Back in spring 2015 Ventus Watches launched their first piece, the Ventus Caspian, a brass-cased tribute to historic pilot’s watches. They had a very successful Kickstarter campaign (which of course wornandwound covered) and even met all of their stretch goals. Not quite a full year later the brand is returning to Kickstarter with their second watch, the Ventus Black Kite. Again they are going for a moderately-sized pilot’s watch but this time a different material for the case.
The Black Kite borrows heavily from their first watch, the Caspian. It re-purposes the Type-A and Type-B dials and hands which are both hallmarks of the original B-Uhr watch designs. It is the classic sterile dial, no brand markings, no notes of water resistance or movement type or any other reference. Just numeric hour markers (save for 12 o’clock with the double dot flanked triangle), stick minute markers with the hour markers being longer. Both dial types are sandwich dials with the top dial having cutouts so the luminescence on the under dial can glow through. The lume will have options for white BGW9 or the vintage colored C1 which differs from the Caspian and should provide better visibility. Enough about the dials, as stated they are pretty much the same as the Caspian. The case is where the Black Kite stands out.
Rather than use a traditional material, like stainless steel, or opting for the popular brass or bronze case, the Black Kite has a case made from carbon fiber. The case starts out from sheets of carbon fiber which are layered to give a wood-type finish to the case. The inner frame of the case is in fact stainless steel with the carbon fiber essentially molded around the frame. It makes for a very different and cool look which is referred to as “dark wood carbon fiber”. The stacking of the carbon fiber gives the case a more uniform look rather than a mottled marble style pattern were the fibers to be chopped and mixed. The case dimensions remain on the modest side with a 42mm diameter, 50mm lug to lug distance a 22mm lug witdth and 13.5mm thick.
Protecting the dial and movement is a sapphire crystal and a screw down crown giving the Black Kite 100M of water resistance. The movement is the Seiko NH35 automatic movement. The NH35 is a 24 jewel movement beating at 21,600 vph. Power reserve is around 41 hours and the movement has a hacking seconds hand.
Within hours of launch the Black Kite was already funded over 100% of goal. Pricing at the current tiers starts at $389 USD (365 EUR, $569 AUD); the $349 entry levels sold out quickly. The campaign runs until Friday, February 12, 2016 at 11:31 AM UTC. Head over to the Ventus Black Kite Kickstarter page for all the details and to order now.