The new James Bond movie and 50th anniversary of the durable spy franchise no doubt provide a nice bump these days to the marketing of consumer gizmos with secret-agent flair.
Montreal designer Gabriel Ménard and partner Paolo Gatto certainly hope so.
The two young entrepreneurs are selling a high-end wrist watch straight out of a Bond flick that replaces the traditional rotating hands with horizontally moving cursors and that is calibrated by flashing it in front of a smartphone screen.
Their company is appropriately named Division Furtive (Stealth Division) and the limited edition timepiece comes in two models: The Type 46 unit selling for $3,600 (U.S.) and the cheaper Type 40 version at $250.
To fund development of the watches, Mr. Menard and Mr. Gatto have turned to a novel source: Kickstarter.
The crowdfunding web service allows people to back the project by pledging money. Incentives include everything from T-shirts and luggage tags to dinner with Mr. Menard at a fancy Montreal restaurant.
Mr. Menard, 32, likes the fact that the fundraising is being done on Kickstarter’s site, which allows for U.S. and U.K. -based projects, and that the money is raised in pounds sterling, a nice little Bond-related touch.
“Kickstarter allows our project to not only develop but also get lots of exposure. It makes all the difference,” said Mr. Menard, who studied microelectronics and image-processing at McGill University.
So far, the Kickstarter campaign has about 155 backers who have committed more than half of the £20,000 target.
The electromechanical Type 46 watch has a gold-plated matte black dial and silver housing coated with nano-ceramics baked in an industrial kiln.
The Type 40 has an epoxy filled casing and – instead of the mechanical cursors featured on the Type 46 – uses amber LED lights to indicate the time.
Both models are unusually large and thick: 50 millimetres in diameter and 16 millimetres in thickness.
“It’s thicker than two iPhone 5s stacked on your wrist,” commented one gadget website.
Editor's note: The location of Kickstarter's new website has been corrected in the online version of this story.