Today I have prepared a small interview the Xeric watches founder Mitch. Xeric is a pretty well-known company in the microbrand market as they have the craziest designs out there! Since I started to write this blog and had an interest in watches I was fascinated about their design and always wanted to get my hands on one of their watches. They were kind to send me their Halograph II which will have its seperate review in a week! After the interview, there is also a little of info about their newest and I think the coolest watch of this year from any microbrand called the Invertor!
My name is Mitch Greenblatt. I’m the co-owner, founder and designer for Xeric Watches.
I never owned a watch until 1998. I had just turned 30, on vacation in London and passing the Portabello Market before heading to the airport on the last day in town. I found a stand with the most unusual watches I’ve ever seen. I had actually never really seen any substantive collection for vintage watches let alone some of the really unique watches this vendor had from the seventies. As luck would have it, I was out of British currency and just about to leave for home (Brooklyn New York at the time) so I had to pass on the watch not really thinking much about it until visiting the local flea market in Chelsea NY where I found some similar timepieces and triggered my passion for collecting and eventually selling vintage watches on the website Watchismo.com in 1998.
I’m not a typical watch snob and appreciate any brand or watchmaker who can think outside the watch in regards to form and function. My first love is vintage from the sixties and seventies as those years included a lot of innovation in technology and design and equally innovative from brands reacting to all those changes.
I have too many to go into but I’m excited to be a part of a new book on vintage watches that will be available in 2020. It will feature many of the watches from my collection, many of the watches I share on Instagram and solely focused on the sixties and seventies in regard to unusual watch design and vintage state-of-the-art technology for the time. I was first inspired by the watch book Pieter Doensen wrote and was the prime reason I got into vintage as much as I did and the eras of my interest. Sadly that book is out of print but hope my watch book will also be inspiring the aspiring vintage watch collector. The majority of my vintage watches are incredibly rare but due to their obscurity, most are seriously undervalued and if you have the patience to look for them, you’ll be paid off with very affordable options for really unique timepieces from the sixties and seventies. I’m glad not to be a vintage dealer anymore as the focus and appreciation of my collection is pure passion and I’m no longer haunted by the watches I regret selling. One in particular was an all black 1969 Heuer Monaco which I sold in 1999 for 1/50th of what it is worth today. There are many other stories like that but nobody knew that vintage chronos would blow up like they did later in the new millennium. I don’t dwell on it but it does benefit that I don’t need to sell vintage as my livelihood as it once was. I get to just geek out on finding diamonds in the rough or rarities that are virtually unknown. My focus remains on unusual case design, unique functionality and outdated technology.
At Xeric, we have the pleasure of finding like-minded individuals who aren’t suffering from sheep mentality. Our customer seem to really appreciate individuality and don’t necessarily fall into the waves of Rolex or drown in the ocean of Apple watches. We proudly celebrate creativity, personal expression and affordable horology.
I find inspiration from all over but especially books, specifically design books that feature vintage American muscle cars, prototype European concept cars. As a former illustrator myself, I find great sources from minds of artists and illustrators like Op-art pioneer Victor Vasarely to architects & product designers like Eero Saarinen and Dieter Rams.
With the Invertor, we are starting the next wave at Xeric where we are customizing movements to do things watches in the under $1000 USD range have never offered before. 2019-20 will bring some amazing things from Xeric we have been planning for years now. This is just the beginning!
Yes, lots! We’re actually overloaded with great projects that we’re ‘chomping at the bit’ while simultaneously biting our tongues not to leak anything too early.
Assembling the right team. We currently have a dream team and enjoy the benefits of a cohesive collaboration of ideas. It’s just one of those lucky situations that took years and years to occur.
So as promised I will tell you something about Xeric’s newest watch called Invertor which launched on Kickstarter a couple of days ago! Which got funded in hours after the release of the project which is crazy and at the time of writing this had 177000$ pledged by 373 backers!
The watch was two years into making and the company wanted to bring to the public a watch that has that Haute horology feel of MB&F or any other crazy watch design company for an affordable price! And I got to say, they’ve done it!
Basically, the Invertor has a flipped upside down Miyota movement. Yes, you can see the rotor from the front and Xeric needed to develop a module and put it on the movement to show time clockwise. This simple module allows them to maintain all the functions and reliability of the Miyota movement, yet creating a very fun way of displaying the time!
Another cool feature is the lume. They’ve of course applied it on the markers and hands, but also on the rotor as it is on the front. And I have to say it looks amazing! I hope I will get one in for a review after the Kickstarter project as it would be fun to photograph it! The crystal on the side is CNC machined from a block of hesalite and it has a very interesting shape. The hesalite is a strange choice when you think about it, but it was chosen as it was much easier to fit then sapphire crystal. Sapphire crystal shattered in the process of making and fitting and just wasn’t that good for the application and they chose the hesalite as it has a higher resistance to impact and do not shatter like traditional glass. But on the top where the movement is you will find a regular sapphire crystal. The watch actually kind of reminds me the MB&F HM7 which shares a lot of similarities!
The Xeric Invertor will come in 5 different colour variations. All their watches will be fitted with Horween leather straps which are probably the best leather strap I know of as I have the Halograph II in for review and it has these same straps. The Invertor is also limited to 999 pieces per colour.
Overall the watch looks pretty cool and for that price, you won’t get a watch that looks cooler than this! You can preorder the Invertor on Kickstarter now for $499 USD, afterwards, it will be available on Xeric.com for $699 USD.
- Limited to 999 pieces per color
- -Miyota 90S5
- -In-house reversing module
- Super luminova hours, minutes, and front-facing winding rotor
- Hand finished 316L steel case
- Sapphire top crystal
- Domed hesalite side crystal case
- Water resistance: 3 ATM
- 46mm x 14mm
- Horween leather sourced from U.S. based tannery
- Quick release spring-bar system to easily swap out straps