I wrote about Rebeltime when their project launched earlier this year. Now that I’ve had a chance to spend some time with the results, I want to share with you what they’ve made – and tell you why now’s the right time to gene.
Rebeltime make chronographs. They started earlier this year, when they had an awakening of sorts – it was time to make and sell products they loved, products that aligned with the sort of work older generations in their family used to do, coming from a line of jewelers.
With that in mind, they made a series of four chronographs, in styles modern and vintage, in creamy white dials, or deep black dials. We were fortunate enough to have the creamy white and silver dialed versions for review. To top it off, they worked with local leather workers in Brooklyn, NY to make custom made straps that would suit their new timepiece.
They didn’t market test, they didn’t hold customer focus groups to check opinions. They followed their hearts and made the watches that they wanted to wear. That’s not exactly a guaranteed recipe for success, but it’s certainly a path to making yourself both very happy, and potentially very miserable if you end up with a lot of stock on hand. Fortunately, that’s not going to be a problem. The watch they’ve made has been well-received, and is one they should be proud of.
All of the watches share the same case, so let’s start there. The case is a 44mm diameter, but because it isn’t very tall, it wears comfortably. The case is just 12.48mm thin. This is notable, because there are divers that are smaller in diameter but come in at as much as 16mm thick. The crystal is a sapphire one, and the caseback is a screw down type with laser etching. The crowns and pushers don’t screw down, so the whole affair is water-resistant to 10ATM or 100 meters. The movement? The movement is a Miyota 0S20 Chronograph. I like the 0S20 very much – it has a mode that makes it very easy to reset the chronograph seconds hand post battery change – and also means you can try and align it on the seconds marker. What an excellent choice.
Here’s where it gets more interesting. For the two classic models, you get a smooth bezel, an inner rehaut marked with the minutes in 5 minute increments, a dial with minute dots where the rehaut meets the flat surface of the dial, classic lumed numerals with batons at 3, 6, and 9, a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock, and three subdials. The hands on the classic remind me of the hands on railroad watches. On the white dialed version, the blank hands and numerals are actually somewhat luminous.
For the modern dialed versions, it gets a little harder to describe. I’ll try anyway. The bezel, instead of being a beveled smooth brushed finish is now a flat smooth bezel, brushed on the top surface, polished on the sides, with six screw heads on the top that may or may not be functional. The rehaut is now notched to make room for large numerals at the even numbers around the dial, and marked at ten minute intervals starting at 05. The dial itself is now a sandwich dial, with the numerals cut out and lumed from below. The cut outs for these ride atop both the sandwich bit, but also the center of face where the subdials reside is below the surface of the cut outs. This is a very 3 dimensional thing, with the level of the subdials and sandwich lume, the sandwich cut outs, and the rehaut with its notches. To add even more texture, the subdials have concentric circles in them that look wonderful. The hands are updated to a modern style as well.
I have to speak about the case lugs a moment. The norm is for lugs to curve over the wrist. Here, they don’t. They’re symmetric, rising up away from the wrist on the underside. This turns out to be just fine, and not uncomfortable. Also, they normally would extend straight from the case on their inner surface. Here, they’re notched just as they meet the case, which is a different look than I’m used to. It’s not a problem, just a part of the personality when you get a Rebeltime watch.
The leather bands are available in a distressed brown or finished black, made in Brooklyn, NY. They’re very comfortable, and well-made. The watch itself is available for $249 USD, and if you provide your email, it appears you can benefit from a 20% discount. Rebeltime.com
- Brand & Model: Rebeltime
- Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $249
- Who we think it might be for: You like a chronograph, and you like it classic – or ultra-modern.
- Would I buy one for myself based on what I’ve seen?: I wasn’t initially into the modern type or the lugs, but it’s so comfortable to wear.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: I’m not sure what the think of here.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: This is two brothers’ vision carried out, and it’s not just a copycat of a well-trodden design. This is something unique, and coherent.
Tech Specs from Rebeltime
- Case size: 44mm (52mm lug-to-lug), 12.48mm thickness
- Case material: steel (brushed and polished)
- Crystal: flat, sapphire
- Strap: leather, pin buckle clasp
- Movement: Miyota 0S20 quartz chronograph