The Canadian start-up is offering affordable automatic and tourbillon watches via its crowdfunding page. How will it fare?
Tourbillon timepieces and the town of Edmonton are not two things that usually go hand in hand. In fact, the town in Alberta, Canada is probably (or only?) known internationally for its hockey heritage – think legend Wayne Gretzky.
But Mad watches is trying to change that, and maybe even put the town on the world watchmaking map. We just discovered the young and ambitious brand on Kickstarter, where it has presented an interesting proposition.
The design of Mad’s watches represents a return to the past. With many minimalist timepieces already around – especially of the affordable variety – the Mad team has decided to lean on the traditional watchmaking esthetic.
Two options are therefore available, both exemplifying the classic design codes: the Automatic Series and the more complex yet equally traditional Tourbillon Series.
The base automatic movement model will have an autonomy of 42 hours, courtesy of the reliable Miyota 8215 movement. The same non-hacking automatic movement can be found in timepieces by the likes of Citizen, Festina, and Invicta, among others.
The automatic model also comes packaged in a smaller stainless steel case powered by the Miyota 6T15, thus making it the default ladies’ model.
The tourbillon model is a high beat example, driven by the Automatic 3C40 movement, which is developed by the Hong Kong based PTS Resources Limited. It ticks at a rate of 28,800 beats per hour with a power reserve of 40 hours.
Each watch comes fitted with a double dome sapphire crystal, which keeps the scratches to a minimum. All versions as have nicely laid out and elegant looking dials, which prioritize readability.
According to the team’s Kickstarter page, the watch strap and buckle are their "favorite" element. No doubt the strap is nice - made of Italian leather that is held in place by a butterfly clasp which will likely age nicely over time. But when a tourbillon is on offer, one would presume that should be the highlight of the offer.
Nevertheless, what Mad watches is really offering is more accessibility to watch enthusiasts that might be priced out of the higher market segments of luxury watches, especially when tourbillons are concerned.
The tourbillon model, for example, can be had for an early pledge of only $750 CAD, or 585 Swiss francs at the time of writing. It is expected to retail for about $1,000 CAD (780 Swiss francs).
Yet in my opinion, the automatic option offers more of a value. For a pledge of $275 CAD (195 Swiss francs), you can get your hands on a “Founders Edition” Automatic model, which is limited to 150 pieces and comes stamped with a series number. The same watch is otherwise expected to retail for about $450 CAD after the crowdfunding campaign ends.