The large-cased watch attracted enough attention—and fans—that the firm immediately began work on its next model, Devon Tread 2, which it debuted in March at BaselWorld.
“It’s more of a daily driver,” says Scott Devon, founder of Devon Works, referring to the size and overall wearability of the Tread 2. The analogy is apt given the history of the company, which first made headlines in 2009 with the launch of the Devon GTX supercar.
Devon Works also created a line of premium lifestyle products from denim and leather clothing to custom motorcycles, and opened a short-lived boutique in Los Angeles. But Devon admits that his firm overreached and has since scaled back the company’s offerings, to focus on building the watch brand.
The smaller dimensions of the Tread 2’s multi-piece case (diameter and height) should be suitable for wider range of wrists than the hefty Tread 1, but the two remain similar in many other regards. Cases will be available in stainless steel, rose gold and DLC while a range of colors will be employed for the numbered belts and highlights. The ingenious microstep motor/belt-driven mechanics of the original timepiece carry forward to the new watch.
However, the seconds-indicator belt, a source of noise on the Tread 1, has been omitted in the Tread 2. A new crown system, featuring an articulating belt, actuates many of the timepiece’s functions, including a trick chronograph mode wherein the minute belt is “zeroed” and the hour set at 12 to ready the watch for timing.
“We’re capitalizing on the movement we made and we’re going to continue with it,” Devon explains. “Anything with belts telling time is what we’re going to try to monopolize and build a brand. This has opened a whole new to world us.”
Indeed, the return of Devon Works for its second year at BaselWorld and the launch of the Tread 2 show the seriousness of the brand.
“People have watched us since 2011. We’re an avant garde brand with a unique design. We’re the upstart crazy Americans coming into the watch world. We’ve gotten a lot of respect though.”
In 2010 the Tread 1 was nominated to the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie for the Best Design and Concept Watch, the first American brand ever to receive a nomination for the prestigious competition. There’s an amusing sidebar to that, says Devon.
“We were sitting in the audience during the Grand Prix awards ceremony. I speak a little bit of French but not enough. They got to our category and the presenter was saying that this should only be a Swiss show and that there shouldn’t be any American, Japanese or foreign brands included. We were clapping because we didn’t understand what he was saying!”
“That shows the conservativeness of some in the watch industry,” he adds. “But other avant-garde makers like MB&F and Urwerk have brought us into their fold. We’re making friends in the industry and our second year here at BaselWorld is very positive. People are saying Devon wasn’t just here for one year then gone. We’re here with new product and moving forward.”
The next model
And ‘moving forward’ isn’t just a figure of speech. Devon reports that the brand’s designers are already working on Tread 3. Tread 2 will sell at about half the price of the Tread 1 (which retails for about $17,000 to $20,000) and should be available by June in a production of 1,500 units. Devon will continue to limit the Tread 1 to 500 per year.
“We’re talking about having an even less expensive watch with Tread 3, about $5,000 to $6,000,” Devon notes. “We’ll also do another watch that is more cutting edge.” Look for Tread 3 and Tread 4 in 2013.