Melbourne Watch Works is one of a handful of new watch companies that have embraced and excelled in the crowd-funding market, offering multiple time pieces and, more importantly, delivering a quality product to their backers. We have looked at all of their watches over the last few years, including a hands-on review of the Flinders. Their latest watch is the Melbourne Watch Co Carlton, a chronograph that utilizes a mecha-quartz movement.
Mecha-quartz you might be tempted to ask, as if that is the latest iteration in the Transformer movies. Mechanical chronographs have a different feel than most quartz chronographs, with a high beat second hand a fly-back reset. If you have reset a quartz chrono, it can take a bit for the hands to wind all the way up back to zero. A mechanical chronograph will just flick the hands back, in a nearly instant reset. The Seiko movement in the mecha-quartz line (also seen on this Techne) utilizes a battery for quartz power and precision, but has the action of the mechanical watch, for instant resetting.
And Carlton, what about that? Well, it is not a reference to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Carlton is the name of a part of the City of Melbourne, an homage that runs through all the Melbourne Watch Co models. The watch itself has a nice symmetric look, with two eyes, one for the 60 minute chrono function (with a central second hand) and one for a 24 hour display. The round dial is framed by a 42mm squared off case in either stainless or rose gold finishes.
Overall, it is an clean and legible design that will look distinctive on the wrist. The case is unusual enough that you should get comments (and hopefully compliments), but not odd looks because it is too “out there.” It looks like it would be at home as a dress watch or a nice weekender option. I will say that this is a crowd funded campaign, so your pledge is backing the development of a product, not buying a watch (though you do get a watch with the pledge). That said, with 4 successful campaigns in the books and nice watches already produced, I would expect that the risks are minimal. There are a handful of the rose gold early bird watches available for $315, and the stainless watches are available for $325. melbournewatch.com
- Brand & Model: Melbourne Watch Co Carlton Mecha-Quartz
- Price: $315 – $345
- Who we think it might be for: Someone looking for a dressy chrono with a bit of retro flair.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: The squared off case is not my cup of tea.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: A slightly larger crown.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: I like the symmetry of the two eye design.
Tech Specs from Melbourne Watch Co
- Movement: Seiko VK64 mecha-quartz hybrid
- Functions: 60 minute chronograph, 24 hour hand
- Case: Stainless steel with optional rose gold plating
- Crystal: AR coated Sapphire.
- Water resistance: 5 ATM
- Lug width: 22mm
- Straps: 22mm Croc-Grain Leather w/ Stainless Steel Buckle.
- Diameter: 42 mm
- Case Height: 11 mm
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