When it comes to Kickstarter projects, it takes something well out of the ordinary to make the dark, cynical hearts of us watch editors (at least here at WWR) to take notice. Then you have something like the Uriel Geneqt GE001 cufflinks come along, and you just have to rub your eyes, wondering if you’re in a dream (feverish or otherwise).
For me, watches and cufflinks just go together like peanut butter and jelly. That said, it’s more of a proximity thing, as I wear a watch daily, and I’ve got cufflinks on a few times a week. I will admit to having been tempted by those “artsy” ones that have a bunch of watch movement gears set in resin, or even some of the ones that take older (smaller) – but still functional – movements and turn them into cufflinks. However, I have never gotten around to pulling the trigger, aside from the Baz Persaud pair that I have.
With the Uriel Geneqt cufflinks (first model designated GE001) you have cufflinks that are actually functional watches. At first glance, these look like yet another Submariner homage type of a watch, but the two-tone bezels take things in more of a GMT Master II direction. More on that bezel in a moment, but this is definitely inspired by the big Swiss crown, for sure. The 24-hour bezel is an interesting inclusion, as there’s no GMT hand (only so much a small Miyota quartz movement can do in these dimensions), so I’ve a feeling it’s more there because those are the Rolex bezels that have the two-tone finish. Especially as the bezels are fixed.
I doubt many of us wear two watches, so why might you want two cufflinks telling the time, as you would have with a pair of Uriel Geneqts? Well, for starters, balance. Secondly, the brand is intending one of the pair to be set to your local time, and the second to a remote time zone (or, home and away, as they label them). What remains to be seen is how well they actually work for telling the time.
With a 21mm diameter, the Uriel Geneqt should be fairly legible, especially in the higher-contrast black dials. That then leads to how to wear these. IE, do you put them into the cuffs upside down so you can try to read the time, or do you put them so someone looking at your cuffs can read the time? This would take some playing around to figure out how well it works (and I’ve a feeling trying to read the time from your cuff is going to be awkward, at best).
That then leads to the other concern one might have – actual wearbility. Aside from the positioning, you have to reconcile the fact that each cufflink is 7.5mm thick. For a watch, that’s downright thin. For a cufflink, that’s pretty bulky (and likely a good deal heavier than what you’d normally put into your French cuffs). All of these we should be able to give you a better idea on later this year. Once Uriel has product on hand (other than their prototypes) we’ll be going hands-on.
For myself, I am curious about these, for sure. While it may be a novelty to wear (and only the hands-on will tell for sure), I think I can find a use for these even if they weren’t on my cuffs. You see, these definitely call to mind the wall of clocks you would see in newsrooms back in the day (and perhaps today, even, in some cases). A little bit of handiwork with some wood or a 3D printer, and you could have a tidy little stand to get you dual time-zone tracking right there on your desk, along with it being a conversation piece.
With earlybird pricing starting at $127, my curiosity remains intact. It’s a unique idea, and I do really want to see these in person. They would definitely get cuff time, and even if they’re in a heavy rotation, I rather like the idea of them being on the desk when not being worn, rather than tucked away in a box, not seeing the light of day. Then again, that’s just me. Be sure to let us know below what you think of these, and what your favorite cuff links are (watch-related or not). And for those in the same boat as me, you can check out the Kickstarter project here. The project closes out on July 15, and stands at 28% funded as of this writing.