We here at WWR (particularly, Victor and myself) have been fans of what Doug Kim has been creating over at Manchester Watch Works. This started with the first Tatoskok, and of course has followed through as new models have been introduced. Kim’s Iconik line has been a way for him to look to – and pay homage to – truly iconic designs of the past. For the final release in the Iconik line – the Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4 – we see the design book of Gerald Genta brought forth.
Even if you’re not familiar with Genta, or the various design elements that are intrinsically tied to his name, you would immediately place the dial, bezel design, and bracelet as being quite, quite familiar. First up, that dial. This particular pattern gives a great symmetry to things, as well as bringing a lot of texture to the game. With all the nooks and crannies, it gives the light a good deal to play with as well. In short, I feel that the dial is well-sorted, and works well with the handset and indices that Kim has placed on the watch. Of note, it sounds like the production models will have the date window moved to the 6 o’clock position.
Next, then, would be the bezel. Here, you’ve got that iconic octagon look (on the outer edge), surrounding the circular crystal (sapphire, in this case). This is far from the only design to play with that juxtaposition of shapes, but it recognizable, particularly when you add in the fact that the flat surfaces are all brushed, while the angles and curves are all in polish. Again, something more for the light to play with, and I am always a fan of seeing alternating surface finishes (though, I doubt the case maker feels the same way).
So, with the Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4, we’re definitely in “so far, so good” territory. It’s when you get to the actual case that the dial and bezel are set into that things start to break down. If you were to take it by itself, and just look at things straight on and ignore the lugs and bracelet ratios, things would be more palatable. Sure, it’s a bit chunkier than any Genta design, but not that bad. It’s when the lugs and the bracelet get into the mix that proportions go a bit whacky.
You see, for me, the Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4 sort of breaks down at those lugs. I do like how the end link fits tightly in to the case, but the jump from the case width to the width of the bracelet is simply too jarring. And it’s not like the 22/18 bracelet is particularly small. It just really makes you notice how wide the case is. I think that if the case had been shaped down, we’d be having a much different conversation. Or perhaps if the bracelet flared out more at the ends, but that would be a coin toss. Really, the case width is the shadow on the thing.
The bracelet on the Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4 is rather nice. I will point out that this is the first bracelet in over 6.5 years of watch reviewing that I have opted to not resize so I could truly test a watch out. Why is that? Well, this bracelet is, quite literally, a puzzle. I started to resize things, and once I had the first pin out, I knew I was in for some fun. First up? Center collars (always fun to deal with, right?), quickly followed by the realization that all of the links of the bracelet came apart as well. So, yes, this is quite literally a 5-link bracelet, and for those doing the resizing, pay close attention to how things come apart and go back together. For me, I noped on out of there, and figured out how to get that one section back together.
And that is a bit of a shame, as I would have liked to felt the bracelet of the Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4 on-wrist, as well as playing around with the clasp a bit more. And, with the watch itself coming in at just 10mm thick, this is certainly in my bailiwick. And who knows, perhaps some wrist time would soften my stance on that overly-wide case and lugs (guessing not, but one never quite knows).
So, while the Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4 may not be my favorite design of Kim’s lineup, it seems that the watch-buying public does not agree with me. In looking over the Kickstarter project, the project is sitting at 168% funded as of this writing, with the campaign itself wrapping up on March 5, 2018. So, if you want to check out what Kim calls the “swan song” for the Iconik line, now is the time to acts. Pricing tiers start at $342, with delivery anticipated in July 2018. And you know, if you want to chat more about this watch (or any others), feel free to head on over to our Slack channel and lets talk watches. manchesterwatchworks.com
- Brand & Model: Manchester Watch Works Iconik 4
- Price: $342 and up
- Who’s it for? You are a fan of Gerald Genta design, but not necessarily the price tag that normally accompanies those watches
- Would I wear it? Uncommonly for me and MWW, that would be a “no” on this watch
- What I’d change: Need to bring those case profile in more to the lugs, and possibly flare out the bracelet ends some.
- The best thing about it: The dial and bezel are well-sorted
- Case Dimensions: 38mm (width) x 46mm (length) x 10mm (height)
- Case: 316L surgical grade corrosion resistant stainless steel
- Movement: Japan made Citizen Miyota 9015 (date function) or 90S5 (no date function) automatic with 24 jewels, 28,800 bph and 42 hour power reserve
- Crystal: Front – Sapphire with inner-AR coating; Back – Tinted sapphire
- Strap: Stainless steel with fitted solid endlinks; 22mm at lugs to 18mm at clasp
- Water Resistance: 100m
- Dial: Brass with engraved pattern, sunbrust finish and Swiss BGW9 lume filled applied indices
- Hands: Polished steel with Swiss BGW9 lume
- Crown: Push/pull engraved steel and recessed for comfort