The Melbourne Flinders – Up from Down Under
Melbourne Watch Company was kind enough to send over 2 copies of their Finders watch for me to wear for a while, one a black dial on a black strap, and the other a ‘white’ dial on a brown strap. Patrick wrote up the watch when it was still in the project phase on Indiegogo, so now it was my turn to get an impression of the watch. And, to cut to the chase, I liked it.
The watch is a three hander with a date window, powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic movement. A flat sapphire crystal is provided up front and for the screw-down exhibition case back, all on a leather strap. The watch is rated for 50 meters of water resistance. The round case with slightly down turned lugs is 40mm, a nice size that works for men and women (my friend’s wife really liked the size on her wrist). Sitting at about 10mm tall, it is not a super slim watch, but it certainly is not a watch that would look out of place with a suit.
Since I was able to spend a little time with both color combinations, I can say that I prefer the lighter version, but both have their charms. They are both very readable, though there is no lume for low light timekeeping. There are indexes done in triplicate, with a long silver bar capped with a dot for each of the 5 minute ticks, with Arabic numbers counting to 60 on the outermost edge, which also has printed ticks for the minutes. It is not busy, but they could have gotten by with less. The minute and second hands reach all the way out to the outer index, which I like, while the hour hand just grazes the inner edge of the bar. The dial has a few changes in elevation, with the outermost index set below the ring housing the metal bars (which are raised) and then the level drops down again for a central area with a recessed lines forming a nice guilloche vertical pattern. As for my color preference, the “white” dial comes off as almost a light silver, which the “black” seems like a very deep chocolate. Both are nice, but don’t expect a pure white or black.
The other little design touches include the brand’s stylized M on both the buckle and the crown, and an “M” on the but end of the second hand. For me, I could pass this off as a bit of custom monogramming, as could anyone else with an initial of M or W in their name. Of you could say that it is a counterpart to the 007 watch put out by Omega, except this version is for Bond’s boss, the unflappable “M.” Obviously it represents the brand, but you don’t have to tell someone who notices the extra detail that, do you?
The watch wears nicely. At 40mm and 10mm tall, it is neither large nor petite, sitting in the middle of size range for modern watches. Fora woman who prefers a simpler design and a round case, this would work well, as evidenced by my friend’s opinion of it when she tried it on. The case is a sandwich of textures, with a large brushed stainless section between the polished bezel and caseback. The lugs, which are attached to the caseback, are also polished. The only miscue in the watch for me was the crown, which I found very difficult to pull out. It is knurled, so hand winding is not an issue, but it sits flat to the case, and I had the hardest time pulling it out in order to set the watch. Also, setting the date required a little trial and error to get the crown into the right position. If they had ended the knurling on the crown a bit early to allow for a little lip to get a fingernail purchase, that would have helped immensely.
If you are interested in the watch, or the brand, head over to their web page. Currently, the Finders is available, the Hawthorn is wrapping up it’s pre-order phase (here is my review of the Kickstarter project) and a new watch is soon to be launched on Kickstarter. melbournewatch.com
- Brand & Model: Melbourne Watch Company Flinders
- Price: $486
- Who’s it for?: An automatic watch lover on a budget.
- Would I wear it?: Definitely.
- What I’d change: The crown is way too hard to pull out.
- The best thing about it: The subtle texture changes in the dial.