When asked why he threw the watch out the window, the little boy answered, “I wanted to see time fly.” OK, it is an old, bad joke (and one of my dad’s favorites), but that sentiment is part of the reasoning why (at least in my mind) you buy a watch with an exposed fly wheel. The Thomas Earnshaw 1805 Grand Calendar is a pretty watch that isn’t going to break the bank, and you get to watch time fly, or at least wiggle back and forth.The 45mm watch wears nicely, with a round polished stainless case, down-turned lugs and a crocodile pattern black leather strap. The dial has a fair bit going on, with two retrograde subdials for day and date and that open heart balance wheel at 6:00. The dial itself is textured and the indexes are pyramid shaped applied stainless dots. With all that, and a chapter ring at the very outside, the dial does not look too busy to me. The retrograde indicators help a lot, lending symmetry to the design.
This is the second Earnshaw I have reviewed, and both come with what seems to be a signature buckle, with a little inset “whale’s tail” where the tongue meets the buckle. I have not seen this design with other brands, but in practice I think it actually makes the buckle a little harder to operate. Not enough to be a huge detriment, but also not enough of a unique touch to overcome the added difficulty. The strap itself is a nice grade of leather, and it looks good and wears comfortably. In addition to the exposed fly wheel, there is also the exhibition caseback, in mineral glass, showing off the Seagull TY2504 automatic movement. The polishing and finish is good for this price point, and the blued screws are a nice touch. The watch has a respectable 5 ATM of water resistance, plenty for a dress watch.
There is lume on the watch, but not much. The two hands each have a dot of lume, which helps them stand out more in the light than in the dark. I have dress watches with no lume, so this is not a deal breaker for me, but I would like to see more lume, or just do away with it.
The watch wears well and is nice looking on the wrist, so saying it is appropriate for date night is more that just a play on the designation as a Grand Calendar. It would also work great as a dress watch paired with a suit. One element I appreciated was that the pushers to adjust the day and date at 4:00 and 8:00 were recessed. I have another watch with similar features, and the pushers are arranged like a chronograph. That lends to a sportier look, while this is cleaner and more elegant.
The watch comes in four flavors, a stainless case with either a black or white dial, a rose gold plated case with a rose gold dial, and a stainless case with rose gold plated accents and a white dial. The list prices are £465 (~$691 USD) for the first two, and £500 (~$740 USD) for the second two. Amazon has the white version (with the pretty blued hands) available for $450. I tend to favor sportier watches, so it isn’t something that I would wear often, but it is a nice looking watch and a way to show off a little of the movement without going full skeleton. If you want something that is at least a little dressy and has some visual interest, this could be a watch for you to consider. thomas-earnshaw.com
- Brand & Model: Thomas Earnshaw 1805 Grand Calendar
- Price: £465, about $690 USD
- Who we think it might be for: You want a dress watch with some movement in the dial.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: It is a little too dressy for me to buy, but I would wear it.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Lose the lume completely, or use more of it..
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The retrograde day and date indicators are nice.
Tech Specs from Thomas Earnshaw 1805
- Movement: Seagull TY2504
- Functions: Day and date retrograde indicators, exposed fly wheel
- Case: Stainless Steel with option rose gold accents or rose gold plating
- Glass: Mineral crystal with sapphire coating for front and caseback
- Water resistance: 5 ATM
- Lug width: 22mm
- Straps: Leather
- Diameter : 45mm
- Length: Not specified
- Case height: Not specified
- Weight of watch head: Not specified