Step counters. Sleep tracking. Food logging. The list goes on. Can I get a watch that tells me the time and not the fact I hit 10,000 steps?
We hear minimalism tossed around a lot in design circles. But, how many watch companies pull it off at a price point that isn’t absurd? Lehft is a Kickstarter campaign that takes minimalist luxury and removes the luxury price tag.
The Lehft Watch Story
I had a chance to speak with Kevin, founder of Lehft, to get the story behind the unique name and design.
”The original idea started with my love for minimal watches. Most minimal watches on the market looked very similar with no real identity they lacked distinguishable features. From there, I wanted to make something a little different, something that had an instantly recognisable feature in a minimal watch. Something left of centre and away from the norm. That’s the primary reason for the name Lehft. Secondly, the spelling was a slight play on words to give it an identity.”
Watch collectors and aficionados have known that the watch isn’t merely a way to tell time. It’s an extension of your personality. How many times has a conversation been started thanks to a unique watch?
Now ask the question with the numerous smartwatches hitting the market. I’m more likely to ask to tap out SOS on the Apple Watch than talk about the design. What? It’s the company’s fault for demoing the haptic feedback.
Elegant simplicity always wins in the battle style. The left of center symmetry here is perfection. Your eyes are drawn to it as soon as you see a Lehft watch.
Minimalism and Lehft Watches
An area that grabs my attention when talking to designers is where do you draw the line? What gets left behind to stay true to minimalism? Kevin explained the process for Lehft’s first collection, and the symmetry the watch face draws:
”When designing a watch the possibilities for details are endless, and so designing an appealing minimal watch can sometimes be quite tricky. One of the main things I wanted was a minimal watch that could be recognised instantly, so we played around with the symmetrical halves. If you have a look, you can see that the strap edges align with the symmetrical halves, and the crowns sit perpendicular at the 4 o’clock position to balance it out. There were a few things we dropped like a date window and even thought about doing a chronograph.”
You can see in the comments people asking for a date window, but for the first collection, it makes sense to drop it. Looking at the product imagery, adding a date window would toss out the symmetry achieved in the design.
It’s the company’s first line. With a successful Kickstarter campaign, the team can focus on launching the chronograph or other models.
Lehft Watch Kickstarter
The company is enjoying knocking out the funding goal of just over $10,000 in 24 hours. Lehft is happening and with nearly a month on the clock, the campaign is in a good position.
A minimalist watch doesn’t mean skimping on features. Each Lehft watch is constructed with a Swiss Ronda movement, sapphire glass, completely lug-less, and coated in stainless steel PVD.
Feel free to take it swimming with the water resistance of 50 meters. Design elements include the geometric silhouette and the 4 o’clock crown position. You want a luxury watch that immediately sparks a conversation, Lehft gives it to you.
Here’s a breakdown of the technical specs for each watch:
Movement: Swiss-Made Rhonda 763 Movement
Water Resistant: 5ATM (50 Meters)
Case Diameter: 42 mm Case
Face Diameter: 38 mm
Band Material: Genuine Calf Leather Band
Band Width: 20 mm
Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel PVD
Back Casing: 316L Stainless Steel PVD
Clasp: Standard Buckle Clasp
Clasp Material: Brushed 316L Stainless Steel
Color selection is a paired down to not overwhelm consumers. The rose gold bezel is paired with a gray, brown or blue leather strap. The gold option sticks with the black strap and face.
My favorite? The black on black option. Personally, I’m not a gold person, so I immediately gravitate towards color that skews away from the gold look. Besides, can you get more minimalist than the black?
[divider]Pricing and Ship Dates[/divider]
The Founders Edition of the collection is set at around $127 USD. The Kickstarter is out of Australia, so expect the price to move a few cents in either direction depending on global currency moves. Once the campaign ends, you can choose the color that fits your style.
Want multiple colors? The campaign offers multi-packs starting at two for $233 USD, three for $332 USD and four at $446.
Ship dates for the watches are set for May 2016, or two months after the campaign’s end.
A popular one among Kickstarter backers is where the extra funding ends up. For Lehft, it’s all about expansion:
”We have been discussing a few options for stretch goals, and this is something we’re really excited about! We potentially have the option of one or two new models, additional strap colours and interchangeable strap options. The most challenging part is deciding if it’s possible financially, so it all depends on how well our Kickstarter campaign goes.”