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Get ready for takeoff – with the OVD Saturnian, the Hong Kong-based Kickstarter specialist is once again reaching for the stars and presenting an unusual watch on the crowdfunding platform, which is in no way inferior to the previous space timepieces…
There are few brands whose history and rise are as closely linked to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter as that of OVD Watches. Founded in 2016 by Ricky Lam in Hong Kong, OVD has released every one of its models created to date here. It is mainly thanks to the unusual designs of Ricky Lam, who is also the watchmaker’s chief designer, that OVD has been able to become so popular and acquire a steadily growing fan base. You just have to know how to stand out. And: thanks to today’s production techniques, there are no limits to the realization of curious ideas. Whether you like them or prefer classic designs is, of course, a matter of taste. Nevertheless: how themes like the sunken Atlantis or the Titanic are processed in a wristwatch is simply exciting!
So far, each of the Kickstarter projects has been a complete success. I was allowed to test some of them in the past years. I particularly remember the Blue Moon Europa and the Moon Walker II Lunar Crater, whose review reports I would like to recommend to you – even if the idea of placing a small celestial body in the center of the dial may sound bizarre.
Apparently, Ricky Lam has a penchant for planets, our solar system and space in general. Now, after Mars and the Moon, the Hong Kong founder and his team have set their sights on Saturn, the second largest planet in our solar system. Including the sun, there would be room for seven more celestial bodies in the collection.
The case in detail
Swatch and OMEGA have already implemented such a “solar system for the wrist” and caused quite a stir. However, the approach of the OVD team is completely different. Why just design the watch in the colors of the planet when you can also put an entire miniature version in the center of the dial?
Admittedly – at the beginning of my test I needed a little push to imagine the full impact of the mini-saturn. Saturn is a gas giant and – if you leave out its rings – looks a bit boring. While craters on Mars and the Moon are evidence of impacts in the past, Saturn looks more like a stirred latte macchiato.
This does not detract from the spectacular look of the OVD Saturnian. The entire watch has a crystalline, glassy look. In fact, most of the case is made of sapphire crystal. OVD has to be commended for this idea alone.
Within the series – indeed, an entire series is planned – the crystalline OVD Saturnian is the reference that polarizes the most. If that doesn’t appeal to you: don’t worry, because a stainless steel case is also used in another four watches of different colors.
The OVD Saturnian on the wrist
The case – in this watch review in the crystalline variant – measures 44 millimeters in diameter. That doesn’t exactly make the Saturnian compact. Nevertheless, the length from lug to lug is more meaningful. It is 49.50 millimeters. From this, you can easily see how the watch rests on the wrist. Due to the very curved watch glass, the height of the watch is 16.70 millimeters in total.
This means that the Saturnian can still disappear under a sweater or shirt without any problems. And speaking of style, the OVD Saturnian is so extravagant that it fits everywhere and at any time. The only condition is that you wear it with pride and dignity. Questions about what the unusual design means are guaranteed.
What drives the OVD Saturnian
The significance of the glass Saturnian becomes especially clear when you look at the features inside. OVD donates a SW300 automatic caliber to the flagship. The Swiss manufacturer used the caliber to replicate ETA’s legendary 2824 and brought it to market after patent protection expired. Compared to the related SW200, it has a higher power reserve of 42 hours. Depending on the quality level, it offers an accuracy of at least -12 to +12 seconds.
Those who prefer to play it safe and wear stainless steel instead of sapphire crystal will have to settle for a Japanese-made Miyota 9039. The caliber, which was launched in 2018, also has a power reserve of 42 hours, but has an accuracy of only around -10 to +30 seconds per day.
A beauty in the night sky – the dial with integrated Saturn
In the dark, the OVD Saturnian unfolds its full beauty. When the replica Saturn under the blue hands absorbs UV light, it glows. This is also true for the slightly brighter ring. If you look at the watch, you are looking at Saturn and its ring system from above, so to speak. It is contrasted by blue luminous Arabic numerals. In daylight, these still stand out visibly in white against the transparent background.
The OVD Saturnian is worn on a glass rubber strap. Contrary to my expectations, it hardly differs visually from the sapphire crystal, which is why the watch seems to be made as if from one cast. The rubber strap is comfortable and can withstand most wear.
Box and Kickstarter campaign
When you get the Saturnian shipped to your home, it will of course be in a box. However, OVD wouldn’t be OVD if this packaging was devoid of playful details and gimmicks. The Saturnian experience includes a small UV light to instantly illuminate the watch and a miniature version of Saturn. The latter measures a proud 30 millimeters and has an extra base with logo, but unfortunately no rings.
As far as communicating with fans via the Kickstarter campaign is concerned, no one can fool OVD. Every single feature is explained to the supporters very clearly and with the help of graphics. From the cross-section to the colors to the timeline of the realization process, you get a good feel for how much work goes into a single wristwatch.
My conclusion about the OVD Saturnian
Like its predecessors, the OVD Saturnian is dedicated to a celestial body with great attention to detail and does it justice. Saturn’s surface texture alone makes it more difficult to implement than, for example, the moon. In daylight, I remain a bit skeptical whether my family or friends would recognize perhaps the most famous planet in the hemisphere. In the dark it looks already different. Here the OVD Saturnian shows its best side and illuminates the glass case.
With the glass case stands and falls probably the decision of most whether the sapphire crystal version is the right one for them. If you are willing to pay the decent price premium compared to the stainless steel version, you will be rewarded with good quality and a more precise movement.
And so it goes on…
The only question left is, when the OVD Saturnian will be ready for takeoff. OVD Watches is transparent. After the first product photos and 3D renderings were created in January 2023, the launch of the campaign will take place in May. If this is successful, the Hong Kong manufacturer will start production the following month. After quality control, delivery to the first customers should take place in December 2023.
Your support is needed for this. If you are interested in the stainless steel version, you will have to pay about USD 359.00. The sapphire glass version will be much more expensive at a price of USD 3,699.00. In case of doubt, you should be quick, because the only 30 pieces worldwide will find their buyers. At least if the OVD Saturnian is as successful as its predecessors. That should be feasible!
All further information about the watch, the Kickstarter campaign and OVD Watches can be found below.