Hoptroff takes all black smart watches to market



Hoptroff London, which was created last year after a successful crowd funding campaign, is looking to break into wholesaling to retailers in 2015.



The brand, created by physicist turned watch-making entrepreneur Richard Hoptroff, launched a fund raising drive on Kickstarter after reading an article about crowd funding in WatchPro. “This is your fault,” he joked to WatchPro last year. “I read the article and thought I’m doing this.”

The brand initially grew by selling directly from its own web site, but is now planning to attend trade events to promote his latest collection, named Hotblack, to retailers.

Hotblack is a line of rugged, automotive sports-styled timepieces the combine the simplicity and boldness of their all black design with innovative smart watch functions.

On the tech side, the watches use GPS technology to display an array of information on the dial. Depending on the model in the range, this information ranges from keeping the user up-to-date on football scores to tracking the world’s financial markets.

On the styling, it is the absence of frippery that stands out. “The Hotblack collection was inspired by Henry Ford’s vision to make the latest innovations accessible beyond the elite few. Our Hotblack timepieces feature classic automotive styling and are steadfast in the original Ford ethos: Any colour you like so long as it’s black,” Richard Hoptroff said.

The Hotblack Collection represents the brand’s move to tailor its timepieces to a new audience, with a price point of £1,199 for each black PVD-coated timepiece. They require an iPhone4S or higher to operate, with Android support coming later in 2015.

Each watch in the collection provides unique design elements to appeal to a wide variety of lifestyles.

The Hotblack Gravitas is the foundation of the Hotblack collection, and offers the same perpetual calendar, automatic daylight light saving and 15 seconds/year accuracy as the other Hotblacks. For an additional calibration fee, it can even be subjected to the Hoptroff London calibration process, an 8-hour ordeal during which the temperature is slowly lowered to 0?C and raised to 50?C while being calibrated with an atomic clock. This increases the accuracy to 1 second/year.

The Hotblack Sports allows you to track a football match live with a subtle glance at your wrist. Once you have selected a match from your iPhone, the top dial shows the home team score and the left dial shows the away team score.

The Hotblack Stock Market continues the theme of displaying up-to-the-minute data, but this time it’s the financial markets. Placed at 9 o’clock, a small dial indicates a stock, index or exchange rate showing the percentage change since last night’s close.

The Hotblack Salah is even more remarkable. It indicates the direction to Mecca on the top dial, and today’s prayer times for Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers. At the click of a pusher the bottom dial pointer moves between each prayer time, with the central hands responding to show the exact time of prayer that day.

The Hotblack Pharos has a different trick up its sleeve – at the 9 o’clock position, a small coloured light illuminates, triggered by events on your iPhone. It can be set to show appointment reminders and even the arrival of an email from someone special. Only the wearer knows what this little signal means.


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