These days, collaborations are incredibly popular throughout the watch industry, and the concept of a collaboration watch can often come in a variety of different forms. In many instances, the collaboration will simply consist of one brand putting its own twist on another’s existing design, although in other cases, two or more parties will work together to realize a singular collective vision. That said, Misfit takes a slightly different approach and uses its manufacturing capabilities as a brand within the Fossil Group to produce designs made by a variety of different entities from outside the world of watches. The latest release from the brand is the Misfit x The Struts: The Time Is Now Limited Edition Box Set, which was created in collaboration with The Struts and represents the creative vision of the British rock band’s colorful frontman, Luke Spiller.
The word “polarizing” is often used throughout the watch industry, although I think its use is legitimately warranted in this particular instance. With that in mind, I also think that it’s important to properly put this watch into context, as this is hardly a simple and straightforward wristwatch designed for everyday use and mass-market appeal. Misfit approached The Struts about the partnership and more-or-less started its first project by asking The Struts’ frontman and lead singer Luke Spiller to design a timepiece that fully embodied his flamboyant and larger-than-life on-stage persona. Rather than thinking of this as just a wristwatch, this limited edition collaboration piece between Misfit and The Struts should really be considered more within the realm of band-themed apparel and collectible merchandise. However, given that the aesthetic is entirely designed by Spiller, the watch can also be viewed as the creative expression of a musician working in a completely different medium with the ultimate goal of creating a timepiece rather than a song or album.
The limited-edition box set consists of a stainless steel pocket watch with an antique gold finish that measures 39mm in diameter by 14.5mm-thick (including the hinged cover over its face). In addition to being worn as a pocket watch, the timepiece can also be connected to a matching wristwatch mounting attachment that places the pocket watch crown at the 12 o’clock location and measures 42mm in diameter by approximately 50mm lug-to-lug. A small screw-down knob located at the 2 o’clock position on the side of the wristwatch attachment is used to lock the pocket watch case into place, and fitted to its 20mm lugs is a black leather strap with gold finished studs and a matching signed pin buckle. Also included with the Misfit x The Struts: The Time Is Now Limited Edition Box Set is a crystal embellished “Daddy Cat” pendant (a reference to Spiller’s on-stage persona), along with a golden chain that is also adorned with crystals for those who wish to wear the piece as either a pocket watch or a necklace.
No specifics are offered in regard to the skeletonized automatic movement that powers the watch, although a similar statement applies to nearly all of the various mechanical calibers that are used by Fossil. Admittedly, operating frequencies, jewel counts, and power reserve durations are hardly the primary focal points of most of the brand’s watches, and that statement certainly applies to this particular Misfit collaboration model. Instead, this timepiece is all about its concept and design, and the watch features a number of aesthetic elements created by Luke Spiller himself. The hinged cover for the face features a mirrored center surface framed by a ring of crystals, while the underside of the covering also features a circle of crystals and is adorned with an engraving in Spiller’s own handwriting that features his signature and personal motto: “The Time Is Now.”
Sitting under a mineral glass crystal, the dial of the Misfit x The Struts: The Time Is Now watch consists of a skeletonized center section with a large chapter ring that contains prominent Roman numeral markers and The Struts’ logo at the 12 o’clock position. Rather than having normal pointed tips, all three of the hands feature a seldom-seen style of asymmetrically curved ends that offer a bold aesthetic that matches the rest of the watch. Additionally adorning the sides of both the pocket watch case and its wristwatch housing attachment is a unique asymmetric pattern that was hand drawn by Luke Spiller, with this same pattern also appearing on the caseback and further embellished with crystals to match the dial cover of the watch.
It goes without saying that this is hardly the watch for the person who is just looking for a simple and understated timepiece that can easily integrate into their daily lives; however, that simply isn’t the intended purpose of this particular timepiece. Similarly, I can think of a number of things that might improve this watch from a functional standpoint, but since this model is largely the anthesis of a no-frills utilitarian design, there is no point in discussing the various ways to make it more robust or practical. Instead, the collaboration between Misfit and The Struts is supposed to be about transforming the creative visions of its musicians into timepieces that can be enjoyed by their fans, and rather than just stamping the band’s logo on a dial and calling it a day, Misfit is actually creating the watches that the members of The Struts dream up for themselves.
Produced as a limited edition of 400 pieces, the Misfit x The Struts: The Time Is Now Limited Edition Box Set will be accompanied by an official retail price of $295 USD, which puts it firmly in the affordable territory when it comes to the greater hobby of watch collecting. Although its design may be highly divisive and will likely only resonate with a certain segment of the greater population, it’s also important to consider how this core concept can be adapted to other types of collaboration pieces in the future. This isn’t just a thematic dial variation or a special strap/colorway, but rather an entire watch entirely produced to the specifications and creative vision of the person who designed it. While this particular model is aimed directly at super-fans of The Struts, I could easily see other Misfit collaboration watches, such as those based on popular movies or video games, being highly popular among their respective audiences, especially given their highly accessible price point. For more information on the Misfit x The Struts: The Time Is Now Limited-Edition Box Set, please visit the brand’s website.