SevenFriday - A formula for the future of niche watches?
Published Sunday, February 03, 2013 by Harry SK Tan |
It is already February of 2013 and while I have not been posting as regularly as I would like to, (still expecting to hold fast to my resolution this year to post at least once a fortnight) the year so far is not without it's horological surprises. But more of that later.
Earlier in January, together with my good friend Professor Massi Landi, a fellow blogger (whom I featured earlier on my report on MOVAS) visited the local reseller of a brand oddly named "SevenFriday" (note - it is not plural) to inspect and photograph the P1 and P3 before they were being delivered to their respective owners. This brand is not altogether new albeit it is new to many collectors. It has a small production assembling the watch from parts suppliers from all over. It features a Japanese Miyota movement (closed back) with a small opening on the dial to view the moving balance wheel.
The watch is huge at 47mm edge to edge but it has an embedded or hidden lugs allowing the strap to sit much better than exposed lugs on the wrist. It nevertheless is a large watch and while the dialwork is impressive in creating a nice new look to a simple movement, it suffers from some issues of legibility. There are only 5 obvious hour indicators as the others are cropped out by subdials. It does feature a 24 hour indicator (which could easily be mistaken for a GMT function) and a small rotating seconds disc located near where the 5th hour marker is supposed to be. The P1 is a stainless steel high contrast model and the P3 is a stealthier all black version with blackened case and an interesting rubber bumper ring. Visually the P1 is more appealing and functional - if it can be described that - as telling the time may not come easily to some who come to expect hour indicators for a watch this size.
For those who are able to carry off large watches, looking for something less run-off-the-mill look-a-likes and not concerned about the brand and that it lacks a renowned Swiss movement, this watch is a good bet. The strongest aspects of this watch is the unique dial and case design - and its honest pricing. The one fault I could find - that was a deal breaker for me, is the poor quality finish of the open window to the balance wheel on the dial. Not only was it raw, it looked like the watch maker has the finesse of a bull. I suspect this is due to the quality of the movement supplier rather than the work of the dial maker. I am sure this is one aspect of quality control that can be easily improved in the future.
I find that this watch is overall attractive, clever in its execution and affordable. Despite its faults, it is being sold at a fair price and credit to the entrepreneur for designing and assembling a watch that has some appeal to a niche community of collectors looking for the avant garde. If this brand succeeds in its plans to grow itself based on non Swiss movements and by assembling sourced parts from different parts of the world, we may find more brands looking to market themselves to a wider field of niche markets of collectors looking for different aspects of watches.
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