I must admit, I seem to be a bit of an Anglophile, at least when it comes to horology. Suffice to say, I rather looked forward to getting the sample in for today’s review from the folks over at David Mason Watches.Now, if you’ve not heard of David Mason, that’s understandable – they’ve only been around since 2011, but they are “creating great designer gents watches using only best materials and skilled craftsman.” (more on that here). Also, in light of their relative newness to the industry, it’s not surprising that they only have two models lineup.
We were sent the DM1A, which features a cream dial and brown leather strap (whereas the DM1B is black on black). Regardless of the model you choose, you’d get a watch with the following:
- Swiss Ronda 515 quartz movement with GMT complication
- 46mm stainless steel case
- 100 meter water resistance rating
- Screw in crown (more on that later)
- Leather strap
- Lumed hands and indices
Now, while this watch is labelled as oversize (and, at 46mm, it surely isn’t a tiny watch), it’s not overbearing on the wrist, nor does it weigh you down. The thing you’re likely to notice as you wear the watch is the strap. Not so much for it’s comfort (it is nicely padded), but for it’s odor. Every now and again I come across a strap that has a conditioner on it that just strikes at my olfactory senses. Perhaps it would air out given enough time, but it’s disappointing to not have a rich leather scent. So, if you pick one up, you’ll probably want to plan to swap the strap out.
That aside, this does have a nice design. The primarily cream and black color scheme (with a few splashes of red) is nicely balanced, and keeps things rather easy to read. The GMT hand being red also help you to keep from mixing it up with another main hand. While the hand itself cannot be independently set, you can set the chapter ring via the lower (unlockable) crown. In this manner, you could track any time zone you wish, while still having a day/night indicator in your main time zone.
Now, about that crown. The GMT crown itself is not lockable, nor can you screw it in. It’s fixed position, so hopefully it’s not an impact to the water resistance. While I didn’t have the issue myself while testing the piece, it would seem that you could easily enough bump (or catch the crown on your shirt cuff) it, throwing off the reading. Admittedly, a minor concern, but still something to be aware of.
Before we wrap things up, lets take one more look at the dial. As you would expect, the hands are lumed – not to blinding levels, but to perfectly acceptable levels. One bit that surprised me was the fact that the large, dark indices on the dial are lumed as well. While “black” lume is something that certainly exists, you generally don’t expect to see it at these price points.
In the end, this watch is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Overall, I really like the style of the piece (including the dark lume), and it has a lot of functionality built in with the date and GMT readouts. On the flip side of the coin, the malodorous strap and non-locking GMT crown were letdowns. And, at an asking price of £160.00 (approx. $256) plus shipping, it’s really not an easy yes/no decision. If you’re looking to add something from “across the pond” to your collection, these are worth a gander.