It reminds me of a library….
How can this possibly be a good thing you ask? Let me explain. When I was a little boy, I used to go to the library and borrow all of the Teknikens Värld car magazines that I could get access to. I took them home, learned all the specs and poured over all the awesome car photographs – this was the start of a lifelong love of cars. The library was also the place where I could get all the Tintins, Lucky Lukes, Asterix and Spirous that I could get hold of, not to mention J.R.R Tolkiens master pieces.
In this library in the little town of Ödåkra, they had an awesome clock. It was large and very 70s with long stripes instead of numbers, big metal hands that curved inwards on the dome shaped clock face and, if I remember correctly, an appropriately period specific, brown colour.
When I saw the Richardt Mejer Kickstarter campaign for the Automatisk watch – I loved it immediately, as in LOVED it. It took me a while to figure out why exactly and that’s when all of the above came flooding back.
I backed it immediately and kept an eye on the campaign. I was very sad when the campaign was unsuccessful (and also, how? It’s so nice!). I contacted the company and they adviced they would try again, reducing the minimum required for a successful campaign and so they did.
This time around, it was successful. Months went past with only a few updates such as ‘we are on track’ and a photo. A very northern European approach to a customer service (What? We told you December so what’s the issue!) Quite amusing really since most Kickstarter campaigns can really turn nasty if there are not a significant amount of updates.
But it seems like the backers trusted them to deliver, after all they have a number of successful models already, and true to their word – the watches were sent in the month promised, with no delays…almost unheard of on the platform.
Two weeks later, the package was received. A rather unassuming long plastic bag and inside, a folded over bubble wrap post office bag. Hmm…first impressions matter and this was a worry. Cutting through the layers of tape and a long faux leather case was revealed. Again, hmmm… Opened it up and we have a flimsy note with instructions and a micro fiber cloth attached. But, importantly, here’s the watch firmly mounted inside with the usual protective plastic on the front/back.
Yes. The watch is as good in person as I had hoped. In fact, even better if I dare say it. I put it on immediately and the black calf leather band fits perfectly, is fairly soft for a new band which is always appreciated .
I do find it interesting that the packaging and material used is not a little more…special. Many other smaller brands do a really great job in this area. Since nobody really needs a watch anymore, we buy them since they make us feel something, the in person experience needs to support this highly emotive event.
It can be hard to recover from a sub-optimal first impression. But ultimately, what really matters is the object itself and not what it was packed in, which realistically will be stored away and perhaps never looked at again. And really, if you've bought any Seiko watch lately, I think anything is better than their boring, plain boxes!
It’s a rather angular case and it definitely does not hug your wrist. Is this form over function? Perhaps a little bit. But it still looks as good on your wrist as off it, so what’s wrong with a watch that breaks the norm here without getting silly.
It has heft, but the overall dimensions are restrained. The watch face is subtle and beautiful with its sunburst effect. The ‘bullseye’ dial really works. The colour I went for, the green ‘Moss’, reflects light very nicely and catches your eye on the wrist.
I will say this, the shade of green is a tad more yellow than the official images used to market the watch. It’s still a very nice shade of green but it’s more of a summery plant stem green than moss green, to me anyway.
On the dial, we have three printed sections. The brand name Richardt Mejer printed, in line with the curvature of the dial, underneath we have the word København (Copenhagen in Danish) and on the bottom half just above the date window, the word ‘Automatisk’ meaning automatic in Danish. All nicely printed without being overbearing. I like that this is all in Danish.
The long metal hands are a thing of beauty. Pulling out the crown to adjust them, they move slowly and are rather long. Richardt Mejer calls them their ‘Signature steel hands’ and I think they are right in drawing attention to the way they’re designed. There’s what has been constructed to look like, a recessed, layered section, which also contains the lume, and all hands are brushed rather than polished. The brushed finish mirrors the rest of the watch case, which in my opinion is just as it should be. The seconds hand is also very long, it seems to almost touch the end of the dial.
The tip of the seconds is just a millimetre or so off the end the black markings on the grey dial. This means that the seconds hand never completely covers the black mark which is a design decision that makes sense to me.
There are four applied metal, lumed, markers for the 12, 3, 6 and 9 positions. These are designed to look like they are both holding the dial up slightly, as well as holding it in position. This seems to give the impression of a crosshair gun sight and interestingly, they are far more visible in low lighting when there’s no light to reflect the green section of the dial. Again, a great little detail.
Richardt Mejer Signature steel hands with a brushed finish and yellow Super-LumiNova® luminous pointers.
Double layered “bullseye dial”. The lower level is a matte grey dial with black printed markers.
The upper level is a moss green sunray dial with printed logo and date window at 6.
Stair-shaped steel markers are part brushed and part polished with Super-LumiNova® luminous paste and are applied at 12, 3, 6, 9.
The back of the watch gives you a nice look at the STP 1-11 movement. This is basically an exact copy of the equivalent ETA 2824 movement with a few slight enhancements, such as a longer power reserve. Apparently, STP are a bit more open to customising the date window when it comes to font and colours which Richardt Mejer have taken advantage of. There are many nice polished surfaces on the movement, and whilst it has no branding as such to speak of, it’s rather shiny and attractive. When it comes to =/- seconds – there are many sites out there that will give you this data. So far to me, it’s not deviated in any noticeable way.
On the lume….it’s fairly subtle, and that’s being generous. If you’re wanting a watch where you can tell the time in the dark, this is not the one for you. If it wasn’t for the fact that the lume is nicely integrated in the design, it’d be questionable whether they should even have bothered.
Finally, if I had one complaint – this would be it. The images on the official website have a film grain like effect applied and they have been enhanced to the point where the brushed effect on the metal does not reflect reality.
The watch in hand is shinier and the green is definitely not the dark moss like green colour that the images indicate. Hopefully my own images reflect that in this article. I personally think that with a watch like this, which you’d have to order without trying on unless you happen to be in Copenhagen, we should have more accurate photos available.
Any watch fan knows that having some sort of connection with a watch is what will make you keep and treasure it. This is an object that will get noticed on your wrist and it has that vibe where it would fit both Ron Burgundy and Steve McQueen in the Thomas Crown Affair…perhaps even a Dad at tennis practice (phew!).
It has personality, attitude and the clean, angular Scandinavian designs that you came for. And just like those awesome Danish furniture you may have spent a fortune on, they may not be the most comfortable chairs you’ve ever sat on, but boy do they look cool.
This is not a massive watch brand with endless marketing budgets. In buying this watch, you’ll support a small, passionate team – and I think you should go and do that right now.
Did you enjoy this review? Coffee fuels my night time ponderings.