Following hot on the heels of the success of his first timepiece, Fred Bekher of Horizon Watches decides to take a step further to launch his second collection: The Pilgrim.
The Pilgrim, in a way, is the continuation of where the Nautilus had left off. The watch was launched earlier in February 2023, and it has already surpassed its funding goals on its Kickstarter campaign.
We had the opportunity to spend a few weeks with the new Pilgrim. Here are our thoughts on the timepiece.
Horizon Watches Pilgrim
The Pilgrim was priced at US$559 (approximately S$750) during the Kickstarter campaign (which had unfortunately ended), and it is expected to be priced at US$899 (approximately S$1,205) subsequently.
The Pilgrim is based on the story of Jules Verne, which was also where the first Horizon timepiece took its inspiration. As alluded to in Un Capitaine de Quinze Ans (A Captain at Fifteen), the narrative follows the adventure of Pilgrim – where the collection gets its namesake.
Beyond the story, the watch is also one that is made for adventure. It was thus decided that a Super-Compressor style diver’s watch will be the most suitable medium to bring this timepiece to life. There are also neo-vintage cues and interesting design touches, which hopes to allow the Pilgrim to stand out in the crowd. First impressions-wise, the new timepiece has certainly made a strong case for itself.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The Pilgrim is a 41mm timepiece, a tad smaller than its predecessor. The watch notably features a two-part case construction, in which it interestingly features two different surface finishes to juxtapose between polished and brushed surfaces. This is topped off with a vertically brushed bezel, which also adds a nice contrast to the polished surface of the main case.
One of the more interesting outcomes from the two-part case construction are the lugs. For those with a keen eye, the Pilgrim features a step-down lug design, which is pretty unusual in the micro-brand sphere (or even in higher-end watches, for that matter). This was achieved more easily through the two-part case construction, in which the main case has a lower lug thickness as compared to the other case component. This is pretty ingenious, as it was a relatively efficient (and effective) way to design and craft a step-down lug.
Next, we have the dial. There are four dial variations for the Pilgrims, in which they are all fitted with an embossed sand-blasted textured dial. The loaner, as seen in the pictures, features a dark blue dial which is known as “Blue Ocean”. It is also available in black and dark green, as well as a rather unique “Young Captain Edition” which features an interesting dial that comes in a greener shade of turquoise.
The indices of the Pilgrim are also a tad interesting. Typically, for the four key indices (at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock position) on vintage diver’s watch or super compressors, these are fitted with a triangular frame. Horizon decides to take a step further, by incorporating indices in the form of trapezium instead.
On that same note, we have one of the most interesting date windows that we have seen thus far. For the Pilgrim, the date window is actually incorporated into the trapezium frame at the 3 o’clock position. This ensures that the owner will get the best of both worlds – in the form of a functional watch with the date display, without the awkward date window that breaks the symmetry and design of the dial. This is a very brilliant idea indeed.
Completing the package is a pair of rather modern-looking hands, filled with SuperLuminova. Compared to the Lance-styled hands on the previous watch, the ones fitted on the Pilgrim are certainly more legible, especially in an environment with a lower amount of light.
Overall, we find that the Pilgrim is a rather well-designed watch. We like how the team at Horizon had taken steps to design and improve the watch, and not just sticking to the usual templates. The two-part case construction and date window are especially ingenious, and these definitely makes the Pilgrim a tad more special than the rest.
The Movement: Sellita SW200-1A
Powering the Pilgrim is the ever-reliable Sellita SW200-1A movement. This self-winding movement has long proven to be a workhorse, and we expect nothing less for a diver’s watch. The movement has an autonomy of 38 hours, and as mentioned, features an additional date display at the 3 o’clock position.
Notably, the movement is an upgrade from the Nautilus, which was fitted with the Seiko NH35A movement. Both are undoubtedly solid at doing its job, but collectors might lean towards the Sellita for its higher beat rate and timekeeping tolerance (and maybe, its Swiss origin). Then again, there are also others who are ambivalent to this.
The back of the watch is fitted with a solid caseback, depicting a ship and a whale – a reference to the Pilgrim. As a result, we are unable to view the movement’s finishing, but we do not expect anything beyond the usual industrial-grade finishes as with the standard Sellita movement.
The Pilgrim was previously available at US$559 (approximately S$750) during the Kickstarter campaign, which we understand had unfortunately ended a couple of weeks ago. We understand that going forward, the Pilgrim is expected to be priced at US$899 (approximately S$1,205) subsequently. We understand that for the Kickstarter package, the watch will be fitted with a FKM rubber strap, instead of the metal bracelet as shown in the review.
In the space of modestly priced diver’s watches, there are a few timepieces that are currently in contention.
The first watch on the list would be Horizon’s first timepiece: Nautilus. The Nautilus features a rather interesting design, and it feels rather well-built as well. Prices of the Nautilus begin at S$800, and we think it is a nice addition for a collector who wants a diver’s watch that is a tad different from the usual suspects.
Next, we have the Tissot’s Seastar 2000 Professional, which is priced at S$1,580. The watch offers great value as well, although it is perhaps a tad more expensive vis-à-vis the Pilgrim. The Tissot also offers a lot for what it is worth, although we do think that it is a little textbook when it comes to design and aesthetics.
We finally have the Dietrich Skin Diver SD-1. The Skin Diver SD-1 offers collectors something different as well, with its slightly funky and more contemporary design cues. We also love the incorporation of classic elements (such as the crosshair on the dial), as well as the exquisitely-made bracelet. The 38.5mm Skin Diver SD-1 is priced similarly at US$1,050 (approximately S$1,410).
There is a lot to like about the Pilgrim. It is a well-made watch, with some rather smart touches in terms of its design and construction. We also like how the brand had taken lessons from its debut watch that helped to make the Pilgrim a more solid watch.
Overall, the Pilgrim is a great tool watch that performs as well as it looks. This is a great timepiece to have in any watch collection, especially for collectors who are looking to have a nice but modestly priced tool watch in their repertoire for casual occasions.