For a watch that I honestly didn’t think could get any more eye-catching Devon have done a pretty good job with the latest iteration of their now well-known Tread 1 timepiece. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. The new Exoskeleton, as it’s called, is one seriously cool piece of wrist candy.
I assume by now that most of you are fairly well familiar now with the story of American-based Devon Works and the rise to fame of their pioneering Tread 1 timepiece, so I won’t bore you with the details. Suffice to say though that when it was first released back in 2010, the Tread 1 challenged many of the preconceived ideas about modern-day high-end watchmaking. Eventually though its high-quality construction and innovative design gained the approval of its peers and the Tread 1 was awarded the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve in 2011.
Arguably, what has always been most fascinating about this unique timepiece – well, for me at least – is the unusual way in which it functions. Up until now though it always seemed like the various components of the electronic engine driving those trademark mechanical belts were largely hidden beneath the oversized (56mm x 50mm) rectangular case. With the new Tread 1 Exoskeleton however these inner workings have all been laid bare, allowing you to get up close and personal with how it all works.
The familiar steel case is now fitted with a number of transparent polycarbonate components, including the crown, the horizontal end caps of the case and the lugs. The effect not only looks incredibly cool but also lets a lot of light through to the movement, allowing you to view things from multiple angles. The big hit for me though is the use of translucent time belts, which allow for a clearer view of the mechanical parts moving beneath as they work to drive one of the most distinctive time displays on the market.
Finishing off the look is a new steel bracelet, which replaces the rubber strap we have traditionally seen fitted to this collection. Given the size of the Tread 1 Exoskeleton it will be interesting to see how comfortable it is on the wrist with a steel bracelet but judging from the pictures at least it looks like a pretty solid construction.
Indicative pricing is somewhere between US$30,000-35,000, however this is to be confirmed as other metals may be used, such as white or yellow gold (pictured).
The Final Word
I’m not sure if this will be final edition of the Tread 1 given that Devon should be officially introducing the new Tread 2 next week at Baselworld, however if it is than this is a great way to end the collection. Like a retiring magician revealing all their secrets, the Exoskeleton gives us a rare insight into what is really a fascinating timepiece.