If you like watches but haven't heard of Nezumi Studios, it's time to get out from under your rock. The brainchild of Stockholm-based concept designer, vintage racecar enthusiast and watch collector David Campo Cárdenes, Nezumi's carefully curated and pleasingly affordable collection of timepieces pays tribute to iconic vintage pieces but are by no means mere replicas.
Nezumi's watches display an "uncompromising attention to detail and genuine passion for heritage." After years of working with his clients helping them realize their visions, Cárdenes felt the need to make his own a reality and enjoy the total creative freedom to bring his concepts to fruition. The name Nezumi came from a book the designer read as a child about a Japanese Robin Hood-samurai type who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and the brand supports numerous animal charities as a result. It also runs a classic Porsche 911 club called the Roughneck Brigade.
Nezumi watches are produced in limited runs using premium components like highly precise Japanese automatic movements, double-domed sapphire crystals, and hard-wearing, beautifully finished stainless steel cases. And the prices are eminently reasonable.
They can be a little hard to find but Huckberry, always good at sourcing cool independent offerings, has a few versions of their two main designs, the Voiture racing chronograph and Baleine watch, in its Nezumi Studios store.
The Voiture (French for "car") has overtones of classic chronos like the Rolex Daytona and Universal Genève Tri-Compax from the '60s and '70s. It's not just window dressing either, as it's equipped with tachymeter and stopwatch functions as well as a stunning leather rally strap.
The Baleine (French for "whale") is water resistant to 200 meters (656 ft.), lightweight enough for everyday wear, and has an automatic movement which would normally cost you a lot more. The bezel rotates as it should marking off the minutes of an underwater dive if you're so inclined.
We can easily picture Steve McQueen or Jean-Paul Belmondo sporting one of these on some dashing adventure requiring plenty of speed and style. Hats off to Cárdenes for making it happen.