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Devon Tread 2 Watch Hands-On

Devon Tread 2 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

About two years ago the watch world was greeted with a strange announcement that Scott Devon was building a $15,000 (now a bit more expensive) electro-mechanical wrist watch in California. For the most part the Swiss and other Europeans dismissed the news and went on with their lives. Then the Tread 1 watch came out. It was totally novel in its design and engineering – and ended up not only getting a lot of attention, but also a few very prestigious awards. The quirky and super cool timing machine had a larger impact than anyone could have imagined – and now Devon has released a follow-up model called the Tread 2.

The Tread 1 is a large and interesting watch that I reviewed hands-on here. It has an imposing squarish case and can sound like an adding machine on your wrist. The Tread 2 on the other hand is smaller, designed with a different ethos, and priced about $5,000 – $8,000 less than its big brother. While it is less expensive, I feel that it is a better timepiece for most people. This is not only because it fits on more wrists, but because of its increased utility as a daily wear.

Devon Tread 2 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

One thing was clear when Devon was making the Tread 2, it was supposed to be smaller, and have two, versus three belts systems. The Tread 1 has a dedicated belt to indicate the seconds. Logical, but noisy. It now has a “silent” mode where the seconds are not displayed, but when they are the watch sounds like someone who is very slow at typing is living on your wrist. This has to do with the small one-step motors in the case and the “bullet-proof glass plastic” crystal. It actually didn’t stop that many people from wearing the watch, but for the next model Devon wanted to build something more quiet. The Tread 2 does not have a second’s belt. However, there is a function to turn the minute belt into a seconds indicator if you want to measure seconds. As for quietness, the Tread 2 is not only more quiet because it is missing a seconds belt, but because it now has a different case and sapphire crystal that insulates the sound much better.

Reading the time is quite easy, and various models of the Tread 2 are available with different color steel cases and numeral colors printed on the belts. Size-wise the case is 38mm wide by 42mm tall and it is tonneau-shaped. Not a small watch at all, it does feel petite next to the much larger Tread 1. The case is also a totally new design. Feeling futuristic in a bit of a 1980’s modernism manner, you’ll find that a lot of high-end Swiss watch brands are also offering watches that focus on this era’s design aesthetic in 2012.

Devon Tread 2 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Devon Tread 2 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

The case here is seen in both DLC black and mostly polished steel with some DLC black components. The strap is rubber and the watch is more comfortable than ever. Even the Tread 1 was surprisingly nice ergonomic given its size. However, the Tread 2 is more universally attractive and feels more cohesive given the compact design. While it doesn’t have that wrap-around crystal that the Tread 1 has, the Devon Tread 2 still offers a neat view into the movement where you can see the little one-step motors in action. There is also some water resistance now. Not much at 10 meters, but you can safely wash your hands with it.

Devon Tread 2 Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Rather than a crown the Tread 2 offers a pusher and two way lever that allows you to adjust the time and access the features of the watch. Devon’s engineer really improved the user experience with the Tread 2 making the watch more logical to operate and simple at the same time. It takes only a few minutes to fully grasp what it does and how to use it.

Like the Tread 1 the Tread 2 is powered by a lithium ion battery that is rechargeable via a magnetic-induction dock. The battery is rated to last about 2 weeks with average use. That seems appropriate, and during my test of the Tread 1 I found that charging it on the dock was a simple matter. For those who were intrigued by the Tread 1 but perhaps put off by the size or price have a new and expanded opportunity to enjoy the Devon concept with the Tread 2. It is not cheap, but priced at around $10,000 is is certainly a more accessible price than the Tread 1. Look for the Devon Tread 2 to be commercially available a bit later in 2012.



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  • Kris C

    Do not want. From where I sit, they have moved backwards. I’d be hard squeezed to put $1000 down on this, let alone 10x that much.
    Hopefully they pull thier socks up with the Tread3, if that is the intention. For $10k+, there should be a belt-read chronograph. Also, an improvement on the belts themselves – I can see in several of these shots that the belt ends are between 20 and 25 on the minute scale, and they look very poorly connected – with Elmer’s glue or something. The holes in them for the wheels already look a little stretched as well. I’m sure the material is very thin and light, but it looks cheap and flimsy. Take a page from Heuer’s book and develop some that are like real machine belts, with wire cable cores, or somehting similar with better substance.

    • WatchAnish

       @Kris C Hi Kris. A quick point to note is that the Tread 2 does indeed have a chronograph function (albeit only for measuring times up to 10 minutes…the minute belt turns to seconds, and the hour belt turns to minutes). With regards to the finishing on certain parts, I guess I put it down to the model being a prototype rather than a full production piece.

  • Cool watch, although I’m not a great fan of concept style wristwatches.

  • Ulysses31

    I think it’s a big improvement.  Not comically large and easy to read.  I expect the efficiency is improved without having an extra belt to drive.  One niggle is that the minute markers on the minute belt are all the same length.  Meaning, it’s hard to tell when you’re dead on 5, 10, 15, 20 etc minutes.  If you were willing to pay that much for a watch you could probably get used to it, though you shouldn’t have to.

  • gmatt

    I love the look of this watch, and think it’s a big improvement over the Tread 1. Much more wearable for everyday. I think the face is better too, less crowded and makes a simpler aesthetic.
    The cost is a big hurdle for me, $10000 for a battery operated watch. I admit it looks nicely engineered, but, like Kris C I would be happy to pay more like $1000 for this, maybe $2000. I can’t really justify my opposition to the price, because clearly any small volume product with specialist parts is going to be very expensive. I think it probably comes down to the fact that I never spend $10000 on a watch, because I’m not that wealthy, but I’d really like this one, so it’s a bit disappointing 🙁

  • Stephane Dufresne

    I must concur with the previous comments and I wonder,,what’s with the five digit tag price of the swiss watch industry these days? Sure there are lot’s of wealthy customers world wide and clearly that is what Devon is targetting with the tread II..However the high end customer targetted by Devon is a limited crowd and there are plenty of players with much better products involved for a five digit tag Price..Did I hear correctly that the battery was good for about 14 days?
    I say ”about” because even the head engineer from Devon wasn’t sure of the specs of his own product,heck the poor man didn’t even know the size of the Tread II now I’m not much of an engineer but from a spokesperson at Bezelworld one could expect the DEVON representative to be fully prepared to answer such basic queries to future customers or even the medias.
    But never the less I like the watch! I like the tape,,the rolling band thing! the shape and the overall look.Now since I’v witnessed the engineer ability to demonstrate his product i must wait a few months nay years rather,,to see if this timepiece turns out to be a lemon or a winner before making a final judgement..

    • The issue with the battery life is they they are still testing it in real world situations. The Tread II has different modes, and the battery life depends on “average use.” I get what you are saying though. It is a cool watch in a segment made for higher-end buyer. The good news is that if stuff like this can be made more cheaply, eventually someone will.