We’ve covered a few different Refined Hardware models here on WWR (see Gatsby and Robber Baron). Through those, we’ve seen that’s there’s definitely a design DNA running through the brand, something that I took to calling an industrial aesthetic. While there certainly were similarities in the pieces, they did have their own unique twists, and we see that showing up in the Refined Hardware Atlas.
Or, if you prefer, you can use the watches other name, Project 4 (Atlas Edition Steel). Once again, we see that industrial look to the piece coming through, and a very similar case (at least when viewed in profile). On the Atlas edition, however, we’re getting another slate of changes as well. There’s a new bezel design, “shrouded” lugs, and a completely new dial.
For me, that dial is the highlight of this particular model. With the grid overlaying the skeletonized movement, it’s almost (when viewed at a glance) as if you’re looking at some odd map of the world. This is a unique way of opening up the dial to view the movement that I’ve not seen before. The one concern I would have here is the visibility of the handset. In this case, they’re painted in a flat black, so they should contrast against the dial/movement – it just might be harder to pick out than if they were polished, say.
The bracelet on this piece is something I’ve not seen before either. It’s made of forged carbon, with a steel deployant clasp. From what I can see in the pictures, this carbon fiber portion is married to some regular links, so you’ll have some adjustability in the bracelet, which is good, since I’m assuming most of us wouldn’t want to be trying to machine the carbon to get a good fit.
While this isn’t my favorite of the watches that I’ve seen from Refined Hardware, it is good to see them working out some rather different variations on a theme, as well as getting back to a true automatic (for more on that, check out my Robber Baron review). At this time, they’re only planning on making 50 examples of this watch, at a price of aroun $2,400. Then again, if you want to save some coin (and can act fast), you can pick it up over at Touch of Modern for only $1,999 (sale page, and the invite if you need it). refinedhardware.com
- Brand & Model: Refined Hardware Atlas
- Price: $2450
- Who we think it might be for: The racer who’s looking for a watch to compliment the CF bits ‘n bobs on their car
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: Not really – the readability gives me pause, and I’m unsure of the comfort of the carbon bracelet
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Explore using some color or polished surfaces on the handset
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: As with the other Refined Hardware pieces, it’s the over design DNA