Kaal Watch Multiverse | VARIO Review
I first met Alvin Lew in 2019 when he was reviewing watches for Microbrand Watch World and he was covering the release of my 2nd watch, the Empire Art Deco dress watch. Being a brand owner himself (of the brand Jubelion), we got talking about factories, sales, and watch ideas. It was then he told me about his collaboration with Alvin Lye from Azimuth working on a space-themed watch, which I found very intriguing. Fast forward 1 year later, his prototypes arrived, and I was keen to check it out, and I asked if I could review his watch. He promptly sent me his entire trilogy collection (thank you, Alvin!) titled the ‘Kaal Multiverse’. Each model embodies the spirit of a different celestial body, with names pulling inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology – ‘Gaea’ for the Earth, ‘Sol’ for the Sun, and ‘Artemis’ for the Moon.
What caught my attention immediately was the dramatic high-dome sapphire crystal and spaceship-esque case, with a similar vibe to the whimsical Corum Bubble. From the side, the brushed case resembles a flying saucer with playful decorations such as stars and a meteorite shower.. The thickness of the watch resembles that of a dive watch and when I held it in my hand, Personally, I wear dress watches more often and I prefer a lighter watch, but those who are used to wearing a diver will love the weight of the Multiverse. The crown is signed and lumed with the proud creator’s mark. The extremely domed sapphire is incredibly 3-dimensional which looks like a flying saucer’s cockpit and fits the astronomical theme.
When you look into the watch, that is where the main astronomical features present itself in the form a celestial body. The first thing you will see is a massive spherical planet (either Earth for Gaea, Sun for Sol, or Moon for Artemis) protruding in the middle of the dial, taking up most of the volume under the incredibly high-domed sapphire crystal. A bridge runs over top of the celestial body, and if I let my imagination run wild, I can picture an astronaut weightlessly bouncing across the bridge. The astronaut and I both noticed the circular seconds hand which could be a satellite orbiting the celestial body. The minute hand takes the form of the North Star, which rotates around the graduated chapter ring. The minute hand in the final version will be larger and differently coloured for increased legibility, which I think will be a nice improvement. The seconds hand will also be enlarged; I would have preferred the seconds hand to be smaller than the minute hand, but we will have to see the final production model to judge.
At this point, you might be thinking, “But Ivan, how do we read the hour?” Hours are indicated by a stationary pointer on the chapter ring, while the hour disc moves on top of the dial when you turn the crown. I understand Kaal wanted the numerals to have a space theme, but the font looks kitsch to me and I would have preferred a more conventional sci-fi font used in space theme movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey or Star Trek.
The hour wheel is printed on a clear disk, laying atop an aventurine dial that resembles a galaxy swirling around the planet. The transparent material of the hour wheel does subdue the more blingy appearance of the aventurine a bit, but I understand that this is probably unavoidable unless the material is less reflective. The chapter ring, hands and numerals are all lumed with the C3 Superluminova which makes it interesting to look at under dim lighting. It would make a great conversation starter during a night out.
Once you flip the watch around, you will see the beautiful engraved caseback depicting our solar system. A display window is placed at the center of the solar system, showing the planets orbiting the balance wheel of a Seiko NH35 automatic movement. The watch is paired with tapered Horween straps in either black or brown with a signed tang buckle. Horween has a strong brand name and should appeal to many watch enthusiasts. I think a NASA Velcro strap for Omega Speedmasters would also go well with this watch and complete the look and space theme.
The watches that Alvin sent me are a work in progress, and he has told me that they will make the following changes for the production run:
The Final Version vs Current Prototype / Sample
- The minute hand: TheNorth Star size will be enlarged from 3.28mm to 5.0mm. The length will be shortened to avoid exposing the stem that supports the North Star. The colour of the hand will be in red for better view.
- The second hand: The Satellite size will be enlarged from 1.4mm to 3.0mm.
- The Sol/Sun inner dial: The colour will be changed towards more orange.
- The Artemis/Moon inner dial: The colour will be much more grey.
- The leather strap: Horween text will be stamped on the back of the strap.
- The packaging: Wooden box instead of the aluminium case.
- Serial number: Every case will be individually engraved with a running number at 6H, currently no serial number marked.
Kaal Multiverse Sol with Vario Cordura Leather Strap
Kaal Multiverse Artemis with Vario Ballistic Nylon Strap
Some might argue that this watch resembles Arnold and Son’s Globetrotter, (a watch 40x the cost of the Multiverse). However, I can understand that many folks who like this type of design are unwilling to sell a kidney. Kaal’s Multiverse offers a reasonable alternative that still features beautiful space-inspired artistry that jumps out of the dial with traces of the Azimuth DNA in Kaal’s Multiverse. These are not watches you would hide under your sleeve, but they are so lovely and fun that I can’t imagine why you would want to.
- Movement : Seiko NH35: automatic movement, 40 hours power reserve, 21,600 vibrations per hour
- Case Diameter : 42mm
- Case Thickness : 19mm including crystal dome
- Lug to Lug : 47mm
- Lug width : 22mm
- Crystal : High double-domed sapphire glass with anti-reflection coating.
- Water Resistance : 30m / 3atm
- Crown : Push/Pull
- Case : Stainless steel 316L. Each case features a serial number at 6H.
- Inner Dial : Choice of Gaea (Earth), Sol (Sun) or Artemis (Moon)
- Luminous : Swiss Superluminova C3
- Strap : Horween genuine leather (Choice of Black or Brown) with white stitching
Website/ Pre-order page (for more info): https://kaalwatch.com/
About Kaal Watch
Kaal Watch, taking their name from the Sanskrit word for “time”, celebrate that we are all together on Starship Earth to humanize the process of telling time. Their new Multiverse Edition watches are a trilogy of timepieces designed to challenge the way we read and appreciate the passing of time.
Kaal Watch is run by Alvin Lye (co-founder of the Azimuth Watch Works Company, known for their higher-end spectrum of playful watches), Jessie Yeo (Alvin’s better half, and co-owner of Trifoglio Italia, maker of sporty watches with equal measures of traditional design) and Alvin Lew (blogger of Microbrand Watch World). These three Singaporeans have cultivated this project out of their passion for unique watches.
Written by Ivan Chua
Disclaimer: This watch was sent to me to review, but I was not incentivized in any way to make this review. This is in no way sponsored by Kaal Watch or any other entity. All opinions here are my own.
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