February 23, 2013
by Ariel Adams
The original idea behind Minuteman watches (quite appropriately named) was for the pieces to be assembled in the United States by disabled war veterans. It was a good idea, given that disabled veterans are a laudable group to work with/benefit, and it is a great goal to give even a few who are out of work, work. Minuteman tried to work with an organization that deals with disabled veterans, but it didn’t work out. I think it was pretty nasty. Nevertheless, Minuteman did not want to abandon the idea of making watches here in the US. So the end result is that some portion of the sale of the watches will go to a charity that benefits disabled veterans, and the watch will be produced in Ohio by LUM-TEC.
More specifically, for the first round of production, a percentage of the profits (not sure how much) will go to the Gary Sinise foundation (I have to wonder if that has to do with the fact that he played a disabled veteran in Forest Gump). After that I think the brand will evaluate how well that is working. The person behind Minuteman is the same person who started The CGA Company that happens to sell LUM-TEC (and soon Minuteman) watches.
By the way, the model with the black and green dial (that is USN branded) is a special version that the brand is making in
honor of the US Navy. I was wrong on that. While “USN” is the usually abbreviation for the US Navy, in this case it means “Usual Suspects Network,” that is a knives and weapons internet forum group. Very modern and very American in style… Inside each of the Minuteman watches will be a Swiss Ronda caliber 715LI quartz movement. Minuteman goes out of their way to indicate that these are the Ronda movements with the Swiss versus Chinese parts. The cases are 43mm wide in steel with a few models available in black PVD. I think they did a nice job with the dial designs, especially the model with black PVD case and Arabic numerals. I like the legibility and overall “casual combat” style it seems to portray. You have a nicely integrated date with a black on black disc that is uncommon at this price range. The neat little solider logo is well done too.
With 200 meters of water resistant, a sapphire crystal, and SuperLumiNova, these are going to be useful and daily wear watches that you don’t need to worry about beating up. Minuteman also include extra-thick spring bars for the strap and two NATO-style straps (a black and a green one) with each watch.
According to Minuteman, the first batch of watches will be limited to about 115 pieces per version and will be available in Q3 of 2013. They are doing pre-ordering now via the CGA Company’s website for all the models. It can be a bit confusing, but the reason the watches are sometimes listed twice is because you have the option of paying in full (at the pre-order price) or reserving your watch and then paying in full (at the pre-order price) a few months from now. You’ll have to get the full details there. Retail prices for the Minuteman watches once they are produced will be $445 to $475, but the pre-order prices are between $398.00 and $421.00. A pretty good deal if you order them now as well as if you wait for them to be produced. thecgacompany.com/Minuteman