Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean article! On this “shiok” Saturday, I’m introducing the Blackbird from new microbrand, Wrist Lore.
The Wrist Lore Blackbird is currently live on Kickstarter here. Let’s delve into the project.
Wrist Lore Blackbird
The Wrist Lore Blackbird is inspired by the cockpit design of the SR-71 “Blackbird” military aircraft, which once held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft.
According to Wrist Lore, the brand wanted to “introduce a new kind of pilot watch…a timepiece enveloping a stylized balance of elegance and form, mixed with [their] lifelong love of aviation”. Thus the Wrist Lore Blackbird (pictured above) was born.
The brand states that the bezel design of the Blackbird is inspired by the cockpit dials of the original SR-71 “Blackbird” planes. The bezel features exposed black screws – like on the dials of the plane – as well as red highlights that is meant to “signify the centre of gravity controls”, as well as a canteen lock system and chapter ring. “The goal was to simulate the ingenuity of the aircraft itself whilst staying aesthetically pleasing,” shared the brand.
There is also a range of finishing applied to the Blackbird – bevelling, lapping, polishing, as well as brushing. It’s certainly not common to see 4 different type of finishing techniques present in an affordable ~$500 watch!
The specifications of the Blackbird is actually pretty impressive! It’s powered by the automatic Miyota 82S0 movement, which is unsurprising given that it’s one of the only affordable skeletonised movements on the market currently. It beats at 21,600 bph, hand-winds, has about 42 hours of power reserve, but does not hack. It also features sapphire crystal both front and back, so no worries about scratches on this watch! Lastly, the watch comes with Swiss Superluminova C1 lume, and boasts a WR rating of 100M.
The dial of the Wrist Lore Blackbird takes inspiration from the cockpit of the actual Blackbird aircraft as well. According to the brand, the grille overlay on the dial is supposed to resemble the window panel style inside the SR-71 aircraft. It plays with the light well, and “accentuates the watch’s geometric status”.
When Wrist Lore first showed me pictures of their Blackbird, I instantly thought it was a $1000, or at least close to $1000, watch. This is one that will definitely be a conversation starter. Imagine my surprise when Wrist Lore promptly told me that the Kickstarter price is slated to be just $329 USD! Based on specifications alone, I think that’s a great deal.
What I like most about the Blackbird is its unconventional design. It’s not a dive watch, it’s not a dress watch – two styles flooding Kickstarter currently – nor is it, despite what the brand says, a typical pilot’s watch. It’s something unique and different, and I really appreciate that. I think the stealthy black finish and the intricately designed dial is really eye-catching as well.
Of course, as a watch enthusiast, one can’t ignore the influences the Wrist Lore Blackbird takes from the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak – the inspiration is clear in the integrated bracelet, as well as the screws on bezel look. That’s enough to put off some people, but I’m personally fine with it. It’s not an homage – no one would mistake the Blackbird for an APRO – and at this price point, I can accept Wrist Lore incorporating looks from high horology watches in their timepiece. I mean, big brands like Bell & Ross, Chopard and even G-Shock recently introduced models that take clear influences from the iconic Royal Oak, so I can’t really blame Wrist Lore for doing the same.
My only criticism on the watch would be the canteen crown, which reminds me of cheap, TW Steel watches. I think it’s a bizarre inclusion – Wrist Lore states that it helps protect the crown, allowing the watch to achieve its 100 WR rating, but I know of plenty of watches that don’t have a canteen crown and still boasts WR ratings of 100M or greater. You don’t need a canteen crown, just a screw-down one. The rest of the Blackbird references design stylings from high-end luxury timepieces, but the canteen crown just cheapens the look of the watch, in my opinion.
Overall though, I still dig the looks of the Wrist Lore Blackbird. I think the Blackbird offers a dose of the same stealthy, sporty charm as some of its horological influences, but at a literal fraction of the price. If you like avante-garde designs, and don’t mind the canteen crown of the Blackbird, I think the watch is a great value proposition for its Kickstarter pricing of $339 USD/ S$457. It even comes in a pretty cool packaging (see above image)! All in all, the Wrist Lore Blackbird stands out from the throngs of generic looking watches flooding Kickstarter currently, and that’s commendable in itself.
View the Wrist Lore Blackbird Kickstarter campaign here.
Technical Specifications: Blackbird LE Automatic (Black, Silver & Rose Gold Editions)Price: Kickstarter $369 / MSRP $450-550
Movement: Miyota 82S0 Automatic
10ATM/100M Water Resistant.
Military Style Canteen Protection Lock.
Super-LumiNova SL C-1 Hours/Minutes/Seconds.Scratch Resistant Sapphire Glass & Exhibition Caseback.
Hand finished 316L Surgical Grade.
Stainless Steel Case & Bracelet.
Dimensions: 45mm wide x 14.5mm thickness.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!