In these times of Covid-19, “lock-downs” and general restrictions on our daily lives, unfortunately it can cause people to become really down and depression is too easy to set in.

Minimalist Shengke, Ultra thin, 30m Water Resistant, Creative, Quartz.

For me, to cheer myself up and others in the family, I thought maybe a little gift would not go amiss. This particular watch is just that AND it’s not expensive and can easily be found via Amazon, so can be posted to you directly without any issues at all.

This is the Shengke Creative watch, described as a ladies model, though at 40 mm diameter is a decent uni-sex size.  Just 8.5 mm depth, it’s also very slim.  Note the 20 mm fine leather buckle strap may be a little short for some larger wrists, but it fits mine perfectly at 6.5 inches circumference.  Of course, being a standard style of watch lug, it will be easy to replace with a longer strap if required.
It is described as minimalist, which is fair comment as there are no frills on this neat timepiece.  The dial uses a black disc with a cut out segment for the hours in white contrast.  The minute hand is bright and easily seen in yellow, so about as minimalist as you’d want.  The watch is said to be 30 m water resistance, though it has a snap back, so maybe a little caution might be in order there, but it certainly fits snug with that nice “snap”.

Shengke Creative in Black

Shengke Creative in white

Shengke Creative in red

The model comes in a few other colours, Black, White and red.

Shengke sk variant

Their web site shows quite a few variants, with minimalism and simplicity being the theme running through the range.  And for the price, these are what I call extremely neat fashion style watches, which to my mind are just the thing for a gift to cheer someone up. 

Now OK, these may not be super high quality movements and pretty standard fare Quartz, but let’s face it, these days most Quartz movements are darned good, technology having advanced so well now – and at the prices asked are not a bad deal.  In fact the quality of build is surprisingly good, the cases are an alloy construction and the finish is neat and smooth to the touch – so what’s not to like.

Anyway, the one I picked (Yellow) certainly cheered me up a bit – cost very little and definitely lifted some of the Covid gloom – so that can’t be bad – can it?

Shengke watches can be seen at Amazon UK

Minimalist small Date . . .

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.

Greyhours Essential Day/Date watch

Greyhours Essential Day/Date watch

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.Ashampoo_Snap_2014.07.19_17h01m43s_002_

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!