Monday, July 16, 2018

Wrapping up the Montfort Strata James - Part One

The past seven days have been pretty eventful - I turned fifty, France won the World Cup, and I got the opportunity to wear a watch that bears my name!

For those of you who are not yet acquainted, Montfort is a relatively new brand that currently occupies the "microbrand" space, but has the potential to grow beyond it.  

The model that was sent for review is the Montfort Strata James, which is part of the original Strata collection.  Spoiler alert, I really have enjoyed wearing this watch, and have been very impressed with its build quality, look, and wearing comfort.

Jumping straight to the "wearability" of the watch -
The case measures 44 mm in diameter, and is crafted of some pretty special stainless steel (more on that in a moment).  While the case has ample size on the horizontal, it falls into the "Goldilocks" size and fit category (at least for me) in that it is "just right".  The actual thickness of the case is much more sane -

This allows for a very pleasing wearing experience.  The temptation for a lot of watch brands is to make something "macho".
By that, I mean that a watch has to be bigger in every way, not just a large diameter, but it should sit like a hockey puck on the wrist, and the strap should be more reminiscent of something to put around your waist as opposed to something to secure a watch to your wrist.

In terms of wrist size I am, to quote Joe Walsh, "an ordinary, average guy".  The Strata James fits and wears very comfortably.

The strap is really something fun.  It is made of leather, with a stitched and padded exterior which adds an extra level of texture.

It is subtle, and it adds an extra little "whats-it".  While the exterior of the strap is leather, the interior of it is lorica.  Don't worry, no loricas were harmed in the manufacture of the strap linings ; )  

Lorica is a synthetic type of leather.  The advantage of this is that because it is synthetic, it does not have the same "rot" factor of leather, meaning that the strap will last longer.  And with a fun little twist, the interior of the strap is a different color, in this instance it is blue.  You will also notice that the strap uses quick change spring bars, which allows for easy strap changes.

The lug width is 22 mm, and the strap tapers down to 20 mm at the buckle.  The buckle itself is interesting -

It is also of stainless steel, it is structured, well shaped and ample without being excessive.  You notice anything else?  The buckle itself is not polished in the same manner as the rest of the watch case and crown.  This was not an oversight from the folks at Montfort. This was very intentional.  As yourself a question - where does the buckle of your watch strap usually sit?  Moreover, it is safe to assume that it will be coming into constant contact with tables, desks, doors, etc.  So Montfort opted to have a buckle of hardened steel without polishing.

Wait a minute, what is hardened steel?  We'll get into all of that and more when Part Two of this review goes up this evening.

Stay Tuned!


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