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Review: Xetum Tyndall automatic watch

Posted on 03 March 2010 by John Biggs


If you’ve been following the HourTime podcasts you’ll know that I have a hatred fro three-handed watches. For some reason I’ve grown weary of divers and dress watches without complications. Luckily, the Tyndall is here to bring me back from the brink of insanity.

Designed by Jeff Kuo of San Francisco, the Xetum Tyndall is the epitome of American high-style design watches. It’s not fancy, it’s not overly beefy, and it’s made to last. If you’re tired of divers that look like pie plates and monster watches that look like manhole covers yet contain a cheap Chinese movement, this is the watch for you.

First, the Tyndall contains a Swiss automatic movement, the elaboree-grade ETA 2895, a decorated automatic that is currently quite hard to find. That he was able to source this movement is a testament to his dedication. Had he used anything else and this watch would have been far less interesting.

The design is striking. The watch has a 40mm face – just big enough to matter but not big enough to drag you down while skydiving – and is 11mm thick. It is water resistant to 100 meters but I doubt you want to the get the beautiful leather band wet. It has a small subdial at six o’clock and a date window at 3. The band has a press-to-release buckle and is integrated into the case itself. The watch has no lugs because the band is stuck under the exhibition back.

The watch is just the right size and is very legible. I wasn’t quite happy with the lume but only the 12,3,6, and 9 are lumed along with the hands, thereby reducing some legibility at night.

Now for price. This watch is $1,395, quite a handful, but when you consider most of the higher-end Swatch Group line uses the same movement as well as the Oris Artelier line, you can excuse the high price. Sourcing this movement is hard enough and the care Jeff took in designing and manufacturing this watch is evident.

This is a high-design American watch through and through, something quite rare in the horology world. Add Xetum to the pantheon of American watch geniuses that now includes Bathys, RGM, and DFreemont.

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