October 26, 2013
ABTW: Where the brand is headed?LMC: Speidel continues to build on our heritage and produce quality timepieces that reflect innovative style, good service, and affordability and that is transparent on our new state of the art e-commerce platform at Speidel.com. We are also passionate about giving back to the community, including recently launching our “Change a Band, Change A Life™” charitable giving program.
Through this program, we are dedicating a portion of the sales from every Speidel product sold to Operation Homefront for critically-needed support, emergency assistance and financial aid to members of the American armed forces and their families. To date, we have donated $25,000 to Operation Homefront to help hundreds of our military heroes and their loved ones.
ABTW: Many people are likely familiar with the Speidel name due to the bracelets, and their popularity in the past. However, just as many are likely not aware that the brand has continued on without interruption to current day. Why do you think that is, and how do you see Speidel positioning itself to reach consumers?
LMC: Our brand recognition is as strong as ever, with deep roots that were planted generations ago. And the setting couldn’t be better for us to build even more brand awareness and loyalty. We are similar to brands such as Levi’s and Converse, and will continue to stand the test of time. For example, part of our brand identity is “vintage,” which is extremely popular with Millennials – just think about the current “Mad Men” craze.
But we’re not stopping there; we’ve added new products like our Fashion watches, the Boyfriend, the G5, the Skeleton and more, that also appeal to people who want contemporary, sporty products that are on the forefront of today’s latest trends – which is why our watches were seen on the Red Carpet at this year’s Academy Awards. For over 100 years we have been offering innovative designs — from stylish to classic to retro and modern – that make a signature statement for both men and women, and will continue to build on our success
ABTW: What’s next for the Twist-O-Flex lineup?
LMC: Some exciting new things on horizon! We are in discussion for a made in the USA line of Twist-O-Flex bands.
Now, let’s check out what we can expect from a Speidel branded watch by looking at their modern Skeleton model, which comes complete on their famous bracelet.
This watch is called the Speidel Skeleton, and it includes just that. A skeletonized automatic movement of Asiatic origin. As you know Speidel made their name with these expansion bracelets. Why? Primarily, it’s a matter of comfort, and that they actually are. While I didn’t re-size this particular bracelet (expansion bands are particularly tricky to adjust without breaking things), it was comfortable. The inner portion of the bracelet is nicely smoothed, and I didn’t run into any issues of arm hair getting caught in the bracelet as I put it on. So overall I liked it and can see why they were so popular “back in the day.”
The bracelet does nicely complement the case that’s been designed here, as well as the dial. Here, we’ve got the two-tone theme continuing on, and it works quite well (in the other models that are single tone, the ring where the indices are displayed is black, rather than silver, and looks too jarring to me), as the theme carries right on through the movement components. And I have to say – for being such a low-priced watch, this is one of the nicer skeletonized movements I’ve seen at this price point.
Viewed from the front, there’s actually a nice bit of visual interest, as you can see a great many of the gears that are actually at work and being driven by the escapement, which of course is constantly moving. Unfortunately, when you flip the watch over, the movement doesn’t look quite as nice from the reverse side. Good thing you’ll be mostly seeing it from the front, right? Also, unlike many skeleton watches at this price point, Speidel did not fall prey to the trap of not having any sort of ring around the outside of the “dial.”
Were that ring to be missing (as it is on many others), reading the time would be an absolute nightmare, as the hands would become lost in the movement. Here, while the silver dial (with it’s gold-tone numerals and indices) do obscure some of the movement (and, likely, some empty space), it makes for easy telling of the time, along with the luminous paint on the hands. Topping it all, you have a crystal that features another thing that I’m surprised more brands don’t do – they’ve painted the logo on the underside. Along with not cluttering up the dial, this also gives for an interesting floating effect.
While this isn’t the only way to get into a Twist-o-Flex bracelet, it’s definitely a not-too-shabby way to get yourself into one. Or, alternatively, I think this could make a great gift for someone who’s just getting into watches, and is fascinated by how they work. Yes, there are a lot of skeleton watches out there around this price point, but this is one of the most legible ones I’ve run across – plus you’ve got the great history (and story) of the Speidel brand coming along for the ride. Who knows, the combination of those two things could just inspire the next person to join the ranks of watch geekery. Though when it comes down to it, for measly $115 bucks you can get a cool modern piece of pure horological nostalgia. speidel.com
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Unfortunately, no – the gold tones in the watch are not my style. Though it was comfortable.
>Friend we’d recommend it to first: Someone looking for a very affordable skeletonized automatic, and perhaps still drives a 1970s American non-muscle car.
>Best characteristic of watch: A visually interesting, if low priced, skeleton movement paired with that legendary bracelet.
>Worst characteristic of watch: For as nice of an appearance as the movement has through the front crystal, closer examination reveals some rather rough machining.