This year, I was fortunate enough to cover Baselworld with the rest of the Worn&Wound crew. It was my first time at the fair, and as someone who sincerely loves watches, the experience was incredible. One of the great things about Basel is that you never know who you’ll run into. Sure, most of the big names are visibly there, but there a plenty of smaller vendors and brands scattered about, even if they’re only there as spectators. We ran into Stephan Trimbos at the tail end of our trip, and we had the pleasure of spending some time with him and discussing his brand, Stuckx. In the middle of all the glitz, glamour, and excess, it was a welcome change of pace to spend an afternoon with someone passionate about making affordable watches in an industry where value is often hard to find.
Last year, Stuckx revealed The RocK, a unique, albeit polarizing dive watch. Despite its over-the-top aesthetic, the RocK had some really cool features, among them a lug-less and ergonomic case design, a 6mm-thick sapphire crystal, and two helium escape valves. It was a well-designed watch clearly marketed at enthusiasts, and not at those looking to buy a practical daily wearer. The RocK is currently in production.
For 2015, Stuckx is taking a different route. First up is The Bull VK 2 Eye and the VK 3 Eye. Unlike past watches from Stuckx, The Bull will feature a reasonably sized wedge-shaped case–42mm with a lug-to-lug of 48mm, and a height of approximately 13.5mm. The 2 Eye features a bi-compax configuration with date, and the 3 Eye features a tri-compax layout without date. All watches will have a polished ceramic bezel inlay, CNC’ed to achieve a very cool and unique 3-D effect.
VK refers to the Seiko meca-quartz movement powering the watch. The VK series is a high quality quartz movement, but with a mechanical system for the chronograph that features a sweeping seconds hand and an instant reset of the chronograph. Both Helgray and Autodromo have recently used this series in their watches with great success.
The third configuration for The Bull–and the one I am most excited for–is the NE88 1 Eye. As the name suggests, it will be powered by the fantastic NE88, a great and grossly underused movement from Seiko. The NE88 is a column wheel chronograph with a triple-tipped hammer that instantly resets all the subdial counters. In terms of design, the watch will be nearly identical to the VK series, except that it will feature a single subdial at the 6’oclock position. The design is undeniably clean, and a great nod to the era from which these watches pull influence.
The Bull series will be available through Kickstarter this April, with all three configurations up for grabs. The VK series will hover around the $300 mark, and the NE88 auto will come in well under $1,000! For all seriously interested in the project and would like to be updated as it moves forward, sign up to the mailing list here.
Another project in the works (and by works, I mean the very early stages of development) is The Driver. The Driver is a second take on the bullhead theme, this time working with a soft square case that feels equal parts vintage and modern. The case is extremely cool, also wedge-shaped with an elaborate tire decoration on the backside. The dial is racing inspired, as are a number of the many color combinations being considered. From the examples shown, The Driver looks like a cross between the Apple Watch and a Monaco–a union that surprisingly works. Though current renders feature a NE88 layout, The Driver will likely utilize the VK meca-quartz movement. To stay up to date on The Driver, follow the WUS thread on the project, the Stuckx Facebook page.