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Cafe Racer-Inspired Seals Watches

An affordable watch line debut designed with motorbikes and more in mind

by Richard Prime
on 23 January 2015
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With its inspiration from battles tanks of the 1940s and cafe racer motorcycles, Seals Watch Company's Model A is a great example of what a micro watch brand can do when blended with a genuine passion for detail. Based in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Seals is aiming its first timepiece, currently scooping plaudits on Kickstarter, at those who want more than a selection of stock parts from the East.

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Founder Michael Seals cites the arrival of his firstborn daughter as the catalyst for wanting to do something honest and creative. Indeed, he did as many do, and one evening grabbed pen and paper and did what he did best as a child: draw tanks. "The turret and hull translated perfectly into bezel and case, while the glacis plate and tracks became the lugs and centerpiece between them. Something clicked that night, a sense of direction that had to be explored further," he explains.

Being of a digital marketing background, he even applied the methods from his day job into the creative mix; using data analysis and research to refine the dimensions of the Model A. The result is a watch that bucks the huge dimensions that tend to dominate the wrist and opt for a 41mm case: "Able to glide under a cuff but hold its own out in the open, in the raw," Seals shares. At a glance, the Model A has a bold, sporty masculinity without being over the top.

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The case pays subtle homage to the man behind many classics, Gerald Genta, yet remains true to itself with every facet designed over many iterations by Seals. Looking at the founder's sketches, the tank influence is certainly visible, drilled low-slung lugs and a centre plate drawing upwards to its pronounced bezel. Screw down modules protect its crown while the whole case and dial are vertically brushed, inspired by Seals' hours admiring cafe racers. Polished hours markers are applied and match the luminescent skeletonized hands, driven by a solid Miyota 9015.

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Another key design direction is the option to use an integrated strap, which continues the flow of its fantastic case design in a more seamless way than a conventional strap. It's an area Seals hopes to focus more time on in the future, offering owners of its limited edition Model A premium options complete with a custom buckle.

Seals Watches is setting a new marker for micro watch makers, showing that it is possible to offer a holistically designed watch at a decent price that can still compete with many of the bigger wallet-busters on the market. Visit the Kickstarter, where rewards for funding include watches from the Model A collection.

Images courtesy of Seals Watch Company

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