The Lew & Huey Riccardo Needs a Kickstart

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We’re always glad to see people trying to make new and affordable mechanical watches, and we’re happy to help spread the word when they are using Kickstarter or other crowd-sourcing platforms to fund their project. This most recent project that was brought to my attention is of particular note, because the watch isn’t just a mechanical, it’s an automatic chronograph, which is especially difficult to make affordably. The problem, naturally, is a lack of movement options.

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This is the challenge that Lew & Huey watches set before themselves when trying to make their first watch, the Riccardo. Their solution, of course, is to use a Seagull ST1940 caliber automatic chronograph. Much like the ST1901, which you can find in the Seagull 1963 or the Techné Sparrowhawk, the ST1940 is a column-wheel chrono movement with blued screws and various other decoration, as well as 33 jewels. The ST1901 is a very cool movement and adding automatic winding to it just makes more practical, albeit at the expense of movement visibility and thickness. Anyway, by utilizing this Chinese caliber as well as Chinese manufacturing, they are able to make the watch $550, and that includes a sapphire crystal.

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Of course, none of this would matter if the watch design itself was not appealing. Luckily, it’s not bad looking. The Riccardo was clearly inspired by chronographs of the 70’s, with a bi-compax design featuring metallic blue or black dials, brightly colored hands and applied baton markers. It’s a very simple and sporty design that luckily doesn’t go overboard. The one detail I could have done without is the big dog logo at 12, just not my cup of tea. That being said, I like it on the crown, which is a more appropriate place for such a quirky logo. The case design is quite elegant, with twisting lugs and elongated chrono-pushers. At 42 x 49 x 14.5mm with 20mm lugs it’s also a nicely proportioned sport watch that will have a sensible amount of bulk, but not be too big.

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For their Kickstarter, they are trying to raise $40k, which isn’t small change, but also seems obtainable. The money will go to support production of the current model and to help develop their next watches. Their donations range from $1 for a thank you note to $846, which will get you two watches. The most tempting is clearly the $450 option, which will get you a watch of your choosing for $100 off the end price.

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While I wish they wouldn’t say “it’s likely to become a classic along the lines of the Rolex Daytona and Tag Heuer Carerra” in their project description, as that’s like saying your band is going to be as big as the Beatles, I do think the overall design is nice if you can get past the logo. And no matter how you look at it, $450/550 for an automatic column-wheel chronograph with a sapphire crystal is a great price.

So, if you like the watch and want to help out, go over to Kickstarter and show your support

by Zach Weiss

pictures courtesy of Lew & Huey Watches

Zach is the co-founder and Executive Editor of worn&wound. Before diving head first into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
wornandwound zsw
  • 24mm lugs might have looked more balanced for that case size IMO
    & like you said in the review, the logo is a bit… well, unusual

    Still, it’s an interesting watch at that price point.

  • Interesting.

    Not exactly my cup of retro tea but certainly there is enough design there that i keep going back for another look.

    I don’t mnd the dog logo on the dial – but I might have carried it into the naming of the watches. The “Rover”, the Rex” etc.

    I love the idea that a watch can go from idea to production in a matter of months.

    Kickstarter is a great way to validate a design proposal, before too much money is sunk into production. Can you imagine someone deciding to produce a new toaster or blender? Not likely. But a new watch – sure!

    No interest? No watch.

    Lots of interest? Start production!

  • Iliyan

    Good review, hopefully it will help spread the word. Gorgeous looking watches and certainly a bargain for what they offer. The only thing I don’t get is why some people have a problem with the logo. I personally like it a lot and I think it helps the watch differentiate itself, all the standard logos get quite boring and this one is quite special.

    • w&w

      Hi Iliyan,

      I totally agree, and the comment was personal preference. Text and images on dials are always a contentious subject. For some, the dog logo might make the watch, others not so much. I like the logo itself, and I think it’s a cool detail on the crown, strap, etc… as it’s unique and quirky. On the dial its just a bit too prominent for my tastes. Regardless, it certainly makes the watch more memorable!

      Thanks,
      Zach

  • That’s gorgeous! The case is amazing and that dial just pops. The dog doesn’t bother me at all – I mean, if MB&F can put a panda on a watch, a wifi-enabled dog isn’t so bad.

    This looks like an amazing value for what you get. The only auto-chrono I can even think of that’s close to that price point are the new plasticky Tissot PRCs. And this looks a lot more robust and sporty than those – I love the Zenith cues and the racing feel.

    I hope they make it into production!

  • Great looking watch. I came across this a few days ago on KickStarter. However, the dog logo is indeed a deal-breaker for me. If only they could replace the dog with the wifi-like tail logo like on the second-hand.

    Oh well, best of luck to them.

    • Jared Steadman

      Great idea on changing the logo to match the tail of the second hand. Let hope Lew or Huey read this 🙂

  • Nice review Zach, love the idea of an affordable auto chrono, added one to my collection second hand just after we met at the NYC GTG last month

    [IMG]http://forums.watchuseek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=1069749&d=1367511636[/IMG]

    The logo is holding me back right now, hopefully I get over my inhibitions, it’s hard to let go after so long…

  • The black with orange accents looks great. Congratulations on the beginning of a new watch venture.

    The first thing I thought of when I saw the dog logo was the ‘Mambo farting dog’ logo. I still like this watch despite that though.

  • 1st impressions….’It doesn’t suck’

    After going to the website and learning a bit more – good forethought in the brand. Good choices all around in caliber, design and product.
    I was a bit put-off by the “let us make one for your group” offer so quickly – but hey…Ya gotta hustle to stay alive.

    It looks like a good guy/group behind this and I wish them all the success they can handle.

    ChiaYO!

  • Dag

    I’d donate if I knew they’d be changing the silly dog logo.

    Also, whatever logo is on the seconds hand has long since been taken by Firefly Bicycles:

    http://fireflybicycles.com/

  • The name of the watch and the Pooch logo is a negative as is much to much script discription etc. I am at a point of exhaustion with not just new entries but HOMAGE meaning flatery will get one nowhere.

  • JamesWWIII

    Couldn’t get past the logo. Shame, because it’s a damn fine-looking watch, otherwise.

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