Watchuseek readers may recall an article on the Boston Watch Company last month. The watch featured attracted just a shade under 200 likes. The Charles River Diver was created by Walter Schofield and fellow WUS member Preston Turk with a focus on offering the best quality and value for the money. The concept was proposed to the WUS community initially under the name “Newport Watch” and was subsequently refined following numerous suggestions from members.
The Charles River Diver will be custom built by Fred Amos of the Bernhardt Watch Company, and not only that, the watch will also be serviced by Bernhardt Watch Company. As the brand's Indiegogo campaign enters its last two weeks, we asked Walter Schofield to explain the thinking behind the Charles River diver and the Boston Watch Company.
1) For readers who may not have read or heard about The Boston Watch Company or the Charles River Diver, please can you recap the concept and intention behind the watch.
WS: The idea behind this watch came from a desire for a diver that had the highest quality components in all areas, unique yet conservative design, and had a fair price. Not quite being satisfied with the current offerings, Preston decided to start designing a watch with those qualities and see if it could be put into production. After an initial design was posted on WUS, Preston and Walter started working together and with the help of Fred Amos, brought the concept to where it is today.
2) Please tell us more about the unique bolted construction of the Charles River Diver.
WS: The bolted construction of the diver is inspired by innovative case designs like the original Omega Ploprof, AP Royal Oak, and Vostok Amphibian, which allow outside water pressure to compress the case in such a way that increases water resistance. This design is very reliable, does not put a shearing action on the rubber gaskets, and lets the case protect itself using the very force that is trying to destroy it.
3) You are using the Miyota/Citizen 9015 to power the watch, can you explain your reasons for choosing this particular movement?
WS: The Miyota/Citizen 9015, as echoed by many forum members here on WUS, is a reliable and accurate engine. As forum members are well aware, ETA has been winding down sales to brands outside the Swatch group for years, and consequently the movements will only get more scarce in the future. Due to this, Miyota/Citizen have developed a movement designed to compete with many Swiss offerings, and from what we hear it is very successful in doing that. Because of the quality and accuracy we have head about, the 9015 is a good choice for our initial model as well as future offerings.
4) As you know well, the diver watch market is a very crowded one, what would you say differentiates The Boston Watch Company from others in your competitive frame?
WS: There are many competitors in this market, and we have set ourselves apart through design and technical superiority. We set out to design a watch that was unique, but not funky. All the dimensions have been carefully considered to work well together. If you run through our technical specifications, every single field has the highest quality materials: the best lume available, the most durable crystal and bezel, a diver’s extension clasp, and the list goes on and on. Many offerings find at least one area to skip, but when you pre-order a Charles River diver you’ll know that each feature has been built to be the best, as it should be.
5) You say that one of your strongest motivations for starting your watch company is the love of your city. Does the watch reflect the qualities and character of Boston? And if so, what is that character?
WS: Boston has always been a strong city, since way back to having a hand in starting the Revolutionary War. The people of Boston are proud of their city, and are characterized by being innovative and straightforward. The city itself is truly beautiful; there’s a sense of tradition in the age of the buildings and how everything is kept up, which also gives off an air of permanence, too.
The “Charles River” diver holds these characteristics of strength and beauty. The watch is made of solid stainless steel and sapphire, which are two incredibly strong materials. It is rated to 300 meters of pressure, which comes out to over 400 pounds of pressure per square inch. As for the design, we have worked closely with the WUS forum members and Fred Amos to refine it to be balanced and legible. Between these characteristics, we believe we have done well in honoring the city with the design.
6) What are the mid to long term plans for the brand? What is the vision?
WS: Following production our goal is to spread distribution of the watch in order for people to be able to handle our watches in person and compare them to others at different price points. We would love to grow the brand and the business, Walter and I are avid watch lovers and it would be a dream to be able to design and market quality watches.
7) Are further watches planned in association with the Bernhardt Watch Company? Will there be other genres beyond a diver’s watch?
WS: Our longer term plan will be to release more models that extend beyond the dive watch segment that also have high quality materials, are well designed, and priced well. Areas we are looking at include chronographs, pilot’s watches, and dress watches.
8) Was there any particular reason or advantage in placing the date window at 4:30 on the Charles River Diver?
WS: The placement of the date window was done in order to retain the balance of the hour indices. We had considered placing the date at 3:00, but losing that marker threw off the dial. Because of this, 4:30 was a logical place to put it that didn’t draw too much attention, but was legible when one wanted to know the date.
9) ‘The best build at the best value’ is a good ethos to have, what will your price point be for your watches?
WS: Our Pre-order price has two options, $600 for a full deposit, or $300 for a 50% option, with the final 50% due before delivery. Full retail price after the campaign will be $999. Following watches will be priced based on what is fair. We are out to sell these watches for a competitive price based on what we can offer.
10) With 28 days to go on your Kickstarter campaign you have raised $9,711 of an intended $47,000 goal. Is BWC going to come to fruition?
WS: We are focusing our attention on filling as many pre-orders as possible for the campaign. In the event that we don’t make the goal, we will evaluate our options from there and see if production is a possibility. We’d love nothing more than producing these watches, and are doing our best to get them made.
See the Boston Watch Company Indiegogo campaign