Crowdfunding-propelled microbrands like Echo/Neutra are helping redefine consumers’ perceptions of value in Swiss-made mechanical watches. The Italian-based brand is launching via Kickstarter with a solid-looking mountaineering-themed watch with some very competitive pricing. Swiss automatic movement, solid materials and specs, and a touch of Italian styling make the brand’s first piece a promising value.
Standing out with a utilitarian but unique dial design, the Echo/Neutra Averau measures 42mm wide and 10.9mm thick in a stainless steel case that’s water-resistant to 100m. Inside is the option for an STP 1-11 or STP 3-13 automatic movement produced by the Fossil Group’s own Swiss movement maker. Both movement options share the same specifications, such as 44 hours of power reserve, but the 3-13 version adds a little more to the price (about $50) with the slightly more colorful movement view featuring blued screws and a swan-neck regulator. Sapphire crystal both front and back speaks to the value offered at this price point.
The Averau watch is named for a specific mountain in the Dolomite mountain range (future watches will also follow this convention), and a couple of aesthetic details reference it, and hiking in general. The mountain’s height is noted in small text at 7:30 and the seconds hand’s colorful tip is based on Alpine trail markers. With four variations of dial color and case finish, the Echo/Neutra Averau presents a strong value for a price of around $472 and is available now for pre-order.
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