch itself for some play time. Size wise it is pretty big. The squarish case is a nice mixture of curves and angles, but its dimensions are hefty. Still, the Tread 1 is surprisingly comfortable to wear. Unlike other large sizes watches with "novel" designs, the Tread 1 is a watch I think I could wear for hours and hours without and discomfort. Part of this has to do with the curved lug structures, and the form fitting, thick rubber strap. The case is in steel, due to have various levels of polish, and the back part of the watch will be DLC (diamond like carbon) coated. This prototype is sans DLC. Crystal over the dial is not sapphire, but rather the same type of polycarbonate that are used for bullet-proof windows. While at this thickness the Devon Tread 1 won't stop a bullet, it does provide for something a bit more durable on the shatter resistance side than sapphire. Though sapphire would be more scratch resistant. However, a sapphire crystal of this shape would be extremely expensive and difficult to manufacture, significantly upping the price of this watch.

It is a good idea to understand why this watch came into existence. It is the brainchild of Scott Devon, owner of the Devon line of luxury goods. Devon is working to have a full line of clothes, fragrances, and more. There was even the Devon GTX supercar, that may eventually see its way to full production. The two existing cars are beautiful American supercars. The Tread 1 is hopefully the start of an entire new type of luxury watch brand. American in spirit, design, and manufacture. Most of the parts in the Tread 1 watch are made by aerospace part suppliers, and the watch is assembled in Southern California. Almost no one who is supplying parts to the Tread 1 has ever made, or supplied parts to a watch before. This is a new experience for them all, which gives the Tread 1 a look and feel that is unique among the legions of novel European watches that are theoretical competitors. At the same time, while the Tread 1 isn't a cheap watch, it is far less expensive than other wild looking watches of this type that you'd find coming out of Switzerland. Further, almost all the part in the Tread 1 are made specially for the watch. Save for the small motors and screws...

As a computer and a electronic device with motors, using the watch is a bit different than standard mechanical watches. The movement functions include the hours, minutes, and seconds, as well as a function for indicating the power reserve of the battery. On a full charge, the lithium ion battery should last two weeks. The watch can be "turned off" by pressing in the crown for a few seconds. This stops the treads, but allows the watch to continue telling the time for along time until you turn it back on again. The crown is more like a switch. It is a pushers, and can be moved from left to right like a switch. It doesn't spin all the way around. When adjusting the time, pushing the crown in one direction adjusts the hours, while pushing it in another direction adjusts the minutes. The final crown will have a nice Devon logo engraved in it by the way.

You'll find that despite the complexity of the techie looking dial, the time is really easy to read through the proper windows. The tread with the seconds indicators on it is constantly moving horizontally on the lower dial. It makes a noise that sounds like a bionic quartz watch. To make a smaller watch with less power consumption, Devon is also working on a Tread 2 model that only shows the hours and minutes. No release or schedule for completion has been set for the Tread 2 however.

Like all those gimmicky wireless charging pads for you phones, the Tread 1 also uses wireless charging to keep the battery powered. Only here, induction charging makes more sense. There will be a unit built into the watch case that is used for charging the watch. Simply place it down on the charger and let it do its thing. The case itself needs to be plugged in to the wall. Apparently the induction charging system was a pain to engineer, but it seems to work well, and produces a safe and convenient way to charge the watch. Power for the battery only last two weeks because of the large draw of power used up by the constantly moving seconds belt.

As the Tread 1 is closer to a computer than a tradition watch, it is something with software - which can be upgraded. The same place in Southern California that will assemble the watch will also service it. Devon is set up to fully support its customers and service the Tread 1 timepieces when necessary. Enough people are confident in the product that they have some major retail partners, including Tourneau, which will be one of the places you get get a Tread 1 watch in a few months when they are released. Also look for a dedicated Devon boutique to open in Beverly Hills soon.

At $15,000 the Devon Tread 1 is sort of alone in the the market. Other fancy luxury watches that tell time in unique manners are closer to, or above $100,000. Then again, those are purely mechanical pieces with different types of materials, and manufacturing practices. Can you compare watches that the Devon Tread 1 reminds you of, with the Tread 1? Not really in my opinion. I see the Tread 1 as a luxury gadget that tells the time. Being American, and California grown, it shares more in common personality-wise with luxury sports cars, motorcycles, airplanes, and other modern high performance machines, than say traditional watch making. Not everyone is going to love the Tread 1, but I think it is pretty cool. It will CERTAINLY grab people's attention, and you'll be impressed at how it isn't like all the things you see out of Switzerland - but rather an actually novel timepiece that will make a satisfying addition to any collector's treasure trove, who is  beckoned by the design and technology that Devon has created.

  • Tony Ball

    $15,000? I´m saving up already!

  • Kevin

    If you leave the price tag on it, you may still have a slim chance of attracting a girlfriend while you’re wearing it.

  • Steve Wozniak

    Devon can give me one and I will wear it in the ‘right’ places. I mean around the ‘right’ people, of course!

    • http://ablogtowatch.com admin

      Steve,
      Honor to have reading and participate in the conversation. Based upon the timepieces you’ve enjoyed in the past, such as the Nixie – the Tread 1 seems like a logical compliment to your taste. Devon will be pretty lucky to have you wearing one if that comes to pass. I will let them know of your interest.

      So I want to know… who are some of the “right people” that would appreciate the watch? Thanks again for reading!

  • http://www.teknospor.tk teknospor

    thanks you very much. I like your sites.

  • Troy Hanson

    That thing is amazing!

  • BIG CHRONO

    Am I looking @ a watch, or a skeletonized petrol
    pump gauge?! These gimmicky gizmos keep on comin’.
    “Geared” to the gentry of course, but the niche
    markets invite myriad creativity & lofty prices.

  • Shinytoys

    I love it…where’s the clutch???

  • Frank

    While I can appreciate the complexity of the movement, this Devon strikes as trying too hard to be different and falls flat in execution. Quite frankly, it looks terrible.

    Now, the VincenTerra, that a whole different animal…

  • pat. i

    I’m always fascinated and amazed by the complexity and imagination behind high end time pieces. This one appears to be the result of one nightnigther bewteen a stocke ticker and a Stanley tape measure.

    But I’ve made it a habit over the past year to check out the watches of others. All I can say is
    I see nothing but Rolexes, ATGs and Breitlings and Omegas.

    So my question is – who wears these? Probably no one.

    A more disturbing question – when this maker goes belly up and has to liquidate his impecabbly restored atelier and black turtleneck collection, who’s gonna fix this thing?

    • http://ablogtowatch.com admin

      They have their own service center, which is good.

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  • SvenC

    GREAT piece!

    WOW

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  • Kris C.

    Too cool for school! I love the execution here – I imagine that the production version will keep that part up.
    It looks really big in the shot of it just being held, but when you see it on the wrist it actually looks pretty good. From a distance, you might have people think you are Dick Tracy making a call from your wrist phone. I think that if it had a ‘normal’ crown placement, it would totaly take the feel in a different direction and give it a bit of a goofy look.

    All in all, I’d be more than happy to sport this one – what a head-turner it would be!

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  • Sampaio

    Anyone got a release date on this watch?? Who is going to sell it? I think i might be one of the first in line.

    • http://ablogtowatch.com admin

      Tourneau will have it – at least some shops. Should be out this fall.

  • bpsingh

    after a long time i am seeing a watch which is not a ‘version’ of any earlier watch.This is ‘original’ .It looks complex still tells time in a very simple manner which is what a watch is supposed to do.now a days watches are becoming more and more intimidating.The dial is cluttered with so many dials and so much of information that one does not know when one would get time and strenght to read the ‘time’ .This watch looks beautiful besides looking like a machine.
    The ‘hours’ belt going underneath ‘minutes’ cross belts’ is a good thought and saves the trouble of hiding unread numbers.’Minutes’ cross belts are unique,havent seen them any where else.Another fantastic thing about this watch is that all the innovations are seen clearly unlike other complicated watches which are prohibitively costly due to many added innovations which are hidden somewhere inside .
    though costly it is worth $15000.hope one day it would be a bit cheaper and affordable then i would definitely buy it.
    congrats to the innovator

  • Bob Micheletto

    Puts my Breitling to shame. I love the concept. Is it light weight?

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  • Chris

    $15000 for this sh_t ? I would definitely never drop so much money in a non spring-driven watch…

  • SirValmanGrimaldi

    i will open a shop in Italy!
     

  • newroguy

    gadget I wouldn’t pay more than 100 dollars for. no one knows how this watch will function over time ie., accuracy, problems with these belts sticking etc.. it’s a hype for a ‘neat looking gadget’ but the price is beyond silly when you look at the watches that are made with precision parts from manufacturer’s that have been making watches (Swiss) for over a century for a fraction of this price. Sorry guys, try again. Mass produce this for $100 then you will survive imho.

  • newroguy

    remember rubber contracts and expands.. ie., weather will play a role in the functioning.. who is putting this watch out and what were the trials like?

  • AndrewYang

    HI, I am Really really excited to see a Creation of a Master piece, i am personally a fan of exotic watches, i would count yours as one of a kind, would like to see how could i get my hands on one of these, as u know i am in singapore, it’s not easy to see or even come close to one. please Advice. Via my-email. Cheers Mate

  • tiptackle

    @craigwilk Nice! I love the second one! If I ever win the lottery I am going to buy a LOT of silly, expensive watches…

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  • bajic

    Where can I buy this watches please? Thank you.

  • bajic

    Where can I buy this watches please? Whis webadress? Thank you.

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  • lechbinsky

    Where do you live?

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