Most worn&wound readers know that military and military inspired designs are a frequent favorite around here; we certainly have covered our fair share on the topic. Thanks to a post on the Wallet Friendly Watch Forum recently we got a heads up on an upcoming Kickstarter brand launch that we feel may be of interest to worn&wound readers as it fits into the military theme. The new brand is Helmel Watches launching the week of March 21st (2016) with their Hemel Military (HM) series. We got some early info before the launch to share, thanks to the brand’s founder and owner.
The goal of these designs was to capture the “iconic heritage look of mid-century military timepieces”. The military look is especially evident in each of the four available dial options, while the case adds mid-century flair. It takes interesting elements from vintage watches and bumps up the dimensions to 40mm in diameter with a lug to lug distance of 48mm; the lugs will take a 20mm strap. The bezel combines a small coin edge on the inner diameter with a smooth polished bezel around the outer portion. It’s a nice detail that adds a bit of character to the design. The remainder of the case appears to have a polished finish as well.
The Hemel Military Kickstarter will offer four dial choices and a couple hand choices (not sure if the hands will be chosen or set with each dial type). The first has a field-style dial with numbers for each hour and an inner ring of numbers continuing in smaller print from 13-24. Triangles on each hour and a minute track complete the dial. The second dial has even hour numbers with narrow, arrow point style markers on the odd hours, and subdivided minute track running above the hour marker track, giving it a more casual mid-century aesthetic. Dial three again has numerals for each hour with 12, 3, 6, and 9 printed larger, all encircled by a sport index of rectangle, dots and lines with sub-divisions down to 1/5th second. This dial almost feels like a cross between a field and a vintage diver. The final dial has evenly sized numerals around the dial with a ladder-style minute track around, giving it an early military feel. The hands on the models shown are either lumed dauphine or stick hands that taper to a fine point.
The movement is the now common Miyota 9015 which can be seen behind a sapphire crystal, screw down display back. The front crystal is also a domed sapphire crystal. The push-pull crown provides 100M of water resistance. Strap options and packaging will be revealed with the Kickstarter. No word on pricing at this stage.
From what we have seen, the Hemel Military watches look pretty well done. Traditional with clear military design queues, a reliable movement, reasonable water resistance; there’s a lot to like. You can stay up to date with the brand on their Facebook page and we will also post when the Kickstarter goes live.