For me, watches from the '60s/'70s, and especially chronographs, are the most aesthetically pleasing to look at in terms of design. It’s no wonder iconic watches in the form of reissues are making a comeback, as well as those from independents and microbrands alike, putting out more and more vintage/retro-inspired designs since the market is responding so well to them. The Straton Watch Co. Syncro is our latest introduction, and we wish to share it with you.
The Straton Watch Co. Syncro is my latest '70s-inspired offering, building on the success already established by Straton Watch Co. In 2015/16 with the launch of the Vintage Driver Chrono and Curve Chrono watches on Kickstarter, both of which raised a combined total of over $350,000 and delivering just over 2,000 watches to customers around the world in the last 12 months, one can say given the feedback and support from new and existing customers I have a solid foundation on which to build further success with the brand.
The Straton Watch Co. Syncro is a combination of two styles working in unity hence the chosen model name. These two styles consist of automotive (general appeal, chronograph, checkered racing bezel) and diving (20ATM water resistance, block minute dive bezel). What’s important to me is the ability to offer a watch with various options, covering the market in terms of size and budget which is why the Straton Watch Co. Syncro comes with two different case size options, 40mm and 44mm appealing to both smaller and larger wrist sizes.
Secondly, the watch is available with two movement choices, a Seiko VK64 meca-quartz and a Seiko NE88 column wheel automatic movement. Furthermore, there are two domed sapphire crystal bezel designs, the choice of having a watch with or without date, and various strap options. All these options are available with any of the two movement choices and in either case size.
Aesthetically, my intention was for the Straton Watch Co. Syncro to speak to those who find specific '70s chronographs appealing such as the Breitling Datora 2031, Yema Rallye Chrono, or Heuer Autavia 1163, to name a few, all of which the Syncro draws influence from. These watches are iconic to say the least, and with the Syncro’s non-round sub-dial shape and dial layout it’s easy to see the resemblance to these watches without being a direct copy of any one watch - a fusion of multiple designs, creating its own identity. With that in mind, the Straton Watch Co. Syncro intends to be a daily wearable alternative to those looking to preserve their prized collectables or those looking for a watch which can pull off that authentic '70s look but with a modern touch.
In regards to the movement choices for the Straton Watch Co. Syncro, the NE-88 is Seiko’s flagship automatic chronograph movement. It runs at a high frequency of 28,000 beats per hour and has a vertical clutch that eliminates the "jumping second hand" at the start of a chronograph measurement. The column wheel is an advanced feature that coordinates the chronograph functions in a way that ensures smooth operation and less stress for other components. The power reserve is more than 45 hours, and the movement houses no fewer than 34 jewels. It is a formidable opponent to any comparable Swiss Made chronograph movement.
The NE88 Automatic version of the Straton Watch Co. Syncro is limited to a first production run of just 200 pieces - currently, there are just over 50 still available on its Kickstarter launch. The Automatic version goes for a very respectable pre-order price of 719 Swiss francs (Approx. $730). When compared to other brands using this movement which ask for anywhere upwards of $1,500 per watch, it puts into perspective the attractive offer the Straton Watch Co. Syncro presents.
Since not everyone can justify paying the premium for an Automatic watch, the Seiko VK64 meca-quartz is a reliable alternative, an option which gives the user the best of both worlds when it comes to affordability and function. The VK64 is a hybrid movement developed by Seiko which combines the accuracy of a quartz watch (+/- 20 seconds average per month), a mechanical chronograph-feel with a 5-beat-per-second sweep chronograph hand, and a fly-back chronograph reset. This movement gives a great user experience that will even appeal to owners of mechanical chronographs. Without a running second hand, at a glance one would not be able to tell it’s a quartz watch especially when activating the 5-beat-per-second sweep Chronograph function. The Straton Syncro meca-quartz pre-order price will start from 329 Swiss francs (Approx. $340).
With the Straton Watch Co. Syncro’s different case size options, while 44mm may be on the larger size, its lug-to-lug measurement of around 50mm allows it to fit a wrist size of 6.5inchs and upward depending on the flatness of one's wrist. The 40mm case with a lug-to-lug measurement of 46mm, while small, has sufficient wrist presence given its height. Those looking for a slim watch can avoid the Straton Watch Co. Syncro. With its height at around 15mm including the domed sapphire crystal, it is still on par with modern automatic chronographs. And considering its case profile broken down with its polished beveled edge and bezel, it does not feel like an overly tall watch at all, and moreover very much in proportion with itself.
Specifications are as follows:
- Case Material - 316L (surgical grade) stainless steel, polished and brushed steel - Version E black is DLC coated (Diamond-Like Carbon)
- Case Size - 44mm or 40mm
- Lug To Lug - 44mm case: 49.9mm
- Lug To Lug - 40mm case: 46.0mm
- Case Thickness - 14.9mm with domed sapphire
- Movement - NE88 Automatic (limited to a first production run of 200 pieces) or Seiko VK64 meca-quartz hybrid
- Crystal - Domed sapphire crystal
- Hands - Luminescent hour hands, C3 Super-LumiNova
- Crown - Screw-down
- Bi-directional rotating domed sapphire crystal bezel
- Strap - 44mm case: 22mm width; 40mm case: 20mm width
- Water Resistance - 20ATM/200m
- Warranty - 24 months
For those interested in the Straton Watch Co. Syncro, head to the Kickstarter campaign which is live until March 5th, 2017. You can view the Kickstarter page here.
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