Ventura Watches was a respected brand during the 1990s when its Swiss designer Hannes Wettstein brought a Bauhaus minimalism to its range of mechanical timepieces. There is still a niche collectors’ market for the most desirable models from the mid-nineties hay day.
Mr Wettstein was ahead of his time in some ways with the use of materials like titanium for ventura Watches cases and reliability of COSC-certified movements from ETA and Valjoux.
The brand enjoyed over a decade of success before vanishing in 2010, two years after Mr Wettstein succumbed to cancer at the age of just 50.
Now ventura (the brand chooses not to use a capital V) is being revived by Stephan Hürlemann, a close friend and colleague of Mr Wettstein, and he has turned to the thoroughly modern medium of Kickstarter to fund the relaunch.
The initial target for the crowdfunding was $12,500, but there has already been over $35,000 pledged to date.
Its first watch is a re-imagined version of the v-matic EGO, made in titanium like its ancestor.
It comes in a lightweight 41mm PVD-coated case housing an ETA 2892-A2 automatic movement.
The collection has the option of a black dial with white hands and markers or a silver dial with blue furniture. It can be worn on a 5-link titanium bracelet or black leather strap.
The aim of the ventura business is to create a brand that will sell direct-to-consumer. Not paying wholesaler or retailer margins means more money can go into the watch, the company says, and the prices can be more attractive.
Customers/investors on Kickstarter can pledge a minimum of $820 to pre-order a watch with a leather strap. Estimated delivery date will be September. With a titanium bracelet the pledge price jumps to $1500
The price when the watches go on sale after the Kickstarter campaign is expected to increase to $920 to $1500.