LIV Watches come to life on Kickstarter

By Mr. E
Europa Star WorldWatchWeb, 5 February 2016    Español Pусский

Following its first successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, LIV has launched its second crowd funded project, the GX1-A automatic wristwatch. The brand has already surpassed its funding objectives in record time, but how does their new watch stack up?

At Europa Star we are always keeping an eye on emerging players that might disrupt the watchmaking establishment. And here we have another challenger, courtesy of Kickstarter.

LIV Watches come to life on Kickstarter

The brand in question is LIV, and it new watch is the GX1-A, featuring a Swiss automatic movement. So far, the response has been overwhelming. The campaign has been active for about two weeks now, having raised around half a million dollars. More impressively, the project met its initial objective and was fully funded within first 34 minutes.

The brand has already used the same direct to consumer approach, maximizing on the power of the crowd and allowing it to reduce costs. They launched a watch on Kickstarter in 2014 – the LIV GX1 Swiss Chrono – which was fully funded within the first 11 hours and had the most backers for a Swiss watch project on Kickstarter. That is, until its second product offering, the LIV GX1-A.

LIV Watches come to life on Kickstarter

According to the brand’s Kickstarter page, they boast that they “present the first Swiss automatic under $500”. For a brand that is aiming to redefine the affordable Swiss automatic watch segment, offering a starting price point of USD $390 is a good start. But how well does it actually do with the rest?

From a design perspective, the watch holds up on first impression. It features the standard stainless steel case, which can have variable coatings and can be paired with different straps, including silicone, leather and canvas. The dial is bold and easy to read, thanks to its three-dimensional multi-layered construction. The clean design is helped by the high quality, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, as well as the indices and hands, which are topped off with Super-LumiNova BGW9 and provide solid visibility at night.

LIV Watches come to life on Kickstarter

On the inside we have a Sellita SW-200, a Swiss made automatic movement. Although the movement is nothing new – it’s been widely used for around 10 years now – it is reliable and cost effective. It is essentially a clone of the marginally better and marginally more expensive ETA 2824-2. Most probably, LIV have decided to use the Sellita rather than the ETA counterpart because the ETA is slowing down production for non-Swatch Group brands.

The choice of movement is one of the brand’s main selling points, claiming that they offer the first Swiss made automatic watch at their price point. But that’s not necessarily true, and of course it depends to what we consider as “Swiss made”.

LIV Watches come to life on Kickstarter

Either way you look at it, several other watches come to mind that would qualify as Swiss made and cost less than USD $500. Offers by Tissot, Hamilton, Victorinox, Wenger, Swiss Military Hanowa, and Christopher Ward first come to mind. Some of those brands actually use the very same Sellita moment found LIV’s watch. There is also the Swatch System 51, which is also automatic and Swiss made, and is cheaper still (although it has a plastic case, rather than stainless steel).

Overall then, with the LIV GX1-A we have a nicely designed watch with a familiar Swiss movement, that benefits nicely from a strong marketing campaign. But it’s certainly not the only Swiss automatic model that costs less than USD $500. I suppose that doesn’t matter all that much now, though, because the people have already spoken!

LIV Watches, and living on Kickstarter
20 March 2017

News - LIV Watches, and living on Kickstarter

They dared to LIV. The young brand is on Kickstarter once again, offering an affordable new rectangular timepiece to fans of bold watches.
Introducing American start-up Hawthorn Watch Co.
6 March 2017

News - Introducing American start-up Hawthorn Watch Co.

The new brand launches the Heritage collection of very affordable timepieces inspired by the co-founder’s grandfather with a decidedly retro chic look.
TAN SA – watchmaking ateliers
28 February 2017

News - TAN SA – watchmaking ateliers

Press release: Innovative approach to face SWISSNESS regulations, Customisable Watches production programs and strict quality tests are the keys to escape from crisis according to TAN (...)
Denmark's jack of all trades, Georg Jensen
22 February 2017

News - Denmark’s jack of all trades, Georg Jensen

Founded by a talented craftsman in 1904, the success of the company was anything but certain. But in 2017 the brand is present in over 60 countries, with a solid reputation of quality minimalist (...)
Out of Order watches make you say… “OOO”?
15 February 2017

News - Out of Order watches make you say… “OOO”?

Beat up and broken in. That’s what Italian watchmaker Out of Order, or OOO, is offering to watch enthusiasts. Will the design concept have mass appeal?
Bering, the young brand that's raring to go
10 February 2017

News - Bering, the young brand that’s raring to go

It’s Bering-time! The Danish company is a rookie by watchmaking standards, but its fast growth is something other brands can only aspire to.
Henry Blake, minimalism the Norwegian way video
9 February 2017

News - Henry Blake, minimalism the Norwegian way

The young brand looks to challenge the affordable minimalist timepiece market with its clean, railroad-inspired creations. But what’s their added value?
Bravo for Swedish watchmaker Bravur
7 February 2017

News - Bravo for Swedish watchmaker Bravur

How Swede it is! We profile yet another modern and minimalist start-up brand from Sweden, and you guessed it: their watches are designed very well!

Europa Star, the World’s Most influential Watch Magazine, is the premier provider of international watch industry news and information. For 89 years, we have supplied watch retailers, watch distributors, watch designers, watch agents and watch manufacturers with news from the international watch industry. Our web and print publications are of interest to the specialized watch trade and the world’s most knowledgeable aficionados, watch collectors and consumers. Our magazines and websites are available in several different languages, making them accessible to all international markets and an essential tool for anyone working in the watch business and all those passionate about watches.

© 2017 Europa Star - All rights reserved.