The disruption of the traditional approach to watchmaking began in the early 2000s where the term steampunk was really brought to fruition. With timepieces from the likes Vianney Halter, MB&F and Urwerk, watchmaking never was really the same from that point on. Fast forward almost two decades, and the steampunk movement has gone from strength to strength, with collectors and enthusiasts alike adorning their wrists with these bizarre, polarising and highly creative watches. And in a nod to this super niche and super exciting faction of watchmaking, Xeric have released their very own steampunk-inspired timepiece, aptly named the Invertor Automatic.
It’s a difficult notion, reinventing the wheel. But the steampunk did that to absolute critical acclaim. The Xeric Invertor Automatic is one of the most accessible ways of entering this very young market space. This reinterpretation of time-telling is both modern in its design and extremely complicated in its execution. The Invertor Automatic features an incredible inverted movement module developed exclusively to attach to the Miyota movement used. This module extension reverses the gear train and attaches to the mainplate. The gears reverse the hours and minutes, in effect creating a brand-new method of depicting the time.
Dimensionally, the Xeric Invertor Automatic is large. There’s no getting around that. At 46mm in diameter and 14mm at its highest point, there’s a certain heft to the Invertor Automatic that. The domed Hesalite crystal obviously makes up the large portion of that height, but with thanks to its use there is a certain rigidity that would be amiss had Xeric used a standard sapphire crystal.
There are multiple models available, such as the “Black Red”, the “Tan Navy” and the “Brown Gun”, with each offering their own distinctive style and vibe. Every model comes with a dial-side rotor, filled with Super-Luminova through its channels, enabling the wearer to view the rotor spinning at night. A very cool spectacle.
The Xeric Automatic has a unique look that extends beyond its inverted nature. The lug-less design of the watch enables the American Horween leather strap to attach nice and flush with the case. This gives it an illusion of being even more prominent than it is, almost as though it’s floating on the wrist. The use of American Horween leather is interesting, as the tannery manufacturer has been in business since 1908, making them one of the oldest running tanneries in the U.S.
Conceptually, the Invertor Automatic is an interesting proposition. Architecturally, it’s bizarre and brilliant. Mechanically, I challenge you to find something similarly priced with a mechanism as interesting as this. Aesthetically, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those of us who rather enjoy the against-the-grain eff-the-establishment notion of a steampunk watch, then this is going to tick a lot of boxes.
The Xeric Invertor Automatic is available on Kickstarter now for an early bird price of $499USD. After that, the Invertor Automatic will be available through Xeric directly for $699USD.