The Acheron is the name of the greek "River of the Dead", which served as a passageway into the underworld. For us, the Pontvs Acheron was also a passageway of sorts: it was our first kickstarter campaign, as well as our most expensive timepiece to date. We also think it's our prettiest.
This is the story behind the watch.
The birth of the Pontvs Acheron:
We started the Acheron project with one idea in mind: creating the ultimate bronze dive watch, without concerning ourselves with budget.
See, in Pontvs we had already created a handful of successful original designs like the Nessi, the Hydra and others from our sister brand Fonderia Navale. But while planning and designing for them, we always had to consider what price range we were expecting the watches to fall in, as well as what to offer to remain competitive within said range.
And this is not an easy task.
As you may know, the international watch market is booming. Each year new microbrands are created to try to leave their own mark in the scene. As watch enthusiasts ourselves, we think this is great! However, it also poses a challenge for us who are in the watch business.
So, with the Acheron we did a reverse exercise: we did not really care about a target retail price. Instead we aspired to achieve certain goals no matter the cost:
- Premium Swiss Movement
- Hightest Grade Bronze Possible
- Badass Lume
- … And 3000 meter Water Resistance
We are now proud to say we managed to achieve those goals, while still keeping prices close to our estimate.
And yes, you read that right.
Three Thousand meters of Water Resistance
We’ve always wanted to create watches for extreme underwater situations, and for us this was the ultimate challenge, as well as a test to our design skills.
One source for inspiration this time was the Mariana Trench, one of the deepest underwater locations in the world, still largely unexplored. How cool would it be to have a watch that could accompany you to a harsh underwater environment and survive the ordeal?
Well, we succeeded: the Acheron achieved an over 3000 water resistance rating.
Of course this is not an empty claim.
Several Acheron prototypes were shipped to Germany, to the KUM Umwelt -und Meerestechnik Institute, which specializes in testing diving equipment of all types. Due to feedback from early test results, we were able to perfect the design of the watch.
Our first tests managed to keep the movement working still, but the case faced deformation when pushed past certain thresholds of pressure. After several iterations, improving areas such as the caseback, we were able to achieve our desired goal of 3000 wr, and went even further.
Through the kickstarter process we documented all advances in the certification process, and now we are proud to confirm that the upgrades to our design exceeded our expectations. It currently sits at a 4000 wr resistance rating.
So if you like to take yours to the beach or the shower, you’ve absolutely nothing to fear.
Most of our watches use Seiko movements, and while they are reliable, we wanted to step our game. Eventually we settled on the ETA 2824, an exceptional movement which is used in the entry level Tudor’s of the Black Bay Line. It is hackable, hand winding and has an overall excellent quality. The Acheron also includes a super domed sapphire crystal - we would not accept anything less - and after some feedback, we decided to go for Super Luminova BGW9. Here is a lumeshot:
The case ended up being a naval grade German Bronze: CuSn8. Coming directly from the metallurgic industry, getting this right was extremely important for us. So we travelled to China to directly meet and visit the factories in which the watches were going to be produced. We were delighted with the professionalism of our provider, and expect to work with them on future projects. The trip was very enlightening for us, as we got to visit the Hong Kong watch fair, which was an amazing experience as watch makers.
Acheron was launched through a Kickstarter Campaign, which was a first for us. We wanted to provide an option to our clients to get their hands on the Acheron for less than the retail price, as well as to get experience in managing and handling crowdfunded campaigns.
We achieved and surpassed our goal in less than 4 days! While we won’t do KS campaigns for each of our watches (we know it can be tedious to have to pay and wait months to get your product), we will consider them from time to time for our more special releases.
The final product
Here are some of the best pictures available for the Acheron. Pretty, isn’t it? You can get yours through this link: