The brand Deep Blue is well known to those who are fans of affordable boutique dive watches. They have been producing dive watches for the past eight years and have grown to have a presence in watch retailer shops, TV sales and appearing a Basel as well. Deep Blue has always been about dive watches, though. Now, the brand is spreading its wings and branching out into the world of aviation and pilot inspired watches.
The endeavor to introduce a line of pilots watches lead to the creation of the spin-off brand Air Blue. The new line launched recently on Kickstarter providing a slew of options to sate the interest of most any one in the market for an aviation style watch. There are a total of twenty-three model options across four categories. It is a staggering amount of choice given that most watch Kickstarter campaigns have had only a few choices to choose from.
Rather than going into the specifics of each we can look at what is offered from a high level. The Alpha line has three models, A, B and C each with different hands and dials. Available case sizes for each are 41mm, 44mm and 47mm as well as either stainless steel or PVD finish. All of the Alpha collections are powered by the Seiko NH35 automatic movement. The models are mostly styled after the B-Uhr watches of WWII.
The Bravo line takes their style cues from the dials of a plane’s instrument panel. The Bravo Auto uses the same movement as the Alpha models, the Seiko NH35, while the Bravo Chrono runs on the Ronda 5040D Swiss quartz movement. All the watches in the Bravo line are 44mm and again can have stainless or PVD case finishing.
Continuing down the alphabet, the Charlie watches look very similar to the Alpha, however there are some slight differences in the dial printing, for a more IWC feel. Other differences are 44mm diameter case size as the only option, and a chronograph version as well. Again the automatic uses the Seiko movement, and the chronograph variation has the Ronda 3540 Swiss quartz movement.
The last line is the Delta which is another take on the B-Uhr watches with a dial similar to the Type-B dials of those watches, and Myanmar coloring. Again is the Seiko NH35 movement in the automatics and another Ronda movement for the chronograph, this time the Ronda 3520. The watches are 44mm in diameter and, as with the others, have a stainless or PVD finish. Consistent across all the watches are anti-reflective coated Sapphire crystals, 10 ATM water resistance and a leather strap. Air Blue is also working on a bracelet for the 44mm models as well as a silicone strap.
One advantage Air Blue has over other new watch Kickstarters is the experience from running Deep Blue for the past eight years. Before Deep Blue the founder, Stan, also started and ran strap company Panatime. There is quite an established history in the watch industry between the previous two companies. The manufacturing and industry contacts are already established which gives them a hand-hold entering the market under this new name. If you are in the market for a pilot or aviation themed watch chances are Air Blue has something that will capture your interest.
The retail for the Air Blue watches will be $399, regardless of the model chosen. The pledge amount to get one of the Air Blue options start at $199 (USD). The brand is looking for $50,000 USD by September 3, 2015, to get things going. As of this article they are a little over half way to that goal with 27 days yet to go. You can find more information on the Air Blue website and can check out their Kickstarter page to get in on the ground floor and pick up an Air Blue model.