It was just about a year ago that we told you about the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon, which was an addition to the successful crowd-funding project that Axiom had undertaken (and we wrote about here). There have been some bumps in the road to production, but the models are now shipping, and we’ve spent some time with the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon.
If you recall from that original writeup, I was initially taken by the Lemonburst model – at least, until the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon was announced about a month later. In the steel, the impression remains the same – while the red, white, and blue color palette is fairly restrained (a matte dial and case will do that), this is still a bold watch, due to that case.
On one hand, a 42mm steel case topped with a sapphire crystal is a fairly normal spec. It’s when you take into account the rounded edges of the case, along with the dome of the crystal, that you realize that the watch as a bit more of a bulbous look than we might otherwise expect. When you add in narrow wire lugs, the visuals make for an even larger-looking watch. So, yeah, this is one that stands out.
And as a matter of fact, it did draw attention around the lunch table at work as well. A quick explanation of how pocket watches used to get lugs soldered on to become wristwatches later, and the watch made sense to them. For me, the lugs themselves have become a bit of a coin toss.
By that, I mean that, at times, the 14mm wire lugs on the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon feel too narrow to me. This is most present when I consider how narrow it ends up making the central part of the two-piece strap. Sure, the larger cuff part (at 26mm) does balance it out a bit, but there’s no denying the narrowness. Design-wise, I’ve gotten used to it. When I start thinking about any sort of aftermarket straps, though, those thoughts have to go out the window unless you go the custom route (say, perhaps from GasGasBones).
Which isn’t to say the straps that came with the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon (we got to test out both the blue and the black leather; the brown was unfortunately sold out) are not nice straps. They’re nice pieces of leather, with the narrower portion threading through slots in the larger portion, creating a sort of NATO-style effect. I also liked how the buckle on the strap has a built in keeper – a nice touch.
Wearing the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon is a comfortable affair. The 88g watch really doesn’t weigh down the wrist, and even with the height of the watch coming in at 14.5mm, it’s easy enough to slip under the wrist (all the curves help that out). This is an area the narrow portion of the strap helps as well, as you don’t have a whole lot of bulk under the wrist.
Given the size of the dial on the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon, telling time at a glance is simple. You’ve got appropriately proportioned hands, which (in white) stand out in stark contrast against the blue dial. This is true at night, as well, when the blue lume starts to glow (a shame, though, that the red 12 doesn’t glow in an orangey-red). The one callout here is that the crystal itself is crazy reflective, I believe due to the curves. So, if you’ve got a lot of bright, separated, lights overhead, be ready to tilt your wrist around a bit to see the time.
All in all, I do rather like the Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon. Sure, there are some details on it that perhaps are not perfect in my own book, but I’m not the one designing the watch, and it is the first outing for the brand. I’ve no doubt we’ll see them tweak and adjust things as time goes on, and I’ll be on the lookout for what the second generation brings. For now, the $399 Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon is a very interesting option for those on the hunt for a nouveau vintage military-style watch. axiomwatches.fr
- Brand & Model: Axiom 26 Bleu Horizon
- Price: $399
- Who’s it for? You like the looks of the original trench watches, but want something full modern, with a good dose of color as well
- Would I wear it? I can see it in the mix – it’s quite a bit different than anything else I have
- What I’d change: Lume the 12, and consider some wider lugs.
- The best thing about it: The overall look, and commitment to rounded edges and curves.
- DIAMETER: 42mm
- MATERIAL: 316L Stainless Steel
- FINISH: Non-reflective sandblasted finish
- CRYSTAL: Domed sapphire crystal
- WATER RESISTANCE: Water-resistant to 200 meters
- MOVEMENT: Miyota 8218, Automatic, 21,600 vph, 21 jewels
- FUNCTIONS: Hours and minutes in the center. Subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. Date at 3 o’clock
- POWER RESERVE: Circa 42 hours
- STRAP: Of two parts, of 26mm and 14mm
- STRAP MATERIAL: Selected brown calf leather, engraved on the back
- BUCKLE: Stainless steel pin buckle
- DIAL: Glossy blue dial
- HANDS: Luminous skeleton hands
- WARRANTY: 2 years
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