As you saw, last month we had a giveaway for the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase. While it didn’t quite work out, timing-wise, for us to get the review up while the giveaway was running, we are here now to talk about the watch. Better late than never, yeah? Well, let’s get on with the review of the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase.
One of the first things that struck me about the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase was the case. It is tremendously thin at only 9mm (one major benefit of a quartz movement), and it has a lot of interesting angles and shapes to it. This is made all the more pronounced when compared against the sapphire crystal. This is because the crystal is flat and perfectly circular, which makes those angles and such on the case all the more stark.
Next most striking on the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase is the dial. There is quite a bit going on here. Even before you get into the various sub-displays, you’ll notice a good deal of texture to the dial with embossed concentric circles. Those are then picked up with the subdials set onto the main dial. Up at 12 o’clock, you’ve got a month indicator (controlled via the pusher at 10 o’clock), then a date indicator at 3 o’clock (set via the pusher at 4 o’clock). That then leaves the moonphase indicator at 6 o’clock, which uses a colorful set of icons to indicate the moon phase.
Setting the moon phase on the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase is where things get a bit tricky (and makes you thankful that it’s a quartz movement). What you need to do is lookup when your most recent full moon was. You then set the month and date to match that, and wind the moon phase to full (using the crown). Then, you have to move things forward in time – just by adjusting the hours/minutes. You do this as the moon phase is locked to the main time pinion. In my case, this took a bit to wind around, so you’ll be thankful that it’s quartz, and just keeps running. IE, you won’t have to be resetting this all of the time.
Once set, all’s that’s left to do is wear the watch around and test it. As you might expect, the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase does not weigh down the wrist, and slips easily under a cuff. In terms of reading the time, the polished needle handset looks cool in closeup, but I found it could be tricky at times to actually read the time. Here, making things a bit broader might have helped out. And when it comes to the month and date, well, perhaps it’s just my eyes, but those are all but useless for me to read without squinting and really concentrating on it. AKA, I’ll give up and read it on my phone or computer. I get that they’re necessary components to locking in the moon phase setting, but legibility is a challenge.
Also interesting was the lume application on the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase. By and large, there was none. And you know, that fits the theme, as moon phase watches are generally dressier. However, there is a lumed pip at 12 o’clock. So, that’s a bit confusing, no? You do have a small lume strip at the base of the hour hand. Still confusing, however, as you’d more normally think of wanting the minute hand lumed if only one was done. Though, if the handset was widened up a bit, you could accomodate a lume strip on both hands, and then things become a bit more cohesive. Then while we’re at it, why not have the moon phases glow some too?
For me, the Squarestreet Novem Moonphase was a mixed bag. I liked the case shape and profile, and the dial textures, and I found the moon phase icons an interesting route to go (if we can’t be fully realistic with the depiction, then iconography works). However, legibility concerns (for my eyes) and the odd luming choices raise some pauses, at least in any consideration I’d have of buying one myself. Your opinion may be different, of course, and it is a unique look in the realm of moon phases watches, particularly those we’ve seen released in the last 6 months or so. If you want to pick one up, it’ll run you $395 in any of the various finishes or strap choices. squarestreet.se
- Brand & Model: Squarestreet Novem Moonphase
- Price: $395
- Who’s it for? You want a moon phase that’s slim and brings some unique looks to the party
- Would I wear it? I really wanted to like the watch, but the legibility just breaks the deal for me
- What I’d change: For starters, the main handset could do with widening and lume; the subdials also need some help to make things more legible as well
- The best thing about it: The case shape and profile
Tech Specs from Squarestreet
- Case: 316L Stainless Steel
- Case Colour: Matt Black
- Glass: Sapphire Crystal with AR coding
- Hand: Polished Black
- Dial: Offwhite
- Crown: Matt Black
- Ridgeback Strap: Italian Navy Cow Leather
- Ridgeback Strap Lining: Italian Grey Cow Leather
- Movement: Swiss Ronda 706.3
- Case Diameter: 40 mm excl. crown
- Case Thickness: 9mm incl. caseback & glass
- Water Resistance : 5ATM
- Battery Life: 60 Months / 5 Years
- Warranty: 2 Years