Ah, the Special Dark. AKA, the last flavor I ever would eat in a bag of Hershey’s miniatures, at least as a kid. These days, my tastes have changed. And not just in chocolate – watch tastes will form, change, and reform over time. While I certainly have been a fan of dress watches, I’ve not particularly cared for watches that featured yellow gold prominently. As it turns out, I can amend that preference as well, at least when it comes to the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition.
Now, Fromanteel is not a brand we have had on our pages before, and this is my first exposure to the brand that calls Amsterdam home. While I may be late to this particular game, they certainly are not, with roots that go back 400 years in clockmaking (hence, calling the automatic rotor a pendulum). Even with this particular model, the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition, it’s not the first edition. The original version had what I would more commonly think I’d go for, with a white dial, silver hands and indices, and a blued seconds hand. I mean, that’s a classic good look.
On paper, if you just described swapping that white dial for a grey, replacing the silver on the hands and indices with gold, and keeping it all in the same polished steel case? I would have some serious doubts as to how well all of that would work together. Fortunately – and as the pictures show – it does work well. With the case remaining steel (and silver tone), the flashes of gold on the dial are an accent, and do not overpower the watch. Additionally, they (with their high polish) stand out in stark contrast to the textured ‘Clous de Paris’ dial, making reading the time a breeze.
You get some additional surprises, when it comes to color, on the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition. Over on the crown, you have a yellow inset, and then the same yellow shows up on the reverse side of the leather straps (which do smell amazing, by the way). Use of a bright yellow like this could be jarring, but the brand uses it to good effect, making something that differentiates the watch from other dressy pieces that may be out there.
Oh, and speaking of those straps? For the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition, there are four options (two black, two brown), and we got to look at one of each. The overall feel of the leather was soft, though, with the padding (and being new straps) they took some conforming to the wrist. They do appear to be the sort that will break in nicely, though. The butterfly clasp on the straps does take things a bit upmarket, and I didn’t find it to be unreasonably bulky. I also want to point out that Fromanteel went the quick-release springbar route on these straps. Not that changing straps with normal springbars is difficult, but I have come to appreciate the simplicity of the tool-less strap changes.
So, how is it wearing the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition? In a word, simple. Once things are sized on the strap, it takes it’s place on your wrist, and looks good while keeping you on time. Even getting the date readout quickly is simple. This is the good part of a date wheel that is not color matched; going with a darker date disc, however, I think would serve the watch well. As I mentioned earlier, the polished gold hands and indices catch the light, making things stand out against the dark dial, or even when you have a bit of light glare on the sapphire crystal. In other words, in anything but a completely dark room (no lume), I had zero problem reading the time.
We certainly have no shortage of choices when it comes to dress watches, and the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition is another great entry into the segment, particularly when considering those with Swiss-made appelation. So, then, why would you choose this $1,349 (€1199 plus VAT, if you’re in Europe) watch? It comes down to the looks and style of the watch. By itself, gold accents and a textured dial are not that different. Wrapped up in the package we have with the Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition, as well as the additional yellow accents, then it turns into something that won’t look outlandish, but still manages to stand on it’s own. fromanteel-watches.com
- Brand & Model: Fromanteel Generations Pendulum Special Dark Edition
- Price: $1,349 (outside of EU; in EU, it’s €1199 plus VAT)
- Who’s it for? You want something with just a hint of gold, in a dressier package
- Would I wear it? It’s a bit different than I’d normally go for, but yes, I could see this busting out with my suits
- What I’d change: A darker date disc
- The best thing about it: The mixing in of yellow tones – both gold and true yellow – in an otherwise dark palette
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