Founded by Diyu Wu, Sólás is an Ireland based start-up brand. With its debut timepiece Starlight, the brand aims to bring two rare objects normally used in haute-horlogerie – the aventurine dial and the micro-rotor movement – into the world of affordable watch making.
As you know, timepieces featuring both aventurine dial and micro-rotor movement are highly expensive in nature and offered by a small number of prestigious watch makers only. Sólás promises to offer this configuration within a classic dress watch that comes in an incredibly affordable price range, with retail prices less than 550 Euros. The brand has also launched an online crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter with special discounted prices starting at €329.
A small number of high-end watch manufactures make use of micro-rotors in some of their mechanical self-winding movements instead of full-size rotors. With micro-rotor, we can achieve two important aspects related to haute-horlogerie. A full sized rotor (oscillating weight) usually obstructs the full movement view. In comparison, a micro-rotor allows the full view of the movement so that the owner of the watch can enjoy the decorations and finishing. By incorporating micro-rotor instead of full-rotors, it is also possible to manufacture ultra-thin self-winding movements.
To make his micro-rotor mechanical watch affordable, Diyu Wu has chosen a movement manufactured in China. The engine that drives each Sólás Starlight watch is Calibre 5000A, a self-winding movement manufactured by Hangzhou Watch Factory in Mainland China.
The Hangzhou Calibre 5000A is a micro-rotor movement equipped with centre hour and minute function, small seconds at 7H and date at 3H. It measures 30.00mm diameter and 3.95mm thickness. This 30 jewels movement beats at 28,800 vph and provides a power reserve up to 42 hours. Equipped with a custom designed micro-rotor (featuring golden color, decorative pattern and the brand logo), this automatic movement can be admired through the transparent caseback of the Sólás Starlight watch.
The watch dials are made from artificially produced aventurine discs. Due to its fragility, aventurine is a challenging material to work with. This glass based material is easily breakable, so it is necessary to attach copper back-plates with every aventurine dials.
The cosmic world inspired aventurine dial enhances the luxurious feel of this slim dress watch, which features a discreet window for date at 3H and applied hour marker indexes. It comes with dauphine hands for indicating hour, minute and small-seconds. The dial of Sólás Starlight watch produces a captivating aventurescence (optical reflectance effect) when it exposed to strong light.
In addition to the brilliance of the dial, the watch also highlights its Irish connection as a tribute to the home country of Sólás brand. The distinctive shape of indexes, hands and even lugs is inspired from the fadas (the right-slanting line placed over a vowel, for example ó and á of Sólás) used in the Irish language. It is interesting to see that all the inscriptions on the caseback except the model name (Starlight) are in Irish language. The brand name Sólás means Solace.
The Sólás Starlight watch comes with a classic 38mm diameter stainless steel case. It has a thickness of 9.7mm and fitted with sapphire crystal glasses on both the sides. Lug to lug length is 44mm and lug width is 20mm. The watch has a water resistance of 5ATM, which is equivalent to 50 meters.
The watch will be supplied with a leather strap hand-crafted by Turas Leather, a Wicklow (Ireland) based leather accessories workshop founded by Robin Marshall. The straps are fitted with a special type of deployant clasp and quick release spring bars.
Launched on 15 October 2020, the Sólás Starlight Kickstarter campaign already achieved its funding goal in the same day. The campaign will be concluded on 01 November 2020. The brand aims to deliver the watches in May 2021.
Kickstarter campaign link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/solaswatches/solas-starlight-an-irish-affordable-micro-rotor-watch