Introducing New Modular Watches From Måne by Thomas Funder

Designer Thomas Funder doesn’t see why you should have to buy a new watch each time you want something different on your wrist. Instead, why not make the watch modular, separating movement, case and strap?  That way you can simply change each element when you feel like it. 

Funder’s crowdfunded Måne (‘Moon’, if your Danish is a bit rusty) concept isn’t a completely new idea. But let’s face it, in Watchland, what is? Halda’s Race Pilot and Space Discovery models (where you can snap a digital module out of the case and replace it with a mechanical unit) have been around since the late 2000s.  Omega’s Dynamic range in the late 1960s and ‘70s used the strap as an integral part of the case, allowing you to swap between steel and Corfam in seconds. But you won’t find a Race Pilot for the Måne’s very much more wrist-friendly price of around $950 (for the titanium models) and the Dynamic is long dead as a concept.


The Måne takes the modular idea much further. Funder plans to offer a range of movements in the future and already has two case materials on sale; titanium and steel with either a PVD finish or plain metal.  At the moment, there’s just the one movement – a Sellita – but even here you have a choice.  You can go for the version that shows the phases of the moon graphically or another with words, stating “Full moon – first quarter…” as the dial moves around. It’ll be interesting to see how Funder, with his minimalist approach to design, treats the chronograph and GMT complications.

So how does it work?  To change the module couldn’t be simpler.  Just twist the movement in the case so that the stem unlocks from a stepped slot machined in the case side and out it comes.  To insert a new module, reverse the process.  No tools and no fuss.  You can switch a strap just as easily and any of the straps fits any of the cases. 

The design of the case isn’t exactly conventional either.  In fact, this may be the only watch influenced by the design of a church.  One of the inspirations for the Måne came from a visit to architect Mario Botta’s San Giovanni Battista Church in Mogno in May.  Drop that into google and take a look; you can clearly see the visual link between the nave’s conical shape and Måne’s design.

Case materials, so far, are titanium and steel.  Another choice to make.  You can have either metal black PVD coated with a sandblasted finish and polished bevels or good old 316L stainless steel, sandblasted and brushed. It’s a monoblock case, too – the movement module itself slots in to form the caseback.

The movement for these first watches is the automatic, hacking Sellita SW288-1 – 28,800 bph (4 Hz), 26 jewels and a 38 hour power reserve.  Like the rest of its family it’s based on the ETA 2800 series of movements, so it’ll be bomb-proof, easy to service and you’ll have no worries finding spares should your watchmaker need them.  It’s good to see a decent mechanical movement in a watch like this too – it would have been far simpler for Funder to head down the quartz route. 

Funder isn’t exactly flooding the market with his new watches.  There are just 10 Måne “Red Halo” models in PVD titanium with just 15 in uncoated, sandblasted titanium.  There are 15 each of the eight variations in strap and movement combinations for stainless steel too.  Best not hang about though – a few of the models have already sold out.

The modular concept seems to be going down well.  People are clearly ordering a watch and then an extra movement.  And, true to concept, you can even assemble your watch to your own design, choosing a case, a movement and a strap.

When the watches hit retail, you’d be looking at around $2,600 for titanium and $2,200 for steel. At the moment, under the crowdfunder, it’ll be a rather more wallet-friendly c. $950 for the PVD titanium, c.$780 for the straight titanium, c.$720 for the PVD stainless and c.$660 for the plain steel models.  It looks as though the first models are due for delivery in December this year.

We’ll be keeping an eye on new movements and designs as Funder releases them.  It’s certainly refreshing to see something that’s different from the usual diver/flieger/dress options.

All in all, this is a way to get some high-quality, Danish watch design that’s clearly taken a lot of thought and an interesting concept without spending the big bucks. Funder on WatchAngels.

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Mark developed a passion for watches at a young age. At 9, he was gifted an Omega Time Computer manual from a local watch maker and he finagled Rolex brochures from a local dealer. Today, residing in the Oxfordshire village of Bampton, Mark brings his technical expertise and robust watch knowledge to worn&wound.
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