I wasn’t quite sure how to even title this watch review, as that watch in and of itself doesn’t have a name, that I’m aware of. What I do know is that this is a project born of one man’s desire to design his own watch, as what we wanted really wasn’t available.
Yes, I’m aware that many of the micro-brands use that as a backstory to how their watches came to be, with some ringing more true than others. With Ian Cameron’s creation here, however, I can really get behind that reasoning.
Why? Because he outlined the whole journey on WUS, from trying to find a manufacturer, going through dial design, ups and downs, and then the final delivery and testing of all the watches that were born of the project (200 in total; 100 blue/white and 100 black/cream). If you really want to delve into the nitty-gritty of the project, you’ll want to give this thread, and the two other threads referenced in it, a read.
Quite obviously, this is a dress watch in terms of design. Tucked within the 40mm coin-edge steel case you’ve got one of two dials (white with blue hands/numerals, or cream with black), on top of which you have Breguet-style hands. Paired with the Roman numerals (interestingly, we have IIII instead of IV on the dial) and a 20mm leather strap, this is a dress watch through and through.
Counteracting that ever so slightly is the size of the piece. As I mentioned, it measures in a 40mm (wears slightly smaller), and it’s not as thin as other dress pieces you may have run across. This thickness is due, I believe, to the Seagull ST-25 movement (automatic, hacking, hand-winding), as well as the structure that simply has to be there to enable a 30m water resistance rating.
In daily wear, the watch performed nicely. Prior to putting it on, setting and winding the watch is a little tougher than you might hope for from a watch, but you’re able to get the crown clicked into position, and get the time set (and wind up the movement). Some of the lack of smoothness I think might stem from the fact that the movement is setup for a date display, but the dial isn’t showing it (due to the factory mixing up the case requirements).
Once it’s on the wrist, you do have some heft there so you know the watch is there, but the included strap is comfortable, and you won’t feel like you have a brick weighing you down. When you’re out and about, the contrast of the hands against the dial keep things very legible (though I do wish the hands were a touch wider). If you have time to just sit and enjoy the watch, it is fun to see how the light and shadows play across the textured dial.
Mr. Cameron has created what he considers to be his own grail watch with this project, and with the fruit of his labors comes a benefit to you – you’re able to pick up one of these creations at the surprisingly affordable price point of $99 including international shipping via registered airmail(nice discount from the $120 they’ve been going for previously). Just send him an email, and you too can grab one of these dress watches. Oh, and if you’re in the US, you might just get yours a little quicker, as the two we have in for review are part of the sale.
Regardless of whether or not you buy one of these watches, reading those threads can definitely give you some food for thought. I’m sure there are many of us who have thought about what would comprise our own “perfect” watch, especially if the sketchbook started with a blank page. Who knows, maybe you can follow in Mr. Cameron’s footsteps and create your own one-of-a-kind piece. And, if you do, definitely let me know so we can give it a review!