What’s that? You say you’re trying to create a watch via crowdfunding, and you arrived at this idea because nothing else out there met your idea of a perfect watch? While this may ring true for many creators, it’s a line that has been trotted out time and again, and it simply does not get our engines turning over. No, for that, you have to offer up something that is particularly different from what has come before, and that is where watches like the Mansfield Time Automatica One jump ahead of the pack.
How far ahead? Well, the brand set a relatively modest goal of $25,000 in funding, and they hit within a few hours of their launch (at the time of this writing, their funding level is at 200% of their goal, with plenty more time left to go). What is all the more impressive, aside from the speed, is that they hit that mark selling rather affordable watches, with pricing starting at $175 (though that early-bird level is all gone by now). Price alone does not make for a compelling watch, though, either, no more than that retread of a Kickstarter “background story”. So, why is the Mansfield Time Automatica One proving to be so popular?
Simply put, it’s the design. Ostensibly, it’s a diver (with a 200m WR rating), but its is presented in a style that can be dressed up a bit, making the Mansfield Time Automatica One a more versatile piece. As you would expect from a sport watch, the 43mm case is made of 316L stainless steel, which brings along corrosion resistance and anti-magnetism to the party. The case is fairly simple, with angled lugs coming off of it giving it a bit of a tougher look (and it reminds me of another watch that I cannot quite put my finger on). In those 22mm lugs you have screwed-in lug bars (ostensibly more robust that spring bars), with the choice of a beveled bracelet, nylon Zulu, or natural leather strap (which looks to be a rather sharp option).
While it was the bracelet of the the Mansfield Time Automatica One that originally caught my eye, there was another detail on the dial that struck things home for me – they managed to fit a sandwich dial in there, along with all the lumed goodness that comes from using BGW9 Superluminova in that configuration. The Flieger-style handset on the Mansfield Time Automatica One seems like an odd choice for a diver, but I imagine it was more a stylistic decision than anything, and, realistically? It’s going to be fine. No, it’s not ISO-standard, but it looks decent. I am not as much of a fan of the large date wheel cutout (showing more than one date just feels sloppy to me), but I do like the 24-hour subdial over at 9 o’clock, which comes courtesy of the Miyota 8217.
Yes, that’s right! The Mansfield Time Automatica One bucks the trend of building in a Miyota 9015. Then again, there’s a simple reason for that. The guys behind the brand travel a lot, so the timezone information is more important to them, and you can’t get that from the 9015. So, here we are. A bit different from what we might normally expect, but then again, how many diver watches are you aware of that have the 24-hour subdial on them? Again, the watch is standing out from the pack.
As I mentioned at the start, the Mansfield Time Automatica One started out with early-bird pricing of $175, which is a 50% discount of the expected MSRP of $350. There are still discounts to be had (though not that steepest one), including some bargains on buying two (or more) of the watches. Funding has been exceeded, and this is the brand’s second outing, so odds are good that the Mansfield Time Automatica One will see production. If you’re interested, you can check out the full project here and get your pledge in before the project closes out on April 20th. mansfieldtime.com
- Brand & Model: Mansfield Time Automatica One
- Price: $350 (MSRP; discounts available in project)
- Who we think it might be for: You like the look and daily functionality of a diver, but want (or need) a 24-hour scale as well
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: If I had no other divers, then yeah, this would be tempting
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: Get rid of the oversized date window, and just use a square opening
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: First it was the lugs and bracelet, closely followed by the sandwich dial
Tech Specs from Mansfield Time
- Miyota 8217 automatic movement
- 43mm 316L stainless steel case; 22mm lugs
- Sapphire crystal, domed
- 200m WR
- Screw-down crown
- Sandwich dial, BGW9 Superluminova
- Sapphire exhibition caseback