As kids, we thought Luke Skywalker was the hero of the Star Wars franchise, but as we got a little older we started thinking maybe Darth Vader just got a bad rap. He’s a total bad ass with the Force, a Sith Lord and he’s part robot—which is why Devon Works partnered with Star Wars to create the new limited-edition Darth Vader wristwatch. The watch design was inspired by the Vader helmet and monochromatic styling of the Empire, and uses the same engineering that the brand uses in their partnership with the aerospace industry.
Devon Works’ timepieces are unique in that they use a series of conveyer belts made of glass-reinforced nylon to tell time rather than using a traditional dial. Nicknamed “time belts,” the system uses hybrid elector-mechanical power to run, with multiple high-tech optical recognition cells, micro-step motors, and 313 electrical contacts. Over 300 separate parts, sourced from a California-based aerospace company, are used for the movement. “The technology for our watches didn’t exist. We had to create everything from scratch and invent as we went along,” says Scott Devon, founder and creative director of Devon Works.
Devon and his team were given eight months to bring the proposed Star Wars watch to life but, fanboys that they are, designed it in even less. “We knew immediately that we had to incorporate Darth Vader into the design. He is not just one of the most iconic Star Wars characters, but he is also represents an impressive display of man interfacing with machine,” added Devon. After bringing the initial ideas to his in-house designer, the plans were finished within a week.
The exterior design draws heavily on the Empire’s aesthetic—black, diamond-like carbon coating, stainless steel, pointed silver screws like the ones on Vader’s helmet—even the crown is finished with the Empire’s insignia. The interior design was also custom-designed for the Star Wars watch. The center hexagon was mirrored after the Sith Lord’s TIE Fighter and the belt system was created in red and green to “reflect the details on Darth Vader’s center console.” And the leather strap? Ribbed to replicate Vader’s gloves.
While the watch is still only available for pre-order, it will begin shipping out through authorized retailers starting in October. Only 500 of these limited-edition timepieces will be made and they will continue to be built over the next two years. Each watch comes in a specially designed TIE Fighter box and comes with a free pair of TIE Fighter cufflinks—so you can really feel the Force. Available for pre-order online and priced at $28,500.