Hemel Watches Now Live on Kickstarter

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Just a couple of weeks ago we talked about Hemel watches which was preparing for their crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign. As you may remember the brand was looking to create their Hemel Military line with an emphasis on the look of mid-century military watches as the core. The Kickstarter is now live and we can get a bit better picture of the watches and the brand behind them.

81bfdf931db99aaa471a04c5c5942482_originalThe man behind Hemel is a designer and branding specialist by trade. Marvin Menke, based in New York, has over 20 years design experience with a variety of well known fashion brands. Marvin is a watch collector himself placing an emphasis on mechanical watches with his collection including brands such as TAG Heuer, Cartier, Seiko, Vostok, Orient, Tissot, Certina and Hamilton. His life long passion for and collection of watches combined with the fact that many desirable watches are out of many people’s price range is what lead Marvin to try to launch his own watch line. He set out to create a brand that was “designed by a watch enthusiast for other watch enthusiasts and that doesn’t break the bank.”

Hemel is the Dutch word for “sky” or “the heavens” (depending on the situation) and Marvin (who is of Dutch heritage) sees this as “a philosophical concept of the endless limit of one’s potential and as a metaphor for contentment or freedom.” With this in mind he founded Hemel Watches and has started with the Hemel Military (HM) series of watches.

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As mentioned before there are four models in the HM line that share the same case specs: the case is 40mm in diameter (less the crown), 48mm lug to lug, 13mm to the top of the domed crystal and has 20mm lugs. Aside from the sapphire crystal over the dial, the back has a sapphire crystal in the screw-down display back. The watch will have a water resistance rating of 100M. The movement in all four is the Miyota 9015 automatic held in place by a brass retainer ring. Each model will come with either a two-piece nylon strap or a NATO style strap.

Where the models make their difference is in the dial styles. There are four dials all with classic military watch designs. The Hemel 10 (Reference HM1) uses the A-17 field watch dial style, with the inner ring of Arabic numbers denoting the “military time” for the afternoon hours. It is a classic and familiar look to many military watches. The Hemel Track (Reference HM2) is the A-11 type dial with the railroad track style chapter ring defining the seconds around the outer perimeter of the dial.

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The third option is the Hemel Arrowhead (Reference HM3) so named for the arrowhead markers for the odd hours. Lastly is the Hemel Spear (Reference HM4) which takes its look from the specs defined for the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) W.W.W. – Watches Wristlet Waterproof. Emphasis on this dial is placed on the baton markers for 3,6,9 and 12 and the increased font size of those hours. All four models look well done, with perhaps the HM1 and HM2 at the top of the list (at least for my eye).

The Hemel Watches Kickstarter launch is underway starting March 28, 2016 and runs through April 27th, 2016. The company is looking to raise $41,000 USD during that time. To get in on a Hemel model of your choice will be $199 (USD) which is limited to 215 backers. This is a $200 discount over the expected retail price post-campaign. After that level the price goes to $249 (USD) for the next 400 backers. There are also pledge levels for multiple watches as well. As always, pop over to the Kickstarter campaign page to get in on the action.

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Residing in North Idaho, James has been wearing a watch for over 35 years. With growth of the internet in the late 90s watches as an interest turned into an obsession. Since that time he has been a watch forum moderator, watch reviewer, contributor to Nerdist, and operates Watches in Movies in his spare time.
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