WILBUR - American Timpieces for the Limitless Few
“We are the wolf, not the sheep.” That is the slogan visionary American designer, Jason Wilbur, lives by and encapsulates with every new timepiece he introduces through his watch brand, WILBUR. Launched in 2020, Wilbur crafted his luxury watch brand to challenge convention and go boldly against the grain of traditional luxury watch standards, injecting his rebellious spirit and fantastic visions into every design created. WILBUR watches don’t merely tell time, they tell a story. WILBUR designs aren’t for everyone, and Jason Wilbur is quite ok with that. His unconventional, innovative and artistic designs cater to a limitless few who are hell-bent on always pushing the limits and never settling for more common, accepted or established standards. But in order to understand and truly appreciate WILBUR exotic timepieces, one needs to understand the inspirations and dreams of Jason Wilbur and the experiences that have shaped them.
When consumers think about luxury watch manufacturing and craftsmanship, where’s the first place their minds typically go? The obvious answer is Switzerland, the historic global epicenter for watch design and development. But much like his designs, Jason Wilbur is bucking that conventional norm in Southern California, with its perpetual sunshine and surf providing the backdrop for his radically artistic design visions. And while he built out a distinguished career heavily grounded in the design of automobiles, speedboats and future-focused transportation vehicles, Wilbur always maintained an underlying passion and focus on his earliest mechanical muses for design and creativity: watches.
After years of development, revision and refinement, Wilbur’s debut timepiece came to fruition in 2010 when he licensed his design to Devon Motorworks to launch the Tread 1. A totally unique and radical departure from tradition and convention, Tread 1 was an early precursor to his WILBUR designs and was nominated for the prestigious Swiss horological Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG), widely considered “the Oscars” of the global watch industry. The nomination was extremely rare for an American designer in an industry so dominated by Swiss watchmakers. While maintaining his efforts in the automotive and powersports realm, Wilbur harnessed the momentum generated by Tread 1 and ultimately founded the WILBUR watch brand in 2020 with the unveiling of his Launch Edition series watches.
Made for individual thinkers, rule breakers, innovators and pioneers, Wilbur creates watches that push the limits of design and art. As the sole designer and engineer behind the brand, Wilbur’s watches are infused and inspired by his high-performance, advanced automotive underpinnings, and brought to life by using high-tech, computer-aided 3D programs. Once the initial visions are brought forth, Wilbur leans on micromechanical engineers, and automotive and aerospace engineers to help make these visions physical and functional realities. The entire design and development process, including final assembly and manufacturing, is completed in Southern California.
Wilbur’s initial product offering came in 2020 with the debut of the Launch Edition series – a small-batch offering of 250 pieces each. Both watches set the stage for some of Wilbur’s trademark 3D design elements, including a 9-part modular exoskeleton case, reminiscent of an advanced automotive chassis, with a totally unique movement cage dramatically characterized by a variety of suspended, floating elements, all made visible through a transparent “exhibition” backing. The result is nothing less than visual art with varying levels of depth, from multiple viewing angles. With sizable 44mm faces, the watches are as much statement-making mechanical sculptures, as they are literal trackers of time. Constructed with 316L steel and machined carbon fiber, and rounded out by AR-coated sapphire crystal front and back, the watches are water resistant to depths of 100 meters.
Following the Launch Edition offerings, Wilbur dynamically countered with his Launch Edition Speed Shop designs. The two designs were offered in a highly limited capacity, taking the notion of “small-batch” to its limit, with only 20 pieces available for each model. Once again, the designs were marked by Wilbur’s 3D chassis constructions, with suspended and floating elements, brought to life through front and back transparency windows, creating a seemingly limitless feast for the eye from a diverse range of viewing perspectives. Again, mechanical art sculpture, colliding with unconventional, innovative time-keeping functionality.
These four initial designs are merely the beginning for Jason Wilbur – a designer not so inspired by what is, but intensely driven by the notion of what can be. New design debuts are slated for Fall 2022 and early-2023. The company is also focused on expanding its retail and distribution network to ensure consumers have more ways to discover WILBUR timepieces and make one their own.
Powered by a disruptive spirit that drives artistic and mechanical innovation, all while challenging the industry status quo, Jason Wilbur will continue to redefine boundaries, break from tradition and unlock new dimensions for self-expression. Through his innate desire to express the artistic visions of his mind, he’s enabling individuals to display their own artistic statements, worn around their wrists.