You always remember the watches that shock you. When I first saw the Electricianz Ammeter watch, it leaped off the screen at me. I pored over the press release, desperate for an explanation of what exactly this bright spark was all about. Believing almost immediately that, with the viability of a project so aesthetically divisive, its key to success (or gateway to failure) would come down to pricing decisions. Having studied the product and assessed the price, I got the feeling the brand got it just about right, but would probably have to weather a lot of crticism for such an off-base design. Now, with the release of the Electricianz The CarbonZ watch, the brand adds a smoky new colorway to a range that seems to have found its feet.
At its core, the Electricianz The CarbonZ watch is a very simple time-only quartz watch with a neat light that illuminates the off-center time dial for a few seconds when the button at the traditional 2 o’clock position is pressed. What is anything but simple about this watch, is its striking aesthetic. With a very clear inspiration, the watch delivers in the design congruity department by visually celebrating its roots, while making full use of the battery-powered movement with the illuminator.
One of the most opinion-splitting aspects of the design has the be the nylon case. While the watch has a decent weight to it, thanks to a metal core, the aesthetic lives on or dies with your opinion of the non-standard “sheath” that gives the watch its form. We’ve got a hands-on review lined up for this piece coming in few weeks, so I’ll dive into its feel and wearability then, but from a purely stylistic perspective, I like it based on the images supplied. The lack of a sapphire crystal (mineral is used here) is a shame for the price, but it doesn’t diminish its appearance.
My immediate takeaway for this piece is that it hits a weird demographic. At around $400, it’s approaching the pricing realm of some pretty decent entry-level mechanicals. To beat out those competitors and attract fans of traditional watchmaking, it had to go all-out with its trend-bucking design. It will win some people over, without a doubt, and be seen as a fun, arresting alternative to the more standard fare one might expect to find in a seasoned watch-collector’s portfolio. But where it sings, in my opinion, is its appeal to young fans of watchmaking — and I mean really young. Although it is way out of the price range of kids storing their pocket money for sweets and comics, I could see it being a much-loved gift from an experienced watch-loving parent hoping to encourage their eight-year-old to take an interest in their passion. I’m basing this entirely on my having shown these images to all of the children in my extended family to get their feedback. Simply put, they thought it was cool. And the more I thought about it, the more I agreed with them. It can be very easy to forget what made us fall in love with watches in the first place, but the simple joy an object can elicit shouldn’t be overlooked, even when such a purchase cannot hope to result in value appreciation.
The problem faced by any burgeoning lovers of this fascinatingly varied craft would be case size. At 45mm, this is quite a large piece (although not unwieldy, due to its light weight). But that doesn’t detract from its immensely engaging appearance. It will certainly split opinion, but, like many of the most enduring watches history has observed, that may not be a bad thing at all.