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Live on Kickstarter as we speak is the debut range from Culem watches. For its first release, Culem is treading a less common path. Launching with a GMT model (in ten variations, no less) is not the norm, but this strategy has already caught the attention of backers, pushing the project past its funding goal within minutes of going live.
Culem is the brainchild of Matthew Cule, an avid traveler and seasoned watch aficionado. The name itself is taken from Cule’s surname, with the addition of his first initial (M) to round out a meaningful and memorable moniker for his brand. While traveling around a world that has been a source of constant fascination for Cule throughout his life, he conceived the central idea behind his semi-eponymous brand: that everything in this world is made perfect by design.
Cule says, “Your Culem Watch is a time capsule of your travels, a collection of your most treasured journeys, and a window into a lifetime of discovery. These watches are for a specific group of people — those who love luxury, highly engineered watches, and have a passion to travel and experience the world.”
The design of the inaugural Culem range places a world map front and center to inspire the mind to wander. With three variations of the core design available in either three or four different colorways each, Culem offers something for the watch-lover with a burgeoning interest in the field of horology and an itching wanderlust that could become a lifelong obsession. And that is not all: As a mark of Cule’s ambition, the brand has already laid out plans for the first nine collections, the next seven of which will each focus on a different continent (with the European special next in line), while the ninth project will once more focus on the world as a whole. This will offer traveling fans of the brand the chance to collect an entire globe’s worth of editions tailored to their travels.
All options are presented in a stainless steel case and are water resistant to 50 meters. The case measures 40mm × 10.715mm, with a 46.85mm lug-to-lug length, and a 21mm lug width. A choice of case colors is available with a bare steel, black PVD, and gold-plated finish on offer. All cases are topped with a sapphire glass and finished with a unique winding crown design inspired by the waves of the sea. Each watch is supplied on an Italian leather strap, along with a spare leather strap with interchangable pins. All watches will be delivered in a luxury watch box, styled to look like a miniature travel trunk.
These Swiss-made watches are powered by the premium automatic ETA 2893-2 movement, which is visible through a specially shaped mineral crystal window in the case back. Surrounding the movement is an engraving of 24 destinations showing the correct time difference in each of the corresponding cities, which is a useful reference point when you’re unable to check the local time of your new destination in any other way. The 2893-2 is an established and reliable choice for any new brand hoping to build a strong reputation with early backers. With a 28,800 vph and a 42-hour power reserve, the Culem watches are perfectly able to perform through the rigors of travel. But the real key success lies in the design that distinguishes any new brand from the competition.
The three families in the Culem launch are called The Portal, The Frame, and The Lights. All three feature the world map motif, rendered slightly differently to appeal to a wide variety of tastes. The Portal is available in blue, black, gray, and gold; The Frame comes in blue, black, and gray; and The Lights has been created in blue, black, and gold editions.
Each model has a special character. The Portal has a unique 3D rendering of the world map that is designed to “take you to another dimension.” Meanwhile, The Frame has a much cleaner appearance, with a sharp outlined version of the same image. Perhaps most ambitiously, The Lights variant is decorated with tiny luminescent dots that illuminate the image at night, as if the world were being viewed from space. All of these models and color variants show the local and destination time.
Backing this project at the Kickstarter phase can net you as much as 50% discount for watches delivered in December (watch pledges start at €1,249). Once the Kickstarter campaign is over, watches will be available to order via the Culem Watches website. To learn more visit culemwatches.com.
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