But what's been going on over the past decade? Well, I'll tell you what's been going on, a hermit, working hard, day and night, probably forgetting to eat, only to come out of his R&D cave with a mouthwatering lineup of timepieces that are proudly built right here in the U.S. Time to see what's in store from an American brand that has been revered by the Swiss.
Three timekeeper styles are shown on the Wilbur website, but only one is currently available for purchase, the Launch Edition. However, the future will be changing all that. But, that doesn't mean that everyone is limited to the same timepiece. There are five variations for the Launch Edition, but the most expensive models are already sold out, including the $6,250 (€6,150 at current exchange rates) JWB SS CR1.
Nonetheless, the JWA and JWB are still available for those who want to support this modern American brand, and best of all, both pieces will cost you $2,700 (€2,650) and are limited to 250 each. Yes, only you and 250 other folks will ever own the same watch. The more expensive styles are limited to 20 or less, hence why they're gone.
Case aside, it's time to reveal a bit about the movement inside these buggers. Since the Swiss don't give up their goods that easily, the Launch uses a Japanese Seiko NH-35A automatic movement with 24 jewels. However, Wilbur has modified it to their liking and is running at 21,600 BPH with a 41-hour power reserve.
Now, all that aside, just take a moment and really let this timepiece soak into your visual cortex. The steel case, secured and fastened with black screws, and highlighted by a black crown, sits in wait for a watch face embellished with a floating hour and minute ring, only to be chased down by quick hands until the end of time. If you need to know what date it is, that feature is available too. Essential details like minutes, hours, and the date are highlighted with a crisp color tone based on the model chosen, so make sure you comb through the available options.
final details you should know about are found on the backside of the timekeeper. Aside from being able to see a tad of the movement, the words "Designed In California" and "Race Fuel Only" can be seen cradling "Wilbur" and "Launch" underneath. You'll also be reminded of how quickly you acted in owning the Launch Edition by an "X Of 250" in between the strap lugs. Oh, 100 meters of water depth, and the piece should still be fine.
While exploring the Wilbur brand, I noticed that there are more watches lined up for this year, and we'll be sure to cover those as well. In the meantime, if you see something that rocks your grey matter, don't be afraid to ask Wilbur if they're willing to build an extra timekeeper from the ones sold out; if the price is right, I'm sure you folks can work something out.
I think you should keep an eye on this team and what they have in store for the future because it's not every day that you see an American brand living up to Swiss standards of accuracy and design. I say this because although the Launch Edition features a Seiko movement, what Wilbur has in store are genuine Swiss articles. Better start putting aside some of your paycheck each month.