Hoptroff launches WatchPro-inspired Kickstarter

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Physicist turned watch-making entrepreneur Richard Hoptroff is set to launch his latest watch project through a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.

Hoptroff, who assembles his eponymous watches at a studio on London’s South Bank, was inspired to launch his new sports watch project, Hotblack, via crowdfunding after reading an article on the subject in April’s issue of WatchPro.

Speaking to WatchPro.com, Hoptroff said: “This is your fault, I read the article and thought ‘I’m doing this’. This is the perfect opportunity to pre-sell, to gauge the market, but also get the money several months in advance so that, even if demand is massive, I don’t have to worry about cashflow. The lightbulb seriously went on.”

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Hotblack is a football-timing watch with built-in Bluetooth connectivity, a feature Hoptroff is renowned for. The finished watch will display live team results and timings via two traditional subdials, the main one displaying the score of the wearer’s team while an ancillary dial displays that of the opposing team. The watch enters score mode automatically at kick-off, which also sees the central hands swing into action as a match timer complete with first and second half and extra time indication. Outside of active game-time the hands revert to regular timing duties.

The campaign will launch on Kickstarter in the next few weeks and will run throughout the duration of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, while the world’s attention is drawn to the sport with backers receiving larger discounts depending on how early they support the project. Small scale backers will not go away empty handed as Hoptroff is offering individually signed dials. The campaign will be aiming to raise funds for an initial production run of 500 pieces.

The technology behind the watch is similar to that of Hoptroff’s first collection of luxury watches that use a printed circuit board as a mainplate with hands attached to micro stepper motors and Bluetooth connectivity for relying data streams. While the watches look very traditional, Hoptroff is a fan of George Daniel’s dial layouts, the inner workings are anything but.

Hoptroff says the new watch is designed to serve a more accessible price point than his debut wristwatches, which retail at £5,000, and will sell for around £1,000.

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