Handsome, affordable and nearly sold out; Hegray’s World War 1 inspired timepieces are creating quite the buzz in the watch realm, most notably the Skyfighter and California being among the favorites. Created to be affordable, practical & stylish, Helgray has created four irresistible watches that manages to compliment the the owner and their wallet. If you’re looking for a watch to fill that vintage void. The Helgray has four available options and one of those will certainly be fitting to your taste. Equipped with Swiss Quartz Movement by Ronda, time is sure to be incredibly accurate and easily maintained through inexpensive maintenance.
Skyfighter: The famous WW1 pilot-style watch, in 2-register chronograph form, with date window at 6H
With so many possibilities in front of me, I couldn’t settle on a single dial design, so I decided to create 4 different models. To keep costs reasonable, I had to use the same case and the same hands. It was a great engineering challenge to design the inside of the case to accommodate 4 completely different movements (with very different functions). And it was a great design challenge to create 4 different dials based on the same components.
GMT: The classic dress watch, in 3-hand form, with the addition of a 4th hand to set an independent 2nd time zone (in 24h format)
As for the style, I took my inspiration from WWI military watches. The beginning of the 20th Century marked the transition between pocket watches and wristwatches. Pocket watches were really not convenient for military personnel. So, they found a solution to make time-reading much easier: they welded to the watch case a piece of thick metal wire that was bent in such a shape that it could accommodate a 1-piece strap. The contraption could then be buckled around the wrist for instant time-reading. And thus, the wristwatch was born, with wire-lugs.
Field Officer: The basic field watch, in the classic 3-hand form, with date window at 6H
To stay consistent with the WW1 military theme, I kept the dial design very legible, free of any unnecessary distraction so common in modern watches. I took the “less-is-more” approach, and used a classic watch design language.
California: The legendary “California” dial, in 2-hand form, with a small-second register at 6H
To achieve practicality with this design, I decided that it was best to use Quartz movements. Quartz movements offer incredible time-keeping accuracy, virtually no maintenance, and are very inexpensive and easy to replace if needed. I decided to use Swiss Quartz movements made by Ronda because of their excellent quality. The only maintenance required will be to replace the battery every few years, which only takes a few minutes, and costs about the same as a latte at Starbucks!
The case uses the classic pocket-watch “bowl” shape, in an up-to-date 42mm diameter. This size is a good fit for both men and women, and it can easily be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
I wanted to keep the wire-lug style, without the inconvenience of welded lugs. So, I shaped the lugs like wire-lugs, but I still used the modern-standard spring bar for easy strap change.