A Singaporean retailer that specialises in affordable, unconventional watches such as SevenFriday and Gorilla, Red Army Watches (RAW) now debuts its own label, KEF Elements. The brand’s maiden model is the Time & Space, a time-only wristwatch with an aventurine-glass dial bearing a glow-in-the-dark zodiac constellation.
Having known RAW founder Sugi Kusumadi for several years, I’ve come to admire Sugi’s passion for unusual timepieces. That’s been evident in past collaborations RAW has embarked on with a number of brands, most notably with Gorilla and Stowa.
Its own brand feels like a natural next step for RAW. While the brand is brand new, KEF Elements is very much like many of the brands RAW carries, offering an intriguing aesthetic for relatively little money.
Inspired by “the mystique and vastness of space”, the aventurine-glass dial lives up to the Time & Space moniker. Its sparkling surface and luminous constellation successfully evoke the cosmos.
Aside from the aventurine dial, another striking aspect of the watch are the dozen dials on offer, each bearing one of the 12 zodiac constellations. An individual zodiac constellation at this price is an unusual proposition, so kudos to RAW.
Celestial themes on aventurine glass have been done before, but they are usually accompanied by a hefty price tag, thus making the price of KEF Elements watch notable. With a current pre-order price of S$789, or a little bit under US$600, KEF Elements’ debut model represents good value.
While the affordability is made possible by the usage of the prosaic Miyota 9039 movement, the star (pun intended) of the show is the shimmering aventurine dial that truly shines. I’ll definitely be looking to own one.
Cosmos on the wrist
The dial features applied indices that are reminiscent of celestial bodies. They are filled with Super-Luminova that glows green in the dark, while the constellation glows in a blue hue. And it has a “railway” minute track and a set of faceted dauphine hands, which gives it a retro-dress watch feel.
The case has slightly rounded edges that are characteristic of stamping, which is par for the course at this price point. While not as sophisticated as the milled cases found on higher-priced watches, the case is still finished in an attractive manner, featuring alternating polished and brushed finishing.
Visible through the exhibition case back is the Miyota 9039 produced by the subsidiary of Citizen. Though a low-cost calibre, it is Miyota’s top-of-the-line offering, with a balance that runs at 4 Hz, a 42-hour power reserve, and hacking seconds. However, the movement is almost undecorated, save for the brand name on the rotor.
Key facts and price
KEF Elements “Time & Space”
Diameter: 42 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Water resistance: 50 m
Movement: Miyota 9039
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 42 hours
Strap: Grey Epsom or brown calf leather
Availability: Now via pre-order, either in-store or online, with delivery in July 2021
Price: 789 Singapore dollars during pre-order; with retail price of 987 Singapore dollars
For more, visit redarmywatches.com.
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