MICRO MONDAYS: The Trafford Watch Co. CrossroadsFergus Nash
Trafford are shaping up to be a brand who are impossible to pin down, but if their releases continue the trend of happy surprises then we can only hope that never stops. Their first watch was a chronograph dedicated to 20th Century racing drivers-turned-spies, and their second watch is this new Crossroads. Despite a British name and founder in Nathan Trafford, the Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads pays homage to the brand’s home in Austin, Texas in a very considerate way, executing a classic everyday watch with just the right amount of cowboy attitude.
The first assumption you may make about the Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads is that it’s a square watch, when really they have gone much deeper into the design and theory behind the shape than simply its silhouette. The original concept was to represent the curvature of a horizon with a rising or setting sun, and while those curves appear all over the watch, it’s most obviously visible from the side profile. The effect of the rectangular case is aided in softness by the mixture of polished and delicately brushed surfaces, making it feel round in every way except circularly. The crown is representative of the sun in question, and features a deep etching of the brand’s logo with polished and blasted finishes.
Dimensionally, the Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads is geared towards maximum wrist presence with a small footprint, perfect for those with small-to-average wrists who enjoy a bit of a chunky look. Because of the extra dial space you get from a square watch over a circular one, the 36mm by 38mm measurement actually has more dial area than a traditional watch with a 40mm diameter. The length from lug-to-lug is only 46mm as well, which stops the case from emphasising its vertical stretch too much. At the centre point the thickness is only 11mm, which tapers down to 9mm at either side of the case’s sloped profile.
The dial is where the Americana theme of the Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads really comes to life, especially thanks to those Arabic numerals that are reminiscent of hand-painted road signs. The name of the watch is a reference to Trafford’s overarching goal for the brand, which is for each watch to mark a special time or decision in its owner’s life. The skeletonised syringe hands are emblematic of this Crossroads theme, as the single point then splits into two tracks before meeting again at the pinion.
There are four dial colours to choose from with gloriously sparkling sunburst finishes, and they are each named after an important regional aspect of Austin, Texas. The silvery-green burst is named after the agave plant, which is most famous for its use in making mezcal and tequila. Every agave will only flower once, with the orange seconds hand representing the plant’s flower. A sumptuous wine-red dial is named the ‘Cabernet’, noting Texas’ popularity as a US wine region. Two blue dials offer very different moods, with a bright and vibrant blue named after the bluebonnet state flower and a more pensive, muted blue referencing mockingbird eggs.
Because the Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads is a time-only watch, it becomes very simple to cater to both mechanical and quartz enthusiasts. Whether you prefer the simplicity of quartz or if it’s a matter of affordability, you can choose between a Japanese automatic or battery-powered movement, without sacrificing the smooth sweep that we all love from mechanicals. The first option is a Miyota 9039 from their premium line, with a 42 hour power reserve, a 28,800vph beat rate, and an accuracy within -/+5 seconds per day thanks to Trafford Watch Co.’s regulation. The quartz option is the Seiko VH31 mecaquartz movement that beats four times per second, and only requires a new battery every two years with an accuracy of -/+15 seconds per month. If you opt for the mechanical movement, the watch will come with a display caseback as pictured, although the winding rotor will be smooth instead of roughly textured. The quartz option comes with a solid caseback.
The Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads pricing and availability:
The Trafford Watch Co. Crossroads is now available for pre-order either from their website or the Kickstarter campaign with significant discounts. It’s also worth noting that a steel bracelet will be made available for the Crossroads later in 2023, and owners of the watch will be able to buy it heavily discounted. Price: US$399 (Quartz, -38% RRP) US$499 (Automatic, -34% RRP)
|Brand||Trafford Watch Co.|
|Case Dimensions||36mm x 46mm x 11mm|
|Case Material||Stainless steel|
|Dial||Light blue, dark blue, green, red|
|Movement||Miyota 9039 / Seiko VH31|
|Power Reserve||42 hours / 2-year battery life|
|Availability||Available for pre-order now|
|Price||US$399 (Quartz, -38% RRP) US$499 (Automatic, -34% RRP)|