We tend to feature a lot of news and information about Swiss-made watches, but not all the exciting watch action is confined merely to the Swiss borders.
In fact some of the world’s most action-oriented people favour American-made Kobold Watches.
About Kobold Watches
Kobold is owned and run by watchmaker Michael Kobold who designs every watch he sells.
Kobold aims to offer a quality American alternative to Swiss and German watches. For that reason, while the first chronographs bearing the Kobold brand name were once produced and assembled in Switzerland, many of today’s models contain at least some US made components and many are entirely assembled in their modern Pennsylvania based facility.
Michael’s commitment to quality is such that he produces only 2500 watches in any one year.
So who wears a Kobold watch?
Definitely people who view life as anything but a spectator sport, but also armchair explorers who prefer to get their adrenaline rush from the National Geographic channel.
In this regard, last year Michael left the safety and comfort of his executive chair to become the first watchmaker to reach the summit of Everest. On that occasion he was using oxygen, this year he attempted it without oxygen, a far more dangerous proposition. It’s all done to help the Navy SEAL Warrior Fund, a public charity that provides support for wounded Navy SEALS and their families.
Phantom Black Ops
Speaking of US Navy SEALS, one of the latest Kobold’s is the awesome looking Phantom Black Ops, designed in consultation with them.
The American made surgical-grade steel case is DLC-coated and matte black in appearance. The subdials, chronograph hands and day/date display stand in reduced contrast to the main time display, while the luminous hands and hour markers are finished in a highly visible green colour. The Phantom Black Ops is powered by a Swiss-made automatic chronograph movement (ETA-Valjoux 7750), which has been adjusted in five positions.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
As an American watchmaker, Michael is to be congratulated for recognising the accomplishments of distinguished British explorers and sportsmen. Sir Ernest Shackleton has a Kobold named after him as does Sir Stirling Moss, and the Kobold brand Ambassador in Chief is Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the well-known British explorer and adventurer.
Former SAS commando Sir Ranulph is described by the Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s greatest living explorer. He became the first person to circumnavigate the globe via its polar axis during his epic Transglobe Expedition. Sir Ranulph’s signature Kobold is the Polar Surveyor Ranulph Fiennes Edition, he also often wears a Kobold Soarway Diver in stainless steel and is wont to burn the frayed ends of his ZULU watch strap with a lighter.
The Stirling Moss Rattrapante
Again, this watch was designed in close co-operation with Sir Stirling. Made entirely in the USA, the lightweight, aerospace-grade titanium case features stopwatch push buttons designed for optimum use while driving.
The Stirling Moss Rattrapante also comes on the optional titanium bracelet originally designed by Sir Stirling during his racing career.
In a career spanning 14 years (1948-1962), Moss won an astounding 16 Formula One Grands Prix, including his most memorable victory at the 1961 Monaco Grand Prix and the setting for the launch of the Kobold watch bearing his name. Famous for his good sportsmanship and loyalty to British cars, Moss was adored by racing fans and fellow drivers alike and is genuinely that most over used phrase, a living legend.
Kobold describes itself as the world’s first internet-based watch company and the watches are not available in stores, instead each watch comes with a five year warranty and the customer has 10 days to assess the watch from the date of purchase.
If buying an American watch online is the closest you want to get to embracing adventure, check out www.koboldwatch.com.