The ideas of legacy and longevity are thrown around a lot in the watch world. Think of the Swiss brands that measure their histories in centuries, and the long held idea that the finest watches are heirlooms to be passed from one generation to the next. In the insular world of watchmaking, the business of making and selling watches is often a family affair, and although the relatively young landscape of independent and microbrand watches that we focus on here at Worn & Wound is certainly known for its open-to-all ethic, as the scene matures we should probably expect new brands that are co-mingled with the old in a whole bunch of different ways.
That brings us to Tribus, a new brand that launched last year with ties to one of the few individuals who can legitimately be considered a Founding Father within the community, Christopher Ward. Tribus was established by Christopher Ward’s three sons, and while based in Liverpool, England, also has operations in Switzerland and can produce watches with a legitimate “Swiss Made” wordmark on the dial. While Christopher Ward (the man, and the brand) clearly paved the way for Tribus in a certain sense (they’ve adopted a direct sales model through a well designed website, and have established some key partnerships with entities outside the watch industry from the initial launch), the watches are very much their own thing.
Blake covered the initial Tribus releases in a post this past fall, and I’ve recently had some time to sample what on paper looked like the clear standout from that pack, the time only TRI-01. As a debut, it’s a rock solid start for Tribus, and even though this is likely the most conservative and simple model of the watches that they’ve already announced, it still has an adventurous streak. I don’t know if you’d liken it to the kids rebelling against a parent, exactly, but this watch, at least in the configuration I was able to try out, has a youthful energy to it.