There are certain things you can buy that instantly make you appear more stylish, successful, and attractive. And a premium watch is one of those things. But if you’ve ever found yourself staring at watch price tags through a glass showcase and questioning the return on investment of a premium timepiece… you’re not alone—four and five-figure price tags is a huge problem for many watch shoppers. Thankfully, it’s a problem Filippo Loreti has solved. In this article, we reveal five reasons a premium watch is a must-have accessory for every successful man.
The company they founded has a simple principle – disrupt the watch industry. They took inspiration of the other major disruptors – Uber for the taxi industry, Warby Parker for the eye glasses industry, and Dollar Shave Club for, yes, the shaving industry
Filippo Loreti‘s approach was to side step the wholesalers, distributor, retailers and expensive advertising campaigns in order to offer the watch at a much-reduced price while keeping the same level of quality and finish as a watch over USD $1,000. A watch this price is likely to cost the same amount of money to produce as their offerings with the middle men reaping the majority of the financial gain between the manufacturing and the eventual owner. This tradition puts the people in a difficult position, they are forced to part with a huge amount of cash for the privilege of owning quality, or go for a much cheaper timepiece that compromises on quality and probably won’t last very long.
To find funding for their venture, Filippo Loreti launched a Kickstarter campaign for the first watch in November of 2015. They had set their initial funding goal at a modest $20,000. Soon after the campaign launched, they captured the attention of many interested in this revolutionary approach to democratize the access of a luxury watch for all. Within the 30 day funding period, they had generated $926,620. This broke all records for Kickstarter at the time and has since become the most funded timepiece project in the history of crowdfunding, no mean feat.
Being very happy with their success from their first watch, they decided to shake the market once more and come back with an even greater campaign next year. By the end of the funding period, they managed to attract 18,550 backers and raised $5.6 million. With that they didn’t just shatter their previous record but ended up being the 18th largest crowdfunding project in any category in Kickstarter’s history. A disruption indeed.
Their massive success has not come without issues, a number of backers where initially dissatisfied with the brand, likely because their wait to receive the timepieces was much longer than expected. Difficult to justify, I’m sure they did not expect the high level of interest of their initial campaign and the huge volume of orders that came as a result. Teething issues aside, let’s look at the Venice Moonphase watch in more detail.
Specifications for the Venice Moonphase in Black Gold are as follows –
– Case diameter: 40mm
– Thickness: 9 mm
– Strap Width: 20 mm, best fit for 14 – 23 cm wrist
– Case Material: Stainless steel (316l grade)
– Glass: Sapphire glass
– Strap: Black Italian leather
– Water Resistance: 5atm (50 meters)
– Buckle: regular
– Movement: Miyota 6p00
– Functions: Moonphase function at 6 o’clock
– Accuracy: +9.9 sec / day
– Lug width: 20mm
– Warranty: 10 years
– Price: $249 USD
The watch arrived in a lovely black box, sliding the card sleeve off fully revealed the presentation container with a red bow. On opening the box, I got my first glimpse of the timepiece embedded in a padded velvet lined sunken slot. The watch, wrapped around a section representing the form it will eventually find itself living, my wrist. The presentation feeds back to the aim of providing high quality at accessible prices for many, it sang premium quality.
The Filippo Loreti Venice Moonphase comes in a number of case colors offering the obligatory silver and gold versions, in addition a rose gold variant and the version I received, the Black Gold. The finish on the stainless-steel case is described as matt but has a subtle satin finish to it. The soft edged bezel leads to a flush mounted sapphire glass that seem thick. It’s a really appealing shape in the hand. The weight, helps to convey the sense of quality once strapped to the wrist. One thing that really appealed to me is the thickness, I am not a fan of fat watches. The Venice is just about perfect, not too thin or delicate, but also not unnecessarily bulbous off the wrist.
The crown protrudes from its side, a double stage affair that changes the time and the moon phase. The action to do so is smooth with just enough resistance to quietly communicate that its powered by the quartz Miyota 6P00 movement found in a few quality watches like Bulova, Citizen, and Wittnauer watches. The lugs gently sweep away from the tapering case.
Turning the watch around reveals an etching of the Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark, the most famous church in Venice, the first version commissioned in 828. The etching itself is only a detail the owner would know about, I particularly love the mix of gloss and mat finishes on the illustration, another amazing detail the brothers did not pass over when designing this timepiece. Four screws secure the plate on place, another nice touch over the type of watches found at this price range.
The face of the Venice Moonphase also has some variations offered. There’s a gorgeous blue, a white and the one that I have currently on my wrist, the black. The face offers some nice topology in the design. The hour marks, embedded in the raised outer ring and finished in gold, have no time markings.
The outer ring beveled edge gives way to a flat central valley where the three additional dials live. Each of these dials, day, date, and month, are recessed offering many more opportunities for the light to catch the tasteful bevels. The three dials are finished with a fine concentric ribbing which on the black version, feels like micro vinyl records, something that speaks well to my DJing history. The moon phases are communicated via the bottom most opening on the inner valley. A fun cloud cutout helps give the moon it’s partial indications, the stars on that moving plate adds a bit of random visual fun to the otherwise well-organized timely information.
Slowly moving the watch face around catches so many neat details, like the extra bevels around each of the hour markers, the gold hour marker edges catch a highlight here and there. The hands, also finished in gold, float comfortably above the central dials, the minute hand is but a kiss away from the raised outer ring. The watch face feels like it carries a lot more depth that the actual thickness that the case provides.
To hold the watch in place, the strap comes in two offerings, a metal mesh in a variety of finishes to match the case, and an Italian leather strap in a few different finishes, each color offering unique details. I opted for the leather strap, a beautifully made affair with a nice thickness and the company logo branded on the underside.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed by the watch, it offers a minimalistic design that has a depth and quality subtly contained. The finish I chose gives me exactly what I wanted from the watch, a well-functioning piece that I can use for many different settings from the average work day to a special event without feeling like a showboat, but knowing I’ve got a conversation piece on my hands (or arms) if the keener eyed observer notices it.
I think the brothers found a fantastic opportunity here, they truly accomplished the mission they set out for, incredible luxury at an incredible price. I can’t wait to try the other watch on offer, the Automatic self-wound series, offered for a little more than the Venice tested here. That series follows the same quality ethos as the Venice, a winning formula. Well done guys!