The Quarter Century watch, too good to be true?

October 2016

San Francisco based start-up Havok Timepieces claims to produce the “best watch under $100.” We explore exactly what they offer.

The Quarter Century watch, too good to be true?

A Swiss movement, stainless steel case, sapphire crystal and a natural leather strap all in a wristwatch that can be had for under $100? It sounds too good to be true, but Havok Timepieces is making that exact promise.

From the outset I’d be inclined to believe the team behind Havok can pull it off. After all, they’ve already released two watch collections via Kickstarter. That means the company has worked out the kinks from a first release and can rely on an existing network of manufacturing partners.

The Quarter Century watch, too good to be true?

They’ve also come back to Kickstarter for their third collection, the Quarter Century Watch (QCW). But now the brand claims that it can offer a watch that’s worth about $450, for a quarter of the price.

Looking a little deeper into the new watch, they’re not far off from that claim.

The QCW is certainly crafted beautifully. It sports a classic minimalist look, without unnecessary complications or a fancy dial. The watch sports a highly readable and minimalistic 2-hand analog face, powered by a decent Ronda quartz movement.

The Quarter Century watch, too good to be true?

The minimal design also ensures that less can go wrong in the long run. The brand is so confident with the durability of the Quarter Century Watch that they are backing them with an impressive 25 year guarantee! (As you might have guessed already, that’s where the name of the watch comes from.)

The designers also had ergonomics in mind when making this watch. The stainless steel case – which is 7mm thick and 41mm in diameter - has a convex design for optimal fit and comfort. The crown is also offset to the 4 o’clock position and ensures that it will not dig into the hand.

The Quarter Century watch, too good to be true?

Additionally, the case has been sandblasted to soften all of the edges. A brushed finish on the bezel also offers a distinct, durable surface. And to top it all off, they have included a sapphire crystal, a rare addition at the $100 price point.

To wrap up the overall package, a strap made of natural, old-fashioned Italian leather is a nice touch. The raw leather builds character over the years, becoming softer with every wear.

The Quarter Century watch, too good to be true?

In terms of bang for your buck, you can’t miss with this timepiece – which will be available in even more case and strap combinations soon. At the $100 price point it’s truly difficult to argue against a QCW – the brand even sketches out how they stack up against the competition.

Interestingly, Seiko is missing from that competitors table. The Japanese brand also offers great value and even in-house mechanical automatic movements at a similar price range. But that’s just me nitpicking.

Technical information

  • Case Diameter: 41 mm
  • Case Thickness: 7 mm
  • Face Diameter: 37 mm
  • Band Material: Genuine Leather Band
  • Band Width: 20 mm
  • Lug Width: 2.3mm
  • Total Weight: 49g
  • Case Material: 316L Steel
  • Back Plating: Stainless Steel
  • Clasp: Standard Buckle Clasp
  • Clasp Material: Stainless Steel
  • Dial Window Material: Sapphire Crystal Glass
  • Display: 2-hand Analog
  • Movement: Swiss Ronda
  • Water Resistant: 5 ATM / 50 Meters