Often, when I talk about new brands that we have been building a relationship with, I talk about looking forward to what will be coming next – or, for those that have been around awhile, seeing how their lineup has changed over time. With WT Author, that concept of change and evolution is actually baked into their principles a bit more than most. Sure, companies will all strive to produce new products that are interesting and are different from the predecessors in some way. With WT Author, though, they have a very fixed concept – a singular character moving through time (in the stories included in the watch box), with watches being released that might be appropriate to the era. With the third release, the WT Author 1929 jumps forward 15 years in this fictional timeline.
The biggest change we see in the WT Author 1929 is with the case. The 42mm steel case (which wears much smaller) takes the form of the cushion case. This is something we more commonly associate with dive watches (at least these days), but it seems that it is appropriate to the era. Of course, those brazed lugs certainly help to bring the watch back to an earlier time. It is those lugs, I feel, that help the watch to wear much smaller than the 42mm case dimension would suggest. Without the visual bulk of the lugs (which we still had somewhat with the wire lugs of the WT Author 1914), you have just the square of the cushion case. To my eye, this gives the feel of a 40mm, or even a 38mm, case when it is on the wrist. Since I find myself drawn to more constrained case sizes these days, I rather liked this bit of visual sleight of hand that is occurring. It also points out how much of an impact lugs can have on the look (and size) of a watch.
While the basic case shape has changed on the WT Author 1929, the basic design cues are still there, marking this as part of the WT Author family (logos aside). You have some of the ribbing present on the sides of the case (which is what caught my eye on the WT Author 1905), as well as the bright red crown. On the dial, the partial tuning fork indices move from the main indicator position, to the outer portion of the dial next to the numerals. Finally, you have the poker chip styling to the case back. That caseback belies something else as well – the fact that this version of WT Author 1929 contains an automatic movement (the other three variants are driven by quartz).
While the purists may hope for something more era-appropriate in the case, I think the use of the Miyota 9015 in the WT Author 1929 is a logical one. For starters, it sounds like the first automatic movement was designed by an Englishman, so it makes sense for the English brand to go to on. Past that, those looking to pick up watches from WT Author are going more for the vintage look and feel, rather than searching out true vintage pieces. In that regard, the reliability, accuracy, and plain serviceability of a modern movement will be appreciated. Though, it does give a thought – perhaps we might see a special edition some day from the brand that manages to pop an movement from the era into one of these time-period inspired watches. That would certainly be something else, would it not?
Time to climb out of the pipe dream, and get back to what the WT Author 1929 has on offer. You will notice that it has a strap riveted onto the wire lugs, just as we saw on the 1914. As with their prior straps, these are hand-made in Britain, this time around from Argentinean-sourced buffalo hides. And, as I felt with the 1914, the straps are a bit longer than they truly need to be. I do not feel that I have particularly small (or large) wrists at 7.25″, but with the strap on the WT Author 1929 I was at the second-smallest hole. Admittedly, I like my watches to wear snug, but this seems like it would easily exclude those with smaller wrists. On the plus side, it does keep the buckle from being directly underneath, so that was of a benefit. Also as with the 1914, there is some squeakiness to the strap on the lugs, but this quieted down fairly quickly – much more quickly than on the 1914.
The strap of the WT Author 1929 has an interesting (dare I say oversized) gold-tone buckle that picks up the color of the bezel. I quizzed the brand about this a bit, and it sounds like they had a bit of experimentation to get exactly the right color that they were looking for. Aside from the cost, this was a big reason they went with the tone, rather than actual gold, for the bezel. While I myself am not a big yellow gold (or tone) fan when it comes to my watches, here, it does give things a bit of a pop, and further gives that smaller visual look, as your eye is drawn to the circle, rather than the edges of the PVD-coated cushion case.
In daily wear, the 82g WT Author 1929 was an unobtrusive companion. The domed crystal does pick up a little bit of reflection, but the polished hands and numerals on the dial are easily able to overcome that, making telling the time a snap. For being a fairly simple dial (mostly flat, no lume, just three colors if you include the logo at 12), there is some nice texture to it. The numerals and indices are raised (along with being polished), and there is a lovely fan/wave pattern than encircles the center of the dial. I think that sort of encapsulates the WT Author 1929 in many ways – overall simplicity, with things hiding in the details for those willing to dig in.
As I mentioned, the particular version of the WT Author 1929 that were sent was equipped with the automatic movement, which definitely gives it a premium price over the other variants. The automatic version of the WT Author 1929 will run you $725 (£500) , while the three quartz versions come in at the same price as the prior watches from the brand, around $500 (£350) . The WT Author 1929 is an interesting evolution for the brand, and the use of the cushion case is well thought out, and differentiates it from the prior models easily. The willingness to play around with the case design certainly bodes well for future models on the WT Author timeline. wtauthor.com
- Brand & Model: WT Author 1929
- Price: $725 (£500) for the automatic, or $500 (£350) for the quartz
- Who’s it for?: You’re looking for the vintage feel with an undersized look and modern reliability
- Would I wear it?: Yes, but infrequently due to the gold tone
- What I’d change: For starters, color match the date wheel. Past that, I’m holding out to see some lume on a WT Author watch
- The best thing about it: How they managed to refresh the overall design while keeping the cues consistent from prior models
Tech Specs from WT Author
- Exclusive stainless steel 42 mm head with a Citizen 9015 Automatic Movement
- Signature red crown with embossed trademark and custom numbered enamel screw down case back
- Hand-made refined black leather strap fitted with a gold-tone polished full buckle
- Sapphire coated mineral lens with a 2-year limited product warranty
- Limited editionA5 black screen print and photography book of Chapter 3 of 13 signed by the team
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