Before I could begin to talk about the watch I had to first think about where this watch had come from. We see quite often “Italian Design” on products and fashion, but what is Italian design really? What is it about the country that can give us Ferrari, the Fiat 500 and the Vespa, that draws us into the opposing design styles, surely it has to be more than the popularity of Hollywood and the silver screen post WWII.
Italy has such a strong opulent culture going back thousands of years, but these days Italian design is discussed and debated openly, some say that Italy was a resource poor country so the Italians had to push the envelope of simplicity, to present simplicity in stylish ways, and maybe this is the key.
This is the first release from this new Italian watch brand, available in three different colour ways the “Roma” is due for release in December.
The specs on the Roma are solid and should prove to be popular as with the design, with its eye catching sunburst dial beneath its sapphire crystal housing.
- Hand-applied polished luminescent indexes
- Polished hands with luminescent markers
- Red seconds hand and red repeat hand at 9 o’clock
- Hand-applied Day Date window at 3 o’clock
- Dial external rehaut
- Polished VIQUERIA logo at 12 o’clock
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
- Case diameter: 40 mm
- Case thickness: 12mm
- Polished fixed steel bezel
- Polished crown with VIQUERIA logo
- Scratch-resistant caseback with engraved logo
- Water resistance: 3atm
- Brushed and Polished steel case
- Push-down with Gasket
- Weight: Approx 110gr
- Citizen Miyota 8217, Japan Made
- Automatic calibre, rapid date correction
- Diameter: 26 mm (11 ½”’) — 21 jewels
- Balance frequency: 21,600 vibrations per hour
- Power reserve: 40+ hours
- Complication: 24 hours repeater
The design of the watch draws from ancient Rome, the hands are designed around the Roman gladiator swords, and the sub dial represents the Roman Colosseum as an aerial view, the numerals are of course roman numerals.
I spoke with Nicolo and Omar about the brand.
Watch is a passion and a hobby. So we have a job that has no relation to the watch business. I’m working in the automotive business and Omar is a logistic expert. We were friends before starting to share our watch passion in 2012 when we founded 2DStraps, and started to make by our own Hand made Watch Straps with genuine Tuscany leather.
After Straps, a watch was a natural step forward. We have had, since the beginning of our strap makers journey, the will to make an our own watch brand but we faced a lot of problems, due to minimum quantities needed by a lot of watch manufacturers. It is difficult to find someone in Italy that could help us in the project, the money needed to invest on a new brand… Until Kickstarter came to Italy and could support us on the journey, if we collect enough backers to start the production!
Your movement choice, how did you decide on that configuration, why the repeat hand?
We discussed our project with the watchmaker and we all decided to go with a miyota 8217 because is a workhouse, this would help us to our keep prices lower, without compromise on quality.
However, if we will fund the project we may consider a swiss movement in the future.
We have chosen to add a subdial to make the dial not so empty and use the negative space.
How have you found the journey of setting up your own brand?
The journey is fun and definitely not boring. We are trying to do all things ourselves to keeps costs lower and invest only on the watch. Photos are shot by us and friends. Social media is managed by us. Videos are made by Omar and myself. Straps are made by us. So it’s really fun and free time consuming!
I think that watch lovers should support more the microbrand watch companies, because behind each micro company there are really passionate people.
Any thing else you would like to share?
We are really proud of ourselves, our project and our country. We hope to share this feelings with all of you.
When i first saw the Viqueria I was not sure what I thought, I did not really know what to say, and for this reason I waited before pushing out a story, and I am glad I did.
We see on kickstarter these days a lot of watch projects, and you can tell that behind some of these projects is a collective of people, for them its just another product, and kickstarter is quick route to market. These ‘others’ have a huge marketing budget and have professionals pushing out their sponsored posts on blogs and review sites.
Maybe its me being naive, but another company contacted me recently for a story, they were already on kickstarter, they had already hit their funding goal, but they wanted a feature story so that they could sell more pieces. There is nothing wrong with this, but kickstarter was first launched with the aim of generating funds for a “start up”, shared goodwill from investors. I politely refused to do their story.
But back to the Viqueria, its a couple of guys, they are passionate about watches, they are doing most of the work themselves in their spare time to keep the costs down and they are working on their dream, their is nothing Airbrushed here, the least I can do is to help them where I can.
At one point in my life I really wanted a watch from a certain large brand, I tracked one down at an AD and went in to see and hold it, straight away I was disappointed and the dream was gone. I would have liked to do a hands on review with this watch, I just have a feeling about it.
The design is simplistic, stylish and thoughtful, it is born out of passion from meagre beginnings, its Italian design.