“This project started four years ago when I could not find a watch that was affordable and stylish enough for the weekend nights, but rugged enough for the backcountry. After years of shop work and field testing, I have now reached a point where I can use my engineering skillset to bring this watch to life. Using high-quality parts, assembling by hand in the USA, and a direct-to-consumer retail model, I cut out inflated retail prices and offer a watch that keeps up with you from the trail to dinner at 8.”
There’s something very fulfilling about a product made by someone who knows exactly what problem they’re solving. Rather than make something for everybody (which I argue is really for nobody, because it lacks focus) Tyler Fellman made a watch for himself. Fortunately for Tyler, there are also at least 80 other people who think they have the same needs, because his watch project has now been fully funded on Kickstarter.
What Tyler’s made is a field watch with slender lugs that extend in a classic slope shoulder manner from the central round body of the watch. It’s a 38.5 diameter watch, standing 9.75mm off the wrist. The lugs angle back, rather than curving gently around the wrist, and to increase ruggedness, there are no spring bars. Instead, the lugs rely on a bolt-together arrangement, using allen wrenches. The straps are two shades of leather, olive nylon, or black nylon.
The dial is a simple one, laser etched, so that the numerals and indices are the metal of the dial plate, showing through beneath the painted surface. For a special limited edition ($199 USD) Tyler is allowing his backers to customize the dials, with name, logo, or the backer’s own design. For most backers, he offers numerals or indices, on black or white dial choices. There are six designs in total, all named for mountain ranges in North America. Rocky and Cascade are on the olive NATO straps, cases and hardware in PVD black. Rocky is a black dial, Cascade is the same watch with a white dial. Sierra Nevada is the black case / black dial on leather strap. Teton is the white dial, silver case on leather. Superstition (not a mountain range that I’m familiar with) is the black dial, silver case on black NATO. Olympic is the silver case, white dial on black NATO.
As a watch goes, by the parts, it’s something we’ve seen before; sapphire crystal, stainless steel case, Ronda Swiss quartz movement, but the $99 being asked for one of the six designs is more than reasonable for what you’re getting. Yes, it’s a quartz watch. Yes, it’s water resistant to 100M, which isn’t much in the scheme of things. But it isn’t wrong, either. Here’s what you’re getting: You’re getting a watch whose hands have the proper length to match the indices they’re meant to mark. You’re getting a case that isn’t too large or too small, and is inspired by classic cases of watches past. For $99, you can feel comfortable beating it up, wearing it with a proper Oxford shirt, while rock-climbing, or doing a pub crawl. This is a watch for everyday use, and more power to Tyler Fellman that he found his audience for it. You can find out more at Fellmanwatchco.com