Late last year a new watch brand was launched, pioneered by founder and head designer Jeff Kuo. Simply called Xetum, this funky new brand offers a novel take on minimalist watch design without compromising on functionality or quality. Each piece is well thought out and well put together, and just as importantly, well priced. Today, we thought we’d take a closer look at a particular model that caught our fancy, the brand new Xetum Tyndall.
A Brief Background
Before we start talking about the Tyndall in earnest, it is probably worthwhile giving you a brief background on this newcomer. Based in the U.S. one of the things that makes Xetum’s pieces unique (and that first caught our attention) is that they are all designed in, and therefore influenced by, their home city of San Francisco. Yet, in recognition of their strong desire to only produce top quality watches all pieces are manufactured and put together in Switzerland.
This may seem like a relatively minor point but in a crowded market this can really make a difference and help a particular brand out. The reason for this is that because Jeff Kuo is from San Francisco his ideas about design, form and functionality have been influenced by a whole different set of factors, as opposed to say a designer based in Switzerland. Often it is said that someone looking from the outside in can bring a fresh perspective and that is what’s happened here.
It’s not that one is better than the other, it’s just simply a different point of view and that’s what makes it so appealing. That and the fact the watches look great!
Keeping It Simple
One of the first things you notice when you look at either of Xetum’s initial two models is how simple and easy they are to read. For example the Tyndall features a 24-hour time display as well as a subsidiary seconds dial and a date function yet somehow the dial avoids appearing crowded or confusing. The choice of font and layout ensure that reading the time is a breeze and will not require you to squint at your wrist for several seconds trying to figure out the time, an issue further addressed by the anti-reflective coated sapphire crystal.
The design is simple and attractive and works for pretty much any occasion, be it a black tie dinner, a day at the office or on the golf course with friends. A good-looking watch without being too bold, the Tyndall is perfectly sized at 40mm, almost pre-empting the subtle shift we are now seeing away from oversized watches. The large ornate crown, designed with reference to the brand’s hexagonal logo, helps form the signature look of the piece whilst at the same time retaining the subtle appeal.
Nothing on this watch is overdone, everything is just as it should be.
Although not immediately obvious in the pictures the case is actually more of an oval shape, as opposed to the traditional round shape. Yet another subtle point of differentiation. In addition, the case has been designed without lugs and thus the strap attaches directly, further streamlining the design.
Powering the Tyndall is a nicely decorated Swiss ETA 2895-2 movement which is visible through the exhibition case back. And for the finishing touch the Tyndall is fitted with a naturally tanned leather strap that features a unique, and eco-friendly, Italian cork lining. The clasp is a push-button butterfly deployment that is signed with the Xetum logo.
Keeping all of the above in mind, the Tyndall represents excellent value at US$1,395 and is available to buy direct from Xetum.
The Final Word
As I’ve said before on here countless times, I love finding new watch brands that aren’t afraid to do something a little different but without compromising on quality. Xetum is an excellent example of such a brand and it will be very exciting to see what they come up with next. Well presented and sensibly priced it’s hard to think of a reason really why you shouldn’t add one of these to your collection.
If you would like more information check out Xetum’s official website.
And as a sneak peek, we will be speaking with Xetum founder and head designer Jeff Kuo in the not too distant future, so if you have any questions in particular you would like us to ask Jeff please write them in the comments section below or send us an email!