Raven Defender Watch Launched Via Kickstarter
We’ve covered watches from Benarus and Raven in the past, and now Raven has taken to Kickstarter to launch the Defender, a new model with an unexpected design and decidedly strong value proposition. While Raven, a sister company to Benarus, is generally known for making nicely priced homages to watches like the Rolex Submariner, the Raven Defender is an entirely different concept that blends the easy-wearing charm of a field watch with the functionality of an aviation derived dual-crown design and the specs of a Benarus dive watch.
The Kickstarter campaign runs until mid November and allows Raven to offer a considerable discount on a wide variety of case finishes and multiple dial colors. The Raven Defender uses a 42mm case in either steel (your choice of brushed, blasted or DLC black) or brass. The Defender is 11.5mm thick with 20mm drilled lugs, sapphire crystals front and back, and 300m water resistance.
The Raven Defender is characterized by an expansive dial and internal bezel that is controlled via a second crown. Both crowns are oversized and offer a distinctive look and (one would assume) an easy way of controlling the time-setting and the internal bi-directional bezel. With strong legibility bolstered by C3 Superluminova luminous paint, the Raven Defender looks like a piece of military gear crossed with a vintage super compressor.
Despite its entry level cost, the Raven Defender uses a Miyota 9015 Automatic movement. Made in Japan by a subsidiary of Citizen Watches, the 9015 offers hacking and hand winding and is capable of excellent timekeeping with minimal service. The 9015 is commonly found in entry-level automatics and has become a key movement in the sub-$1500 category. Its inclusion in the Raven Defender is certainly a noteworthy value addition.
Along with being able to choose the case metal and finish, backers will have the option of a black, blue, or grey dial, and all Raven Defenders will be delivered on a simple, black, natural rubber strap. With roughly the same footprint as a Seiko SKX007 (not including the crowns) and a lug-to-lug of 49mm, the Raven Defender is slightly shorter and thinner than the Benarus Moray 42, a watch I find quite comfortable on my seven-inch wrist.
It’s exciting to see Raven branch out in to new watches while still offering the same accessible pricing and sport-ready specs that enthusiasts have appreciated from their past models. While I initially felt the large crowns looked awkward, their appeal has grown on me and, in the wrist shots provided for the project, the Raven Defender looks really good, with a distinctive wrist presence.
I’ve been blasted in the comments before when I review watches from Benarus or Halios that are sold out by the time the review is posted, so here is your heads up. You can visit the Raven Defender Kickstarter campaign page here. Pricing for the Raven Defender starts at $349 USD (a $200 discount off of the retail price) with limited spots available. Being a Kickstarter, the early birds get the best pricing, and the tiers expand up to $499 for the DLC Raven Defender (a $100 discount off of the eventual retail price) or discounts on multiple watches. If you like the style, the pricing and specs offer a strong value on an interesting design from a brand with a solid track record for producing tough and wearable sport watches. ravenwatches.com