Traditionally the watch market is dominated by Swiss brands with exquisite styling & mechanical movements using 200-year technology. In a world where Tourbillon & minute repeaters are more popular than ever before, is there room for new technology? Enter Devon -a Californian based company making the huge claim they’ve re-invented the watch. The Tread 1 is the company’s first foray into the very competitive luxury watch market. Jason Wilbur, who was inspired by a custom motorcycle with numbers on the exposed belts of the bikes drive system, devised the original concept. From there on it was a collaborative design process between Scott Devon, Ehren Bragg (Managing Director) & Chief of Engineering, Jeff Stephenson.
My first impression of the watch was how large it actually looked. The Tread 1 measures a whopping 53.3mm x 19mm & the rectangular case makes it look deceptively larger. This really is a muscle bound watch that’s definitely not going to appeal to the faint hearted. Personally I love its brutish good looks & felt it was very comfortable to wear. This is down to the user-friendly design that’s devoid of lugs. Also the clever positioning of the super-size crown (that sits comfortably on the strap) didn’t protrude into my wrists at all. Although the Tread 1 could be worn on a daily basis it’s not waterproof. On that basis the company recommend it’s not suitable for showering or swimming.
Even though the Tread was initially launched in 2010 the model I viewed is a new release called the 1-F. Apparently only 15 pieces have been produced so far. There are currently 7 versions of the Tread ranging from A-F & including a special Steampunk edition. This particular model is constructed from DLC (diamond like carbon) coated 316 stainless steel & also features contrasting orange numbers on the black belts. The Crystal is made from Polycarbonate, which the company claims has bulletproof durability. In an ideal world I would have preferred the use of Sapphire Crystal because it’s scratch proof rather than just scratch resistant.
Basically without going into too much technical detail this is how the watch works-Four conveyor belts display hours minutes & seconds all controlled by tiny motors. Amazingly due to the integration of jeweled bearings no lubricant is required to operate the system. The display is pretty awesome & I was totally mesmerized by the moving belts. The great thing about the Tread 1 is that it operates in two modes, normal & silent. Silent is definitely preferable as the second belt is deactivated therefore reducing the noise. Also the other added bonus is the charge time increases from 72 hours to a massive two weeks. Other cool features include optical technology which memorises the time even when the watch is turned off. The Tread 1 also utilizes wireless induction to charge the lithium polymer battery.The Tread 1-F offers a myriad of groundbreaking technology & was clearly a stimulating experience to wear. Price $20,000