Here is a Kobold you have never seen (unless you caught a glimpse of it on this site about a decade ago) and will likely never see again (unless you are the new owner, then you will have the pleasure...
Kobold Watch Company is a microbrand that was ahead of its time. Before Kickstarter was a thing, Kobold was able to build a brand and loyal following on prebuys and crowdfunding. The brand filled a need in the watch market with a tool watch that was actually made to be worn. Koboldians care about their watches, but they aren't scared to get them dirty and wear them on their daily adventures.
What does "Kobold" mean?
A kobold is a word that in German mythology refers to a mischievous gnome or spirit that inhabits (or haunts) houses or lives underground such as in caves or mines. However, this definition is not related to the word "KOBOLD" on the dial of Kobold watches: Kobold is the family name of the watch brand's founder.
Kobold Watch Ambassadors:
Kobold watches are collected and worn by celebrities and famous people in many different walks of life, from the silver screen to politics. Most notably is the relationship between the brand's owner and James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano), explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes and even Bill Clinton. Kobolds have been seen in movies and TV shows, but also on the wrists of active members of the US military with boots on the ground. KeepTheTime has sold Kobolds to stars, billionaires and soldiers across the world.
Used Kobold Watches
Although many collectors are looking for a brand new Kobold watch, the reality is that those are hard to come by. The microbrand does not produce many watches per year and there may be a wait time for any new watch orders. Some of the older Kobold watch models are no longer produced by the company, therefore, your only option me be to find a used piece. KeepTheTime specializes in pre-owned and rare Kobold watches, which gives collectors the chance to find a long lost model they have been searching for. We're always updating our inventory and our available pre-owned Kobold watches are ready to ship - no pre-buys, no reservations, no waitlists... just fast shipping and on your wrist in as little as 24 hours.
Are Kobold watches made in USA, Switzerland, Germany, Nepal, or China?
As one of the early micro-watch brands that was looking for ways to pioneer a new era of American made timepieces, Kobold watches have global origins with an emphasis on being assembled in USA. This is why many Kobold timepieces are signed with various countries of origin such as: Made in Germany, Swiss Made, Made in USA, Nepal, etc. Things have changed with the brand over the years and the reality is that most small watch companies do the best they can to source components from all over the world to construct a finished product. Kobold watches are not made in one single place. This is why a Kobold watch could have a Swiss movement, inside a case that was machined in USA and assembled in Nepal - with parts potentially from other countries as well. To get a better idea, you'll want to look for the markings on the dial and caseback of each specific piece.
Are Kobold watches any good?
It depends on who you ask! As with every brand, Kobold has lovers and haters. One thing we know for certain is that Kobold watches are worn by serious collectors all over the world. Some of these collectors specifically seek out Kobold watches to wear in combat, others wear them because they enjoy having a watch that nobody else in their circle will have. As for build quality: reliable workhorse movements, steel or titanium, sapphire crystals, screw-down crowns... all the boxes are checked for luxury tool watches. If you are an enthusiast who leans towards smaller microbrands, then a Kobold or two might be for you. They are eye-catching conversation starters that can take a beating. If you see a Kobold watch (especially a classic model) you like, go for it as they are becoming harder and harder to come by!
In Kobold's Own Words:
"We made our name with our watches. Every Kobold is hand-built in our workshops in the U.S., Germany and Nepal. Most of our watch cases are made in our own workshops. We designate our cases either as Made in USA or Made in Germany. Kobold watches are invented, designed, prototyped, manufactured, assembled, and tested in-house." -Kobold Watch Co.