Melbourne Watch Company – Portsea

After the successful launch of their first two timepieces, the Melbourne Watch Company now unveils its third timepiece, thee Portsea, a tribute to classic marine watches featuring an automatic calendar movement.

Founded in 2013, the Melbourne Watch Company successfully produced two timepieces using crowd funding – the Flinders, a classically styled dress watch and the Hawthorn, a dress/sport hybrid with a more casual feel. Its third project is the Portsea, a triple calendar automatic timepiece named after a seaside locale on the Mornington Peninsula southeast of Melbourne. The brand is currently targeting mid-October 2014 for delivery of timepieces to the backers of Portsea crowd-funding campaign.

The traditional ‘marine chronometer’ timepieces usually feature combination of a simple a white dial (traditionally enamel) and either black Arabic or Roman numerals. Many marine style watches also feature hand-wind pocket watch movements with a sub-seconds dial at 6 o’clock.

The brand is giving a modern twist on the classic marine design by combining the traditional outer marker track, white dial and Arabic numbers with a modern automatic calendar movement – the Miyota 9120. A version with a blue dial with white numbers will also available. The Melbourne Watch Company will be initially offering 250 timepieces through the crowd funding project (100 white, 100 blue, 50 white/rose gold).

The Portsea will feature Australian design, Japanese movements and parts sourced from both Europe and Asia. The Portsea will be equipped with the 26 jewel Miyota Cal. 9120 automatic calendar movement featuring a “triple-calendar” setup of month, day and date. The date window is positioned at 6 o’clock rather than at the standard ‘4.5’ o’clock position. The Cal. 9120 operates at a beat rate of 28,800bph and has a power reserve of more than 40 hours when fully wound.

The case for the Portsea is made from fully polished 316L grade stainless steel and measures 40mm in diameter with a thickness of approximately 12.5mm. A limited number of timepieces with PVD rose gold plating will also be manufactured.

The solid steel case-back for the Portsea has been stamped with a nautically themed scene rather than traditional engraving or embossing.

The dial for the Portsea features multiple thinner dials which have been overlaid to give an effect of depth. The main dial layer (sub dials and numbers) is made from ceramic which gives it a unique finish. The base layer of the dial contains a 3D striated pattern to further enhance the depth effect of the dial. The Portsea will be available with two choices of dials – traditional white with black numbering and blue hands as well dark blue with silver/white numbering and silver hands.

Technical details

  • Case: 40mm 316L stainless steel – 12.5mm thickness
  • Case Back: Solid stamped steel with nautical theme
  • Crystal: Flat Sapphire
  • Movement: Miyota Cal. 9120, triple calendar setup, date at 6
  • Dial: Triple layer with ceramic main disc
  • Hands: Ion plated with “M” counter-balance on sweep seconds
  • Strap: German made croc-grain leather with stainless steel buckle
  • Warranty: 24 months
  • All watches will ship in a Melbourne Watch Company display case.

Kickstarter project
The Portsea Kickstarter project to fund the production of the 250 timepieces is now online. The brand is offering some great backer rewards as well the chance to secure a Portsea timepiece from the reduced pre-production price of $550AUD (early bird). The MSRP of the Portsea will be $775AUD when released (add $20AUD for rose gold plated version). All watches will come on a choice of dark brown or navy blue German leather straps. Visit the Kickstarter campaign page for  more details.

Differences between prototype and production versions
Whilst the prototypes of the Portsea are of an overall high quality, there are several minor items that will be refined or corrected for the production version.

  • Hands: The “M” on the prototype seconds hand is undersized. This will be corrected for production to be similar to our previous models
  • Dial: spacers will be added between the mid and base dial layers to enhance the depth effect. The brand will also enhance the base layer horizontal pattern effect and overall colour palette and the cut out at 6 o’clock will be removed as it is no longer required for visibility of the date window.
  • Case: The “M” logo will be engraved onto the crown as per previous models.
  • Case Back: The brand will replace the current screws with versions that do not protrude as substantially from the case.
  • Straps: The prototypes came fitted with deployment clasps. The production version will have regular buckles as per previous models.

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