The 5000A is thinner than a comparable full rotor movement from ETA or Sellita, which not only allows the Starlight to come in at just 9.7mm thick, but enables the use of an aventurine dial, which is thicker than a dial made from brass. Aventurine is a type of artisanal glass that is infused with copper, cobalt, and other metals to create a unique, shimmering finish that can sometimes resemble a starlit night sky. In person, an aventurine dial has an iridescent quality to it that is tough to capture in photographs. In watchmaking, aventurine dials, like those made of porcelain and enamel, are rare due to the high failure rate in their production and inherent fragility.
The Starlight project, launching soon on Kickstarter, is very much a labor of love for brand founder Diyu Wu, a watch lover based in Dublin, Ireland who simply set out to produce a watch with the features and aesthetics of the timepieces he most admires. That’s not unusual at all in the microbrand world, but Sólás stands apart because of the specific choices Diyu made to incorporate an unusual movement and niche dial material into his watch. The dial and movement combination here is certainly worthy of consideration and discussion, and the other elements of the Starlight’s design (faceted hands and applied hour markers, and a classic, compact size), seem likely to appeal to dress watch fans. At an expected retail price starting under $400, the Starlight could turn out to be a surprising and unique value, should the Kickstarter be fully funded. If nothing else, it’s a curiosity that ticks at least a few boxes that enthusiasts are typically forced to leave empty in their search for affordable, interesting new watches.