Everyday Carry

Ardor & Forge Rothrock Collection

Everyday Carry
Ardor & Forge Rothrock Collection

As much as our gear is often industrial, mechanical, and produced from cold materials, it’s always nice when a product comes along that gets us back in touch with nature. Inspired by Rothrock State Forest in Central Pennsylvania, Ardor & Forge brings us a set of watches that reflect the natural spaces they were created in. The collection features four watches, designed with a common aesthetic, but each with its own distinct features. It’s a solid set of adventure-inspired watches, built to last and ready to join you off the beaten path.

Each Rothrock watch features a unique sand-cast texture on the case, something not yet seen in the watch world. The resulting look is rugged, with the case material able to hide those inevitable bumps, nicks, and scratches that happen during everyday wear. Inside the 42mm textured case, you’ll find a reliable NH35 Japanese automatic watch movement. Thanks to the screw down crown and case design, the watch is water resistant to 10ATM (100m/330ft.), more than enough for excursions both on and below the water. Ardor & Forge went the extra mile by adding real oak to the winding rotor, visible through the sapphire display caseback on the underside of the watch.

The Rothrock also has oak accents on the crown end and in the rehaut, running around the outside of the dial; a subtle detail made of natural material that reminds you of the outdoors whenever you need to check the time. On the dial, you’ll find a highly legible 12-hour scale, rendered in Super-LumiNova for visibility even in the darkest of conditions. The Rothrock is available in four colorways. The Seeger features a raw stainless steel case with deep blue dial, the Detweiler is housed in a vintage gold PVD case with olive green dial, the Thickhead has a black DLC case with black dial, and the Juniata features a raw stainless steel case with a fully lumed white dial, giving it a stunning effect in low light. Drilled lugs and double lug holes make it quick and easy to change up the strap too, adding to their versatility.

The Ardor & Forge Rothrock collection is currently available on Kickstarter, and backers have plenty of time to pick out their choice of watch. Prices start at $300 for early bird pledges, saving a decent chunk of change from the final retail price of $550 when the watches ship in August.

A portion of sales go to support the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation, so you’re supporting conservation of the great outdoors by picking up a watch inspired by them. Learn even more about the Ardor & Forge Rothrock collection and pick one up for yourself at the link below.

Check It Out

This is a sponsored post presented by Ardor & Forge.

#kickstarter #rothrock #ardor-and-forge #watches #sponsored see all

Who Likes This (67)

58 others

Discussion (8 total)

minute&seconds hands meet the indices
pleasing color schemes
4 o’clock crown is one of the more virile military dial watch features
case is interesting, drilled lugs
reliable auto/hack/wind movement
the “4” is old euro, and a nice touch

entry price iffy, final price a game-ender
dial crowded with graphics

-the crowded dial would kill it at the entry price, for me.
Zack Rackovan ·
Thanks for the input! Pricing was quite difficult, but being that we're planning on only making 300-500 of these, and we spent a lot of R&D time figuring out how to make everything we wanted (mostly the sand-cast-like texture) there is no way we were going to get down to Invicta type pricing. Still, there are plenty of other (successful) microbrands offering similar specs at higher prices. If anything, I've had most people tell me that it is underpriced for the value we're delivering, especially at the $350 preorder price, I know I can't please everyone though.

I had actually played with the dial for awhile and got feedback from the community before making any final decisions. Again, you can't please everyone. I sent out emails to my newsletter subscribers asking for feedback when designing and working through the concept. If you'd like to sign up, I'll most likely continue doing that for future projects as well. Thanks!
best of luck with it, I’m just one old coot with a load of free advice.

appreciate your response.
Really digging the look of this watch. But at that price point it is going to exclude a lot of people that want a watch like this for true field use. You can buy Invictas with an NH35 movement for $80. And the design is a little too reminiscent of the old Timex T49780 to justify the high price as a show piece. I realize this manufacturer probably isn't getting Invicta's bulk purchase pricing on the movements... But still a top end of $550 is steep by comparison! Reduce the price by several hundred dollars and they are on to something-- very handsome watch
Zack Rackovan ·
Thanks for checking things out Nunquam! While it's true you can buy an Invicta for less than $100, we weren't positioning ourselves to compete with bottom of the barrel brands like Invicta and Timex.

We spent a lot of time designing and developing something truly unique. We developed the sand-cast texture, which is a multi-step process that uses lasers, rock tumblers, and several other things. The wood accents are real oak, finished and assembled by hand. While the Rothrock is built tough enough to withstand your daily adventures, they are meant for people who appreciate the design and respect the work that actually goes into them. There will only be 300-500 of these made, you're getting a distinct, unique piece of art, and supporting a small business instead of a giant heartless conglomerate (I built this business from my attic over the past 3 years).

Though they may use the same movement, that's about as far as the comparisons go between one of our watches and one of the models you mentioned.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my comment. With that sort of engagement with the marketplace and potential customers, I can tell you will be quite successful. Your watches are very nice looking and I think it is great to see folks like you all experimenting with various techniques to create a unique finished product. Innovation like this is exactly what we all need.

To offer more insight into my perspective-- For how I choose and use watches, I don't see the value. Not to say the value isn't there-- just not for me personally. It is not my preference to purchase a field watch styled timepiece for show (more formal occasions), or to collect (as in a piece of art). For what I look for in a field watch I have found solutions at a lower price point. And when I think "show piece" or "collectible", I want a movement with more pedigree. But I am aware this is "just my two cents". I am a very practical person, as you may have already deduced. But I appreciate the fact that everyone has their own preferences.

Also the movement itself is a pretty significant factor when talking watches of this price point. So the comparison is noteworthy, even if it is the only one. And while the finish, detail, and craftsmanship certainly stand-out on your watches, I can't help but make the observation that from a conversational distance it looks like a specific Timex model-- the T49780 (not to compare your watch to ALL Timexs). When wearing a watch in this price point for show (and not field use), I am assuming the purpose is to make an impression. For me, I would worry the impression given for my $550 spent, was that I am wearing my old Timex again. So certainly something to consider. I happen to know about the Timex, so I think of it. I realize that it is very possible that the average onlooker has never heard of that model, and so no issue. But personally, I can't undo what I know.

From how you describe it, it sounds like this watch isn't being marketed to people like me and my needs. And that is okay too. At a production run of only 300-500 of these, for me to say it will "exclude a lot people" was a big understatement on my part lol. I certainly hope you all find the niche market for these watches and I wish you the best in your business. I respect the struggle and sacrifices made by small business owners and hope to support them however I can manage. I will keep an eye on your offerings and if you ever produce a product more to my taste, I would look forward to the opportunity to give you my business.
Zack Rackovan ·
Thanks for the response! And, I totally understand where you are coming from! I'm honestly still figuring out how and where to get in front of the right people. There are numerous brands out there who are using the NH35 and have a pricepoint higher even than $550, but it is definitely all about creating that value and then getting it in front of the people who actually value what you are offering. I knew I was taking some risks with the wood, with the texturing, and even with the movement, but I really didn't want to just be another "me too" homage brand, stealing design cues from name brands and "making them my own" like a lot of microrbands do.

While that model has certainly excluded some people (due to price or aesthetics mostly), and maybe made it more difficult on me to find the right customer, the guys who have been excited about the watch have been REALLY excited about the watch, so I'm still happy with the choice to buck the trend. Starting out, I have nearly no marketing budget, so it is a bit scary that I won't connect with enough of the right people, but that's the path I felt like God put me on and I'm hopeful that it will work out in the end.

I have several long term goals for the brand, including to support conservation efforts globally (we're starting out with a % of proceeds going directly to the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation), but I'd also like to expand into other EDC items like pens, wallets, possibly even knives at some point as well. And even with the watches, I'd love to be able to offer quartz options at a lower price point (maybe more in the range you were mentioning). So again, thanks for your input, every bit helps to understand how to connect with people and make educated decisions.

Have a great week!
Zack Rackovan ·
We're taking this design to Kickstarter in March! $300 early bird pricing. I can't post a link due to edc policy, but you can either search from KS, or go to the ardor and forge website.