Thursday, June 22, 2017

Getting Personal - A Bespoke Watch From REVOLO

Courtesy of Google:
 
be·spoke
bəˈspōk/
  1. 1.
    past of bespeak.
adjective
British
adjective: bespoke
1.
(of goods, especially clothing) made to order.

"a bespoke suit"


I think it is safe to say that we have all had those moments where we wished we could change certain aspects of a favorite watch.  Back in the early part of the century (yes, 17 long years ago) there was a bit of a cottage industry that sprung up where you could get your watch modified.  Anything from hands to custom designed dials.  And that was okay.  You could even, for a price, reach out to the great and the good and maybe get a slight modification to one of their watches.

So when I heard about REVOLO I was both intrigued, and if I am completely honest, a wee-bit skeptical.  As mentioned, others have tried but really failed to deliver on a truly bespoke watch for the watch enthusiast of more modest means.


Spoiler alert - I am now a believer!

I ordered a REVOLO using the brand's online configurator feature and it arrived quite promptly, directly from Amsterdam where it had been assembled, just for yours truly.

Essentially, you go online, you make your choices, pay for the watch, and then the folks in the REVOLO workshop work to assemble your watch for you.

I opted for a 43 mm cushion style case, with a rose gold pvd finish.

Courtesy of REVOLO
  
I added a unidirectional bezel (also rose gold pvd), and a rose gold pvd crown -

 
I selected the blue "sandwich" dial, and a black vintage style leather strap -


secured with a gold pvd buckle.

Courtesy of REVOLO

The movement I selected was the Miyota 821A -

Courtesy of REVOLO

Put it all together -


So, before we get into the review itself, let me explain some of the design decisions.

Way back in 1968, my father was given a gold filled Mido Ocean Star the day before I made my debut in Zanesville, Ohio.


 Yes, the photos are terrible!


Regular readers will know that the Mido my father received and passed on to me is now with my niece.  

So I wanted something with a gold look, ideally without the gold price ; )

The Mido while sentimentally important was a wee-bit too small for my wrist, and as we do not have kids, it needed to go to the "next eligible" family member.

The second design cue came from a brief piece I read in  
The Rake, which was doing a quick take on the actor Michael Nouri.  It listed some of his sartorial trappings and included what was reputed to be a Breguet chronograph in gold -

Shamelessly borrowed from the world-wide infoweb
Now some other things that influenced the decision - I am not (nor do I anticipate ever being) a diver.  I do,  however, like to use a rotating bezel for time countdowns.  I also am a sucker for blue dials and wanted a watch face that looked slightly more formal than plain old indices and dots.  So something semi-sporty, but not a sport watch, and in a gold finish, but not gold (remember pals and gals, I'm a humble English teacher).


I think most of all, I wanted something special, that I would always enjoy wearing.

So to finish it off, there were two additional flourishes:


Like the original Mido, I added a similar inscription.  This watch is for me after all, nobody else!

And as it happens, it was possible to add a customization to the watch box itself, so in for a penny, in for a pound -


Okay, so that's the background.  But let's get down to the proverbial brass tacks:

This is an INCREDIBLY comfortable watch!



Although the case measures 43 mm in diameter, owing to its cushion design it actually curves quite nicely where the lugs curve into the case.  As you can see, it occupies the space but clearly does not overwhelm my wrist.

More importantly, the watch sits flat on my wrist, no slipping or sliding.  And at that point I would like to sing the praises of the strap.  Unbelievably comfortable.  Described as leather, the top of the strap has a nice suede or nubuck feel to it.  All too often, a thick leather strap will not get softer, but rather stiffer (and crispier), not necessarily conducive to a comfortable wearing experience.  Not so with the REVOLO strap.  Soft, comfortable and really nice looking.

The crown is ideally sized, and does not screw down.  Again, given that I am not diving (or swimming) with it, this is ideal for me.  The crown itself is tactile without being "edgy" and the setting and winding motion are unbelievably smooth.  

The timekeeping is (sorry Rolex) superlative!  The folks at Miyota make an unbelievably accurate and robust movement.  More and more brands are making the move to them (even some smaller micro Swiss brands), because to them the cost benefit ratio that the Miyota offers far outweighs the expense and potential fussiness of a Swiss movement which would add a fair bit to the sticker price.  I have been within 26 seconds or so over the entire time period so far.

And the lume was not too bad either -


So all in all, I would highly recommend the REVOLO experience to anyone.  And the best part is that owing to the choice in movements, dials and cases there is not only something for everyone, the price points are downright reasonable.  For right around €500, you get a watch made just for you!  

 
 

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