Nearly a year ago, Rossling & Co. made their name very known by way of a very successful Kickstarter campaign. Raising around $160k, their minimal, but friendly quartz powered watches just hit the right note with people, watch enthusiasts and the uninitiated alike. They were simple, spare, a bit dressy, but sized more towards casual, very thin, capped with sapphire, paired with very cool tweed straps and came in at the easy to digest price of $180. Either you like them or you don’t, but Rossling & Co. had a nice formula that mixed value and style.
That said, from the moment they first debuted, the watch crowd had a singular request, one we hear regularly: make it mechanical. With the success of the first batch, Rossling & Co. undertook this challenge, modifying the case to take an automatic movement as well as making various improvements all around. Powered by the affordable favorite Miyota 9015, perhaps the first watch we’ve seen to make exploit how thin it is, the 9mm thick automatic Rossling & Co. has launched on Kickstarter. It blew past it’s $15K goal within hours, already pushing $66k at the time of writing this article, just a day after launch. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to spend some time with an early sample, and I think people will be very pleased with it.
Coming in at $399 on kickstarter, $499 full, the new automatic keeps much of the same feeling as the quartz, but has that added bit of mechanical soul. Because of the design of the 9015, the auto loses the sub-seconds at 6, but gains a date at 3. I am a fan of the sub-seconds, which is perhaps a drop dressier, but the watch works with central seconds. Generally speaking, the auto is a bit more casual and daily-wearer than the original quartz any, due to it’s slightly thicker proportions and larger crown.
Measuring 40 x 48 x 9mm, the Rossling is wide, a bit long and flat. The bezel is very thin and the lugs are too, so you get a lot of dial. It’s not too large, in my opinion, but it is larger than a dress watch might want to be. The all dial design makes it wear large as well. As such, I quickly stopped thinking of this in those terms and rather as just a simple classic design. On the accompanying caramel suede strap, it looks great with jeans and some ranger mocs, and would look equally as good with khakis and bluchers. The white, silver, blued hands and brown strap create a clean, easy to work with palette.
While the dial is wide, it’s well balanced. It’s not too sparse and the elements are proportioned correctly. The date throws the symmetry a bit, a detail of the quartz version I do enjoy, but goes towards this being a more casual model. The almost-cute execution of “self-winding” adds something playful and touch vintage to it while breaking up the space left in the absence of the sub-seconds. The simple blue stick hands do the trick. I like the look of the blue, but do wish they were heat blued rather than chemical or paint. I imagine this was a cost issue.
I couldn’t help but throw it on some of their newly improved tweed straps (I believe there were some issues at first with the tightness of the keepers… all clear now) and it looks great. Not a material that gets used enough in straps, the tweed adds a rustic appeal and warmth that differs from that of leather. It goes without saying, but throw these on a striped NATO and you have a fun preppy version for the summer.
So, if you found yourself drawn to the original quartz Rossling & Co. but held off because of the movement, have one of those and are eager for the auto version, or if you are seeing this for the first time and like what you see, head on over to Kickstarter and pick one up while there is a price break. There is something very appealing about these watches that is hard to put your finger on. It’s in their simplicity and lack of pretension. They aren’t trying to be something they are not, they are just pleasant and easy to wear.