In the world of microbrand Kickstarter campaigns, Pramzius is a major success story. Following the brand’s successful launch of their Trans-Siberian convertible pocket watch, Fall of the Berlin Wall watch -- which featured actual pieces of the Berlin wall inside the crown -- and last year’s Iron Wolf, Pramzius is now back with a new Kickstarter offering: the train-themed Gauge Master. (And this time around, it only took all of 7 hours for the brand to meet, and blow past, their initial funding goal.)

At its heart, Pramzius is a small, family-owned operation, with co-founder and chief designer Craig Hester at the helm. Since launching in 2017, the brand has produced well-built watches for satisfied customers, and the new Gauge Master is no different. With an outer dial crafted with metal sourced from vintage locomotives, this unique collector’s item is an exciting celebration of the longstanding connection between both the watch and railroad industry, both of which rely heavily on accurate, reliable timekeeping to keep things running.
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For those looking to get where they’re going on time and in style, this new, highly-collectable piece from Pramzius marries a reliable Japanese movement with intriguing steampunk-style accents and plenty of locomotive-inspired DNA. Its functionality emphasizes the need for accuracy, while the design is retro-futuristic, the aesthetics inspired by the 19th century industrial revolution. One look at the Pramzius Gauge Master and you’re instantly transported to an era with steam, whistles and “All aboard!” ringing throughout the station.
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As the official timepiece of Switzerland’s Vapeur Val-de-Travelers Train Museum, every aspect of the Gauge Master speaks to this train theme. For starters, it uses genuine metal from 19th and 20th century locomotives (complete with a signed certificate of authenticity) to form the construction of the watch’s outer dial, making every limited-edition piece truly one-of-a-kind. The inner dial, meanwhile, is inspired by a manometer gauge from one of the many restored locomotives found at the VVT Train Museum in St. Sulpice, Switzerland. And the subdial design is based on the valve control wheels found in a train’s engine compartment, while the case’s exterior screws are reminiscent of mounting screws used on locomotive gauges.
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The most notable element of the Pramzius Gauge Master, however, is one you likely spotted right off the bat: its askew dial. This unique configuration is inspired by train design, and was originally created for engineers who use levers and pulleys to steer rather than a traditional wheel. This askew dial, then, allows these engineers to look at the time without moving their wrist -- and accidentally moving a key lever in the process.
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It’s an eclectic design mix, to be sure, and one that helps the Gauge Master stand out. Also helping in this regard? The use of Swiss Super-LumiNova. In addition to lumed numerals, two of the three pieces in the Gauge Master series will have a fully luminous dial, featuring 15 individual silk screen layers for excellent visibility in the dark.
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The Gauge Master case is made of surgical-grade tumbled stainless steel, measuring 44 mm on the wrist and 12 mm high. Within beats the automatic Miyota 82S5 sub-second automatic movement, featuring 21 jewels, 21,600 VPH and a power reserve of approximately 41 hours. It also has a second-stop function for precise time adjustment.

The Gauge Master features anti-reflective sapphire crystal, as well as an exhibition caseback with the VVT Train Museum logo etched into it, and is water resistant to 10 ATM (100 meters) for added durability. Every purchase also comes with two straps – both a Swedish leather bung strap and a leather with NATO strap, secured with tang buckles. Kickstarter backers will also receive a Special Edition two-watch travel case with your watch, and all Gauge Master timepieces come with a 2-year warranty.
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Right now, you can get your hands on a Pramzius Gauge Master starting at only $399 USD as part of their Kickstarter Early Bird offer. But don't delay, because this piece is also a limited-edition: the Gauge Master is limited to only 1435 units, a nod to the standard railroad track gauge of 1435 mm. And this is one train collectors surely won't want to miss.

Visit the Pramzius Gauge Master Kickstarter and pledge today!