I’ve always had a slight disappointment with the so called modern minimalist models that appear from time to time, such as from Skagen or other Ikea inspired Scandinavian brands. Invariably they are tricky to see with very slim hands, tiny dates and dial figures, often they are shiny and reflective too. In fact they have by their presence actually steered me towards overpopulated watches that have “in your face” overkill data faces and dials, which of course is almost as bad, though not quite, as at least you feel you’ve got something for your money.
So it’s nice to see this neat “minimalist” model appear from Greyhours. This model is called the “Essential” and is in two versions – either white or black. It’s an analog model sporting a date window and a Day sub-dial and whilst it’s in the minimalist category, it doesn’t look too minimal. In fact it looks really very smart and it’s well specified too and that IS a bonus.
The case is a coated DLC brushed 316 Stainless steel and 40mm diameter by just 9.10mm, so a good size and very slim on the wrist. The dial is black/grey matte surfaced with Hour, Minute, center Seconds with a Date window @3 and a Day sub-dial @9. Clever use of color used with the Hour and Minute hands sporting white infill and the Day and seconds hands is bright light blue, giving excellent contract and clarity.
To assist clarity still further this model has good quality Sapphire crystal with anti-reflection treatment on BOTH sides. The movement is an ISA Swiss Quartz Calibre 9232/1950, personalized by Greyhours. Water Resistance is 50m and complimented by a quality Italian Calf leather strap.
My only concern with this watch is the size of the Date window which is really quite small for me and a real pity as the dial being so clean it could so easily be larger and still look balanced and very much easier to read. Despite the white numerals and decent contrast, double digit dates really need more space.
However all that said, it is a very smart watch and one of the nicer minimal style models around at the moment and they so almost got everything right, except for that date window. In fact I reckon if they doubled the date window size, they’d probably double their sales!
Price wise here in the UK it’s around the £150 mark, which for the quality of finish, the Sapphire crystal with double-Anti-reflect and Swiss Quartz movement is probably about right, though more so if the Date was larger. It does however make for a very smart dress watch that’s that little bit different.
So for me a case of nearly but not quite – but that’s just my opinion . . . . . . and please don’t ask me what the date is!