The Kobold Spirit of America model KD657122 from the video review above is housed in a titanium case with a satin brushed finish.
The hand-wound version is powered by a mechanical ETA/Unitas 6497 which was modified into the Kobold caliber K.421. The movement has 17 jewels and a 50 hour power reserve. Most of the SOAs produced were manual winds, but when you scroll to the bottom of this review, you will see an example with an automatic movement.
The dial in the watch featured here is a grey stick dial with lumed square markers and hands. There are also blue dials and versions with Arabic markers. On the autos, we’ve seen black, blue, and even red dials.
The case measures just over 44mm without the crown and just over 48mm with the crown. The watch sits 13.5mm high on the wrist and has a lug width of 22mm in case you ever want to buy an extra strap for it.
The slightly domed crystal is a scratch-resistant sapphire with anti-reflective coating. The exhibition caseback is also a sapphire crystal.
It’s not as much of a tool watch as other Kobolds. With a push/pull crown, the Spirit of America has a depth rating of 100m or 330ft. The crown winds the movement smoothly, but the crown guards on each side don’t make for the most satisfying winding experience. What is satisfying is flipping the watch over and admiring the beautiful movement through the back.
The Spirit of America (SOA) is a watch that represents Kobold’s finest hour. A watch that pays respect to a time when watch manufacturing was flourishing in the states. The Spirit of America was also Kobold Watch Company’s first watch to be completely assembled in the United States. The manual wind version shown here used to retail for $3,350, and has since been discontinued.
In Kobold’s own words:
“We set out with a simple goal: to build the first serially produced American watch using as many U.S. made components as possible… The case is 100% U.S.-made, we even found a company to produce the domed sapphire crystal stateside… This handwound version of the Spirit of America is powered by a Swiss-made ETA caliber 6497. Conceived, designed, assembled and tested in USA from domestic and imported components.” -Kobold
As of this post, the Kobold website still offers a Spirit of America, but with a blue dial and an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The newer model is constructed from 316L stainless steel and not titanium. The original manual-wind titanium models are becoming more scarce, get one while you have the chance because you will probably never be able to get one from KWC.
Interesting note: The Kobold Langley GMT uses the same case design as the Spirit of America.
Below is a gallery of various Spirit of America watches we sold in our watch store over the years. We show the watch on different straps to show how the look changes depending on what you wear it on.
Titanium SOA with stick markers on a grey dial with a black and grey military strap installed:
A similar Spirit of America configuration but on a red, white, and blue American flag style military strap, perfect for the 4th of July:
SAO with a brown leather pilot strap (the strap was made by Zinex/Zixen):