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Watch worthy of Bond gets a Kickstarter boost

The electromechanical Type 46 watch (pictured here) has a gold-plated matte black dial and silver housing coated with nano-ceramics baked in an industrial kiln. The cheaper 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.

Division-Furtive.com

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.

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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.

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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.

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About the Author
Quebec Business Correspondent

Bertrand has been covering Quebec business and finance since 2000. Before joining The Globe and Mail in 2000, he was the Toronto-based national business correspondent for Southam News. He has a B.A. from McGill University and a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson. More

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