While elbow-deep in the chaos of Baselworld I managed to take a moment to visit a few new entrants to the watch category for 2019. The list included CuleM Watches—a new entrant to the upper entry-level GMT category featuring unique and artistic dials, and powered by a self-winding ETA 2893-2. Primarily a steel-cased offering (with a few variants available in black PVD or gold plating), the choice of a conservative 40mm case diameter works quite well here. Though my first-hand look was back in March, the brand’s crowdfunding campaign has only been live for a little over a week the response has been solid. The campaign has already reached over $92,000 in funding, which is miles above its initial $11,208 target.
Sparked by founder Matthew Cule’s passion for travel, the three GMT models on offer (the Portal, Frame, and Lights, in blue, black, and grey) are slightly artsy in execution. Two of the world map dials have a distinct geometric pattern to them, whereas the fun detail on the Lights model is a touch more subtle. Though not obvious in daylight, a scattering of luminous material shows the approximate position of cities and other densely populated areas across the world map. This detail, combined with the slim hand design only seen on this model, made the Lights a personal favorite of the trio. Alternatively, others are likely to be fond of the machine guilloché dial seen on the Frame. It’s worth noting that the one downfall of the Lights is a less obvious indication of its 24h scale around the perimeter of its dial, but in the same breath this is not meant to be a utility-focused tool watch either, and it’s still much more legible than many GMTs we’ve seen over the years.
Now until June 11th (when the campaign closes), you can get your hands on any of the three models for as little as $1,400—approximated from 1,249 Euros. The full retail target price is set at 2,499 Euros, so that’s a pretty significant savings if you’re ok to wait until December 2019 for delivery. If you don’t feel like waiting, and don’t mind spending a little more, there are 6 slots left at $1,680 for “Summer Express”, which means delivery in July. When Matthew was working on the CuleM Watches production schedule and prototyping, he secured a handful of early production slots for those that don’t have the patience for the usual crowdfunding wait times.