Each day is a push uphill to try and maintain the same amount of accomplishment as the day before.
And then a brief, bright spot in an otherwise uneventful existence shines through. Today, that spot is the Hamtun NEON.
NEON is the second watch from Ross “No more shitty watches” Davis, who, despite his slogan, is reasonably humble. NEON is the latest execution of his personal wishes in a watch, and it shows. Some watch designers aim at what their consumer wants, or what’s popular this year. Davis aims at what he wishes existed, and does it within that vision. He makes it for himself, as if to say, “I’m making what I want, the best way I know, and if you want one too, you should buy one.”
What you get if you decide you want to get on board with this same design is something worth wearing, based on specs on paper. You get a PVD black bezel, with screws holding it down, sapphire crystal and display caseback, a brightly lumed dial and handset, stainless steel case and bracelet, all orchestrated by a STP Swiss movement. The movement is nicely decorated, certainly more than the elaboré SW200 I saw recently in a watch, and it was a good move putting it on display. The hands remind me of the sort I see on a Patek Phillipe Nautilus.
The dial proclaims it’s a Hamtun watch just under the 12 position, and has an inner ring with dots the align with the hour markers. The outer track is a chapter ring/rehaut lined with minute marks. Like you might see on a Seiko Monster. The watch is a 3-6-9 dial, and the dial exists in a number of different lume configurations: blue, orange, green, white, and a fully lume dial with the print inverted. There are 12 combinations in all, based on the different dial colors and cases. This was the sensible NEON Starlight – black dial, black bezel, stainless case, blue lume. Other, more wild combinations might be the yellow or orange lume in PVD black case. Go nuts, or be as reserved as you please.
The midcase is a gentle, continuous curve in profile, with lugs that feel longer than they are because they abruptly stop rather than terminating in a point. The crown guards envelope the crown, much like a 1980s-90s TAG Heuer Series 1000 844 case.
The bezel and caseback are both attached with six screws, offset so that they aren’t the same set of screws. The caseback proudly proclaims that it is water resistant to 10ATM, Swiss movement, 316L Stainless Steel, Sapphire and (this is the fun of getting a prototype sent across) “Britis Design”.
The watch shipped on a stainless steel bracelet with the ratcheting expanding clasp we’ve seen before on some NTH watches. It’s a good choice. Here, the Hamtun logo has been welded onto it, making it even nicer. If the bracelet isn’t your thing, there’s a custom leather strap that flares out to match the outer width of the lugs. It’s lightly padded, and comfortable. One interesting choice about it was that there’s an added flap to shield the buckle closure from the wrist. If you like Hamtun’s watch, you can take comfort that there’s thought given to everything here. This isn’t a casual effort. You can rest assured if you purchase one that you’re not going to run into problems. Hamtun offers a 2 year warranty on the watch. This is one man’s vision for what’s missing in wristwatches for him. If you agree, you should look into the Kickstarter and pick one out for yourself.
- Brand & Model: HAMTUN NEON
- Price: Earlybird pricing starts at $381 USD
- Who we think it might be for: You like a three hand watch with good lume, decent water resistance, and an excellent movement.
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: The crown, and the hands. I like these hands.
Tech Specs from Hamtun
- Case size: 42mm
- Height: 13mm
- Case material: steel
- Crystal: sapphire
- Strap: Brushed stainless steel, leather
- Movement: Swiss-made STP1-11
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