By TLex A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough up to meet up with Ben, the owner and founder of TEMPEST Watches. Ben, who comes from Toronto, Canada, but now lives in Hong Kong was in Taipei on watch business, it was also my birthday, so I invited Ben and the Viking along for some drinks and so was able to discuss at great length the watch and his plans for it and for the Tempest Watch Company.
What I learnt from the offset was that Ben is a fastidious young man, who takes his work very seriously, continually adjusting and correcting the very smallest details of his design. He has worked extremely hard getting the Viking to look just the way he wanted. The result, a design that is as detailed as it is clean and is as brutish as it is refined.
The next day I met with Ben again to look over some hand drawings for his next model (it's also gonna be hot!) and had the opportunity to take these shots of the Viking. I should reiterate that this is a prototype and as such is not yet quite perfect. One thing that the sharp-eyed of you might spot is that the '50' font on the bezel is upside down, this will of course be corrected along with a number of other minor issues that Ben was unhappy with, such as the crown guards, which will be slightly elongated and made to graduate into case side.
So what were my first impressions of the watch? Well, from first glance it wasn't hard to see, where some of the inspiration for the Viking had come from. There are certainly elements from the DEEP SEA in the case design, and of course from its glossy black ceramic bezel inlay, but also from details like all the lovely beveling on the case sides that seem to draw inspiration from the RM 028.
But it's the combination of these two looks as well as striking features such as the Viking's extra high cog-like bezel design or its unique doubled tiered crown. And details such as its HEV framed with double rings and the polished beveling on the case sides and the bracelet complete with hex-screws that make the Viking truly its own thing.
On the wrist the Viking felt great, not so much weight as to feel uncomfortable, but certainly enough to feel that you're wearing a substantial timepiece. The fit and finish (considering it was a prototype) was really excellent. The attention to detail? See for yourself! The DLC version was also gorgeous. There are no shots of the caseback or the bracelet clasp at the moment, because at this stage they were not yet finished, but the caseback will feature a cool Viking ship engraving and the clasp will possibly be a push-button type clasp with divers extender.
Now, TEMPEST Watches are just days away from the highly anticipated launch of their new website and the opening of pre-orders for the Viking. There's a cool countdown clock on their page indicating time left until launch; my last look showed it was just 8 days away!