Imagine you had a vision in mind, along with 20 years of experience in the watch industry, but you needed the funds to back your project. A decade ago, you would have been out of luck. But, thankfully, crowdsourcing platforms like Kickstarter have made it so microbrands like LIV Watches can secure the funding they need.
LIV Watches is a Miami-based startup founded in 2012 by Sholom Chazanow and his wife Esti, who wanted to create affordable timepieces that were durable enough for outdoor activity and still featured Swiss craftsmanship.
In 2014, LIV launched its first model, the GX1 Swiss Chrono, on the crowdfunding platform to a surprising amount of success. It was soon followed by the tonneau-shaped Rebel that quickly exceeded the twosome’s expectations once again. Both projects were fully funded within the first 12 hours.
Since then, LIV Watches has revealed several timepieces, the latest one being the limited-edition GX1-A model with a stainless steel case and blue dial. It arrived at our office this past week so we could spend some time with it.
The GX1-A comes in a 42 mm by 11.6 mm stainless steel case with a brushed finish and gray IP Coating. It’s distinguished by a knurled bezel with slightly darker screws that frame the dial and add texture to the case, providing the watch with its casual and sporty look. The caseback features a black IP coating around a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal that displays the Sellita SW200 movement with a 38-hour power reserve.
There’s a screw-down crown with a red ring and the orange LIV emblem. A quick-date function, engaged by turning the crown in its second position, facilitates date changes, while the stop-seconds capability enables you to set the exact time once the crown is pulled out. As soon as all changes are made, pushing the crown back in and screwing it down against the case preserves its water-resistance of 100 meters. (Editor’s note: For consistency in our photography we left the crown unscrewed.)
Speaking of water, we were impressed by the bright shades of blue on the dial, especially in the sunlight. Due to the multi-layered structure, the dial catches a lot of light and reflects it in various angles, making it very appealing to look at your wrist. A non-reflective sapphire crystal and Super-LumiNova coating on the hands and markers provide legibility both indoors and outdoors.
The dial consists of various layers that all appear to come in slightly different shades of blue. A curved seconds track with white indexes and small orange accents forms the outer part of the dial, surrounding a slightly matte navy sector upon which LIV applied the hour markers. The even numbers are displayed as large Arabic numerals in an edged font and the silver-edged rectangles that stand in for the odd numbers prevent the dial from looking too overcrowded. The innermost layer of the sandwich dial features a sunburst motif refracting the light and creating a bright blue color. The brushed date aperture at 3 o’clock once again resembles the treatment and coating of the case. While the hour and minute hands appear sword-like and match the case’s color, the seconds hand stands out from the dial. A bright orange color and a white tip make it easy to read the seconds scale right below the bezel.
The watch comes on a canvas strap with navy stitching and offers a quick-change function to exchange straps without a spring bar. Other strap options are available through the brand’s website and include black silicone, black leather and NATO straps in various matching colors. With its bright blue dial, orange accents, gray IP-coated case, and different strap alternatives, the GX1-A Edition Blue Dial works just as well on casual weekends as it does for a swim, run, or your next mountain biking adventure.
The GX1-A Limited Edition Blue Dial is limited to 1,000 total pieces and retails for $590.