The Reverie watch company “had me at hello” with its sea-wave-inspired guilloché dial and cushion shaped case. The micro brand is offering mega value with its first watch that relies on classic design elements, a Japanese automatic movement and a thoughtful attention to detail.  Let’s take a closer look at the Reverie Sea-Spirit.

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I was impressed with the details when I opened the package from Reverie’s founder, Samuel Tay. The leather box was wrapped with a ribbon and included a hand written note from Tay. This may not seem like much if you buy watches like others buy cars, but smaller startup-brands need this personal touch to connect to their customers, and Tay does it well.

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The polished 41mm cushion case of the Reverie Sea-Spirit made me recall the Heuer Camero of the 60s or the modern day, vintage-inspired Longine’s Heritage 1935. It’s the cushion case, of course, but the most striking feature on the watch is the guilloche (gi-?l?sh) dial. The dial pattern made by interlacing curved lines is the standout feature. At every turn, its subtle ridges lift and bathe the dial with light.

The sapphire crystal on the dial side includes an antireflective coating on its inside leaving a clear view of the dial with bold Arabic numerals. The train-track chapter ring defines the boundaries for the minute and hour markers on the outer most edge of the dial.

The polished sword hour and minute hands frame the white luminescence and offer exceptional contrast from the black dial. The lume on the Reverie Sea-Spirit isn’t as strong as you might expect for the coverage area but enough to find your way on the dial during any initial low-light situations.

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The second hand register sits at 5 o’clock and has Arabic numerals at 10-minute intervals. Its off-centered register offers a subtle visual tension as it looks like a small circle of an island in the sea of guilloche waves.

It has very small second hand that is polished too, and because of this, it is more visible when it reflects well lighted rooms. Although it offers no luminescence on this hand, its subtle contrast works well enough.Reverie.Auto.01 - 8

The date window of the Reverie Sea-Spirit is found at 3 o’clock and is lined with white and frames the black numeral on its white base. It comes with a quick-set capability, but if you roll through your dates as I did, you’ll see the numbers don’t always settle in the center of the window as you look directly at the dial. Hold the case at an angle in which you typically view the watch and the date is centered perfectly. I don’t know if this was a conscious design decision, but it works.

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Leading the dial design are the words Reverie and Automatic which are handsomely placed under the 12 o’clock position with a classic script that looks like it has been around for a while.

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The movement under this gorgeous dial is the Miyota 8218, which is a 21-jewel automatic with the date and seconds register. It is the standard Miyota workhorse you will see used by those watches companies looking to compete in the watch market. This does not have a hacking feature, but it does hand wind.

The Reverie Sea-Spirit’s bezel is also polished but rests on a brushed base that offers a subtle distinction between it and the rest of the case. The crown design looks like a cross between a railroad-style and a shortened, antique crown with a fluted design and has a signed “R” on its end. It is well suited for this case and easy to grasp and set.

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The display case back is a nice touch, although the plain rotor on the Miyota movement is nothing fancy to look at and seems a little out of place compared to some of the other design details. This might be a simple upgrade for the future. Most folks who buy this watch will be grateful it is mechanical and not worried too much with this detail.Reverie.Auto.01 - 2

Tay makes up for the basic rotor with some other display-back details. You will see the basic, watch information including its water resistance and stainless steel case designation. The added touch is its limited edition numbering using a refined script with the words, “Soli Deo Gloria,” which is Latin for “Glory to God alone.” This is such a nice touch and detail that gives me some hint of the heart behind the new brand.

The Reverie Sea-Spirit’s heart is protected from water with a pretty standard 100 meters resistance level, but this really isn’t that kind of watch. This is about keeping this baby dry while you’re doing the dishes for your girlfriend.

The leather butterfly clasp looks ideal for this watch and fits well, but I’m not fond of how they function. I’m a simple guy and these things perplex me. I feel like I’m trying to fit into a handcuff.

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Still, this strap is handsome and appears to be well made. Most watch geeks know that a new strap or bracelet is like getting a new watch and Reverie thought of this. They included an additional strap in the box. I actually like the strap better than the leather one, but it seems a little too casual for the case finish and design elements. It is described as “black sailcloth inspired” and it does look like heavy canvas but with a soft, leather lining that feels comfortable on the wrist.

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Both straps also have the quick release spring bars that make changing a strap very easy. Why doesn’t everyone do this? Again, these type of details are noticed.

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Although I wore the “anchor black” model, Reverie makes a “deep blue” model of the Reverie Sea-Spirit that is just as striking. Either watch would have their place on my wrist and I plan to keep my eye on this start up, as Tay indicated they are experimenting with other complications (e.g. jump hour) while striving to keep prices reasonable.

The reasonable Reverie Sea-Spirit is just that kind of watch and would make a nice addition to any time-counting arsenal. It has simple, demonstrated functions, comfort, classic design and proportions at a reasonable price. Group these factors with its limited edition run, one year warranty and free shipping and you got your self some value. $420

Watch Overview

  • Brand & Model: Reverie Sea-Spirit Anchor Black
  • Price: $420
  • Who we think it might be for: This is a great graduation watch for the student who is trying to get suited up for their first job.
  • Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I am a sucker for the cushion case, so yes. The challenge is deciding between the blue and black dials.
  • If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Create a version with a brushed stainless steel case.
  • What spoke to me the most about this watch: The cushion shaped case and the design work on the dial are the two strongest elements of the watch.


  • Brand Model: Reverie Sea-Spirit Anchor Black
  • Movement: Miyota 8218 21-jewel automatic
  • Size of case diameter (mm): 41mm
  • Height of case:12.5mm
  • Weight: 81g
  • Case material: 316L stainless steel
  • Case Back: Display case back
  • Crown: Signed stainless steel
  • Crystal/Glass material: Sapphire crystal (dial side) with inner anti-reflective coating.
  • Water resistance (m/ft/atm): 10 ATM
  • Strap/Bracelet material: 22mm black leather strap with butterfly clasp and additional black sailcloth strap with strap-change design.
  • Illumination: Yes

ByKen Nichols

Ken is the son of a photographer and his earliest memories are of his dad’s Wyler Incaflex glowing in his dad’s darkroom. The photography and watch made impressions on Ken, so he followed the family business for a while and earned degrees in photography and journalism. His love of watches include most mid-20th century chronographs, military-themed pieces and any watch with a history. When he’s not working in HR in Birmingham, Ala, Ken, his wife and three kids are camping in their vintage Airstream. Twitter: @nicholsken, Instagram: @nichols.ken

2 thoughts on “Hands On with the Reverie Sea-Spirit (Anchor Black)”
  1. Very attractive, well priced. Strange design niche at this price range that I’m glad to see filled, might grab one if I can.

    1. I agree, Nicholas. I really liked the dial, the size and and the general design elements.

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