Coming up with an iconic watch design isn't easy. Something that is distinctive and instantly recognisable from a distance doesn't just happen. Many brands have tried and failed at making something different enough to everything that's out there, whilst managing to stay true to the brand ethos/philosophy. And yet that is exactly what SEVENFRIDAY has managed.
Somehow I came across the brand in its very early days (around 2012) when they were just starting out. Immediately, I was drawn to the distinctive design of the case. The size was timely as big watches were in, but at the same time, given its rounded edges and no lugs to speak of (if you took the strap off it's pretty much a pebble), the style is much more wearable than you might think. Granted it is still a big watch, with a lot of presence, but it doesn't hang off the wrist like a door on a loose hinge.
Another feature of this SEVENFRIDAY, or in fact, all SEVENFRIDAY's, is the play on the reading of time. Sometimes it's straight forward with an artistic/design twist to make it seem more complicated than it really is, and other times just down right uh... convoluted... as if Tarantino was consulted during the design phase. (Having said that, it could be completely your thing...)
This particular piece (M1B/01) has the style of display firmly rooted in watchmaking history. Sort of like a retro futuristic take on digital watches, but with analogue, rotating discs. And because more of the disc are visible instead of a small window to show only 1 digit, it takes a little getting used to. But once the confusion settles into clarity, the time can be told with but a simple quick glance. That doesn't mean you shouldn't take the time to admire the watch, as there are plenty to admire. For starters, if you like your specs in watches, everything you need is on the back (almost like a cheat note), in case you need to wager between pints that the watch is exactly 47.6mm wide to avoid your shout.
The SEVENFRIDAY M1B/01 is also heavy on industrial design and you could tell immediately that it stands apart from the rest of the watch industry. The attention to detail and the finishing are far more resolved than the price point might otherwise suggest. The design codes are even carried through to the buckle, a part I feel isn't given enough attention by many brands. On a SEVENFRIDAY the shape of the buckle is linked back to the case. The pin itself also has a “statement” line through it. Again, drawing parallels to the case. The buckle is solid and slightly curved, in order to sit flush against your wrist, making it very comfortable. It certainly shames some bigger brands at higher price points.
Anyway, enough word-padding and let's get down to business. What is it like on the wrist? To start, it's definitely a big watch. It sits high but wears well. It makes no pretence to be something that'll fit under the cuff. The denim strap is also heavily padded, meaning it'll take time to break in. Good thing is that SevenFriday offers a wide variety of straps so you could easily swap out the denim for a softer rubber strap if you wish.
The Miyota movement is robust and reliable. It's accurate enough (let's not kid ourselves- this isn't the sort of watch you would get picky about the accuracy). And the really great thing is that it comes with a NFC chip so you could authenticate the watch using an app. How's that for being ahead of the curve?