No it’s not a board game nor is it a type of wood – it is in fact a rather smart and minimalist watch called the Obaku Harmony. I liked the look of it and though it might go well in my collection.
After all I have always thought about buying a Skagen watch – you know the Scandinavian modernist design watch that was all the rage a few years ago. Well maybe that great popularity was what held me back and I never did take the plunge until now with the appearance, not of the Skagen, but another Scandinavian designed watch that looks pretty smart.
A fusion of cultures according to the blurb, minimalist, simple, serene yet modern and elegant – with quite a decent stab at quality I have to say. One of the benefits or maybe a curse to a manufacturer is that when a watch comes along that has very simple lines, any faults show up very easily and obviously. So it is an absolute requirement that quality has to be very good indeed to resist the close scrutiny that is so easily achieved even to the casual looker.
This model is called the “Harmony” – deep philosophy going on here and is the brainchild of not one but two designers.
Lan Liengard Ruge and Christian Mikklelsen from Denmark are responsible for the surprisingly diverse range of both ladies and gents models.
Clean lines, simple design and with everything aligning together in peace and “harmony” – more than just telling the time, but an expression of ones inner peace perhaps.
At 42mm diameter this is a decent sized watch and with a depth of only 7.5mm a very slim watch indeed for the diameter, but not too much as to look odd. It is just about perfect. The case is black stainless steel and has 12 stainless steel studs set around the bezel which are basically the minute markers, as the black face itself is entirely without batons. The hour and minute hands are bright white colour for 3/4 of their length and the centre second sweep hand has a nice white tip. The hands otherwise are black like the face, so the time indication and seconds count is very clear.
On this model there is also a date window @6 with a nice white contrasting date wheel underneath showing though.
The glass on the Harmony is rather unique in the watch world as it’s made of Titan Glass, a product over 10 times more crack resistant that either mineral or sapphire – quite exclusive to Obaku I understand. The case too is not just 316 stainless but is additionally coated with Titanium.
The case back is also black, stainless and marked with the usual information plus the designer’s name – in this instance the first of the two mentioned above.
The crown is quite unobtrusive @3 and has nicely wide defined knurl marks so is easy to use and set.
The bracelet is a very fine and smooth stainless mesh style with a locking clasp and full adjustment – very easy to set and adjusts for my small wrist with no trouble at all.
On this version apart from the Obaku Harmony name on the dial face there is also reference to “by Ingersoll” who market the watch I understand.
Movement wise not much information apart from the web site specification detail saying that they use a high quality Japanese Quartz movement and the watch overall has a Water Resistance rating of 3ATM – so not really for swimming.
One other noteworthy point is that the battery is probably a SPhon Mercury/Lead free Silver Oxide which is also fairly unique and another philosophy statement in that it will save the planet – maybe! Once it’s dead (the battery, not the planet) you can simply use a standard battery – so no problems there. The bracelet is also a suitable width to match the watch nicely at 22mm.
So there you have it – another nice addition to my collection and very nice it looks too. Finally managed to get my Scandinavian design watch after all and not a run of the mill, but one that’s just that little bit special perhaps.
And as to wearing, well the bracelet and the watch itself as a team is so incredibly smooth and comfortable, I simply don’t realise it’s there. It is a most lovely watch to wear without a doubt.
It is also very clear to read which firmly ticks my clarity issue box that I have with all watches – maybe because I’m getting older and the old eyesight is not what it was.
Oh I almost forgot – this watch has a lifetime Guarantee (yes that’s lifetime!), so that can’t be bad – and it comes in a Zen like white box with full instruction book.
So any downsides?
Well yes as it happens – these lovely clear hands completely disappear at night in the dark as they are not coated with any luminous material at all! Nada, nothing – so forget the time when you go to bed (use the old bed side clock).
But there again – why worry – maybe this is part of the design philosophy of the “Harmony” – don’t worry about the time – now – it’ll still be there in the morning – is that cool or what?
Update – 31st January 2011 – Check out my “watch of the Week” page – I feature this watch again with more info. . . .