Umbra is Latin for “shadow” and, in fact, a direct reference to the supply of inspiration of this watch. Not like the unique Gnomon (the model’s first venture), which had a single hand conventionally rotate across the dial, the Umbra has a static hand with a rotating time disc, extra paying homage to an precise sundial. The design of the Photo voltaic Lab Co. Umbra is fascinating, unconventional and inexpensive. It’s a contemporary tackle the traditional idea, works surprisingly nicely, and is now stay on Kickstarter.
Photo voltaic Lab Co. is a microbrand primarily based in Toronto, Canada that focuses on the earliest horological idea identified to man – the sundial. Its first venture, the Gnomon watch, was a single hand, sundial-inspired piece with a Miyota 8215 Automated and was efficiently funded on Kickstarter in 2017. The corporate is again in 2019 with its second single-hand watch, the Umbra, once more impressed by a Roman sundial.
Single-hand watches are nothing new, with manufacturers like MeisterSinger specializing within the format. The rotating disc is exclusive, nevertheless, and helps separate the Umbra from extra established designs. Wanting on the dial, solely the highest two-thirds of the disc are seen, which was a deliberate design ingredient as sundials are solely useful from daybreak to nightfall (leaving a “clean” area at night time). The disc rotates clockwise, which is definitely backwards from what could be anticipated with this setup, however it’s only a matter of acclimatizing to the format.
Roman numerals and an interior minute observe are printed on the time disc, with the numerals representing the hours, index markers between them representing half hours, and the index markers on the interior observe representing 15-minute increments. A pretend minute observe surrounds the outermost perimeter of the dial (the only hand by no means rotates) however provides to the general aesthetic. The hand itself is formed like a conventional sundial piece with a triangular base stretching to a slender level. The time is about by the crown, which merely rotates the disc to the right place. There isn’t a date or different problems, so that you’ll must scrawl your calendar within the sand like our distant ancestors.
The 316L stainless-steel case is 43mm in diameter and 11mm in peak, and is available in three colors – silver, black and rose gold. This was a deliberate color palette as these colors resemble supplies utilized in historical artisanal crafts and sculptures, together with marble, granite, copper and alabaster. Alabaster and marble had been primarily used for statues and sculptures, copper was the primary metallic utilized in artisanal work and black granite was a logo of favor and energy in each development and ornament. Flip the watch over and also you’ll discover engraved zodiac indicators on the outer metal perimeter with a tinted mineral glass exhibition window to match the case color. Underneath the glass is a Miyota 8215 automated with 21 jewels, 21,600vph (3Hz) and a 40-hour energy reserve. First developed in 1977, it’s a available, dependable workhorse. Each crystals are mineral glass with the entrance being domed and the case is water resistant to 50 metres.
The 20mm leather-based straps (narrowing to 18mm) are made in Chicago by the Horween tannery and are available in three colors – espresso for the silver case, darkish chocolate for the gold case, and black for the black case. Primarily based on buyer suggestions, Horween was chosen over the Classic Italian leather-based straps from the Gnomon sequence and the model is assured they’ll be much more snug and sturdy. Kickstarter costs begin at EUR 239 for Tremendous Early Chook consumers (for any mannequin), Early Chook consumers get the silver mannequin for EUR 255, the black mannequin for EUR 260 and the rose gold mannequin for EUR 265. A number of watches may be bought at a Kickstarter low cost as nicely. For extra info, go to the Photo voltaic Lab Co. Kickstarter web page.