AERCY Watches Kickstarter reboot promises the end of “Inflated Swiss Watches”

AERCY’s Allure watches are like a pair of basic khakis: classic style without a hint of drama. It’s hard to object to the simple, neatly organized dial with raised baton indices all the way around and date at 3 o’clock. It sits atop the workhorse Ronda 515 quartz movement and is topped off with a nice looking sapphire crystal. The stainless steel case is well proportioned at 39 mm across, and you can have it in naked stainless, gold-tone, or two-tone, with bracelets to match or “Prada Quality” Italian leather, if you’re into that sort of thing. At $159 for Kickstarter Super Early Birds, it seems a good value.

About that Italian leather. There is an oddly defensive sales pitch that goes along with these otherwise perfectly defensible watches: From the “Same Quality as Prada” leather strap, to the claim that the Ronda 515 is “Equivalent Quality as Tissot, Tudor, Rolex, Christopher Ward, etc.” The Ronda is a fine little ticker, but it can’t compare to the in-house mechanicals from Tudor and Rolex. (The Oysterquartz has been dead for a decade and a half, but maybe that’s what they had in mind? Still …)

Puffery aside, the Allure seems to fit a niche for a simple and affordable watch that can do anything and go anywhere. While taking on Rolex might be a stretch, the comparison to Christopher Ward is apt. The Allure ends up looking like a cousin of the C5 Malvern Quartz, with the same movement and proportions. But the AERCY costs about $200 less than Christopher Ward. Of course, you’re getting a bit less watch, with AR coating on the sapphire and trim around the date window being the most conspicuous differences between the two on paper.

This sophomore Kickstarter effort out of Newcastle, UK, is chugging along at 34% funded after about ten days; a sight better than the 5% funding AERCY achieved on its first attempt at a whole range of timepieces. This model is a carry-over from that more ambitious first attempt, so maybe they’ve learned a thing or two along the way. We’ll know for sure when the campaign ends in about a month.