One of the great things about writing for a watch site is seeing new things – whether it be a new product launch (like with Omega, here) or something from a brand I’d not heard of before (as we have with today’s) review – and then, of course, bringing them to your attention.
You may not likely have heard of SevenFriday prior to this post, which isn’t too surprising, as Daniel Niederer only started the brand in May of 2012. And, while the company itself bills as a Swiss company (and has Zurich on the dial), the watches themselves don’t carry a true Swiss-made certification.
So, now that you have the background on the company, let’s have a look at the watch we were loaned, the P2. First and foremost, this watch truly is a visual treat. Starting with the 47mm x 47.6mm stainless steel case, you’ve got a square shape you don’t commonly see (ours had a grey PVD treatment) with a lugless design that really keeps the edges clean. Then, you get into the dial – let’s work our way from the outside in.
The first break in the color scheme comes in the form of the coppery minute ring; this gives way to a grey ring, and then over to a machine metal surface – and then another shot of copper in the form of the hour ring. These transitions do two things. First, it obviously mixes up the palette a bit, but it also gives the presence of layers in the dial. Which, if this was completely flat, the color changes in the rings would likely not be pulled off as well.
It’s also the start of the repetition of circular shapes within the design that continues on with the next most visible element, the handset. The minute hand looks almost like an oversize gear set smack in the middle of the dial, with a triangle coming off of one side (so you can tell the time). While it’s finished in a grey, the hour hand peeks out from underneath, once again bringing the copper color to the mix. While the minute hand would normally dwarf the hour hand, the skeletonized styling ensures that it’s kept fairly legible.
Under those hands, we’ve got two subdials spinning around. The one at 5 o’clock is your small seconds; the 9 o’clock dial is a 24-hour indicator (tied to the main time display). One interesting design bit with these are the smaller indicators that are screwed down on the dial so you can read each subdial. Sure, it throws off our normal conventions for reading dials like these (assuming the 12 o’clock position to be the zero point), but it again provides that little visual tweak – and one that’s much cleaner than had they tried to put hands on the dials.
That leaves us with one last circle – the open heart part of the dial, where we can see the balance wheel of the Miyota 8S27 working away. While exhibition casebacks are nice (of note, the P2 has a solid and engraved caseback), I find that small windows like these, provided they’re well done, are of more interest on a mechanical watch. Frankly, you may only take your watch off a few times per day to be able to appreciate a movement through the caseback (don’t get me wrong, that is fun to do). But, with an open-heart dial such as we have here, you can see the most frantic part of a movement working away any time you look at your wrist.
Protecting all of this you have a hardened (and AR-coated) mineral crystal with a hint of a dome; around back you have a solid caseback that’s engraved with the hard specs of the watch. All told, you have a WR RATING rating on the watch, which is mounted on a leather strap – which while it was soft, wasn’t nearly as intriguing as the watch (read: you may want to upgrade this yourself).
And that’s where the watch sung for me – in terms of visual appeal, this really has buckets of it. If you’re a fan of the basic premise, but want a different feel ,they’ve got other models in the lineup that change the colors and finishes around a bit. Whatever the model, there’s definitely a premium look to the piece – and the $1,100 (1’048 CHF) supports that outlook. For me, though, the mineral crystal (rather than sapphire), use of a Miyota automatic movement instead of a higher-end one, and the included strap make me think the price is a touch high.
Which isn’t to say it’s horribly out of line, as this is truly a unique and very involved piece, one that evokes the look and feel of many higher priced haute horology pieces. Frankly, that we have an automatic powering something this design-driven in a lower price range is worth noting. And while many of their series are iterative, I’m looking forward to what else comes from this young brand. sevenfriday.com
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