Precision is overrated. You obviously agree, or you wouldn’t be here reading about inherently inaccurate mechanical watches. You and I appreciate the fact that craftsmanship and style are usually more important than down-to-the-second accuracy. Mr. Jones Watches takes that appreciation to the extreme with two of its more colorful watches: Colour Venn and Cyclops. My wife and I went hands-on with this his and hers pair to answer two questions: Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

Wearing either of these watches, you will not know what time it is, at least not exactly. Both faces feature sets of colorful circles that are more useful for decorating the stark white dials than they are for telling time. Neither tells time down to the minute, but I was surprised how accurate both watches could be with a little work.

Colour Venn

The hands of the Colour Venn are translucent blue, red, and yellow discs—the building blocks of all printed color—floating above a milky white dial. And that’s it. The “hands” point to the time in the usual way, in a straight line from the center post, but you have to imagine the line because these hands are perfect circles. That, plus the lack of indices, makes telling the time half practiced skill/half guessing game. After just a day of wearing the Colour Venn, I was surprised how easy it was to guess the time—but I always felt like I was guessing the time, not reading it. If there was some indication of the outside center of the hands—a notch, a slightly elongated shape, a slot, anything to help visualize where that center line is at the tip—the watch would be more readable.

Readable or not, it is visually striking. The thick domed mineral crystal plays with the light and the polished case with recessed crown and slender lugs keeps the focus on the dial. An automatic Seagull TY2806 powers the sweeping yellow second circle as it constantly changes the colors of the underlying hour and minute circles. It’s an easy watch to stare at. It attracts attention, too. It was very popular with the kids in my son’s preschool class and it got some interesting looks at the office.

The Seagull TY2806 hacks and handwinds, although neither is very practical. The imprecision of the time display makes stopping the second hand pretty useless and the recessed left-hand crown makes it tough to spin in the winding position. The center of the balance wheel peeks through a small porthole in the stainless case back and the decorated rotor swings by from time to time to say hi. The strap is simple black leather with a signed buckle. The stitching is a little uneven, but otherwise it is a high-quality strap that contradicts the Colour Venn’s ~$175 price tag.

In fact, the whole watch doesn’t seem to match the price tag. If you can get used to the slightly hard to read dial you will get much more satisfaction out of this watch than the price might suggest.


The Cyclops has a busier dial, with colorful circle indices at each hour, but the lack of any hands makes it even trickier to read than the Colour Venn. A clear disc rotates above the dial and a small black circle printed on the disc functions as the hour hand. And that’s all you get. So you have to estimate the time based on the relative location of the black circle and the colorful dot indices. It’s a brain teaser, but it works better than you might expect.

The printed dial looks a bit less than luxe, but it has a fresh and clean look. Like the Colour Venn, it is a conversation starter, many people notice the color then ask questions. Unlike the Colour Venn, there is a battery under the hood, but with no second hand you can’t tell there is a Ronda 513 quartz doing the work.

The case is the same slender-lug style as the Colour Venn (and a bunch of other Mr. Jones Watches), but smaller at 31 mm x 9 mm. The smooth metal bracelet is light and comfortable, but this case style is rather stout; the height and the slender bracelet made the small watch feel top heavy.

The all-metal construction was easy to dress up, or the colorful face lets it dress down. And all those colorful dots let it match any outfit. This is a watch that taps into the artistic and whimsical. It’s no surprise it was fun to wear!

Both of these watches elevate form over function more than most wristwatches. But they don’t depart from function as far as it might seem at first glance. Wearing these watches you will know what time it is, but you might not care. They encourage you to relax and worry more about the beauty of spinning circles, not precisely what time it is. If you can let go of the need for precision, that adjustment is a nice break from the ordinary. Are there people who wouldn’t appreciate a break from the ordinary? If so I can’t imagine why.

MJW Colour Venn Summary

  • Price: £145 (~$175 USD)
  • Who’s it for? Strong sense of whimsy, strong internal clock.
  • Would I wear it? I wish it were slightly more readable, but I love the style.
  • What I’d change? Add some indication to the outside center of the hands to make it more readable.
  • Standout feature? Circles everywhere.

Colour Venn Tech Specs

  • Case Material: 316L Stainless steel
  • Case Size: 37 mm x 12 mm x 46 mm
  • Movement: Seagull TY2806 Automatic
  • Crystal: Domed mineral crystal
  • Claimed Water Resistance: 5 ATM (50 m)
  • Band Material: Black leather with signed pin buckle
  • Overall Fit: 150 mm to 205 mm)

MJW Cyclops Summary

  • Price: £115 (~$140 USD)
  • Who’s it for? Someone with a quirky and fun personality.
  • Would I wear it? Casual or out for the night, it works with lots of outfits.
  • What I’d change? The watch could be thinner to make it feel less top heavy.
  • Standout feature? More circles.

Cyclops Tech Specs

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Case Size: 31 mm x 9 mm x 40 mm
  • Movement: Ronda 513 quartz
  • Crystal: Domed mineral crystal
  • Claimed Water Resistance: 5 ATM (50 m)
  • Band Material: Steel mesh
  • Overall Fit: 150 mm to 205 mm)

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