(4 / 5)
Time for another watch review! This time, i am going back to my roots by reviewing a model from a Danish company, called About Vintage by Skov Andersen. As the name suggests, they make modern watches inspired by vintage watches, and they do it quite well. They are currently seling 6 models with different variations, and one of them is a lovely but pricey limited edition collaboration with Frederique Constant. They have quartz chronographs, japanese Seiko movements and swiss made ETA movements, which gives them a relatively broad range of prices, without exceeding the 1000 euro mark (except for their limited edition watch).
I will be reviewing the 1820 rose gold model, an automatic dress watch powered by a Seiko movement priced at 535 euros (600 dollars).
Table of contents
As far a packaging goes, About Vintage nailed it! The watch comes in a beautiful magnetically sealed wooden box with engravings on top and a little pocket for the instructions and certificate with the unique number of the watch. This is definitely a box i am proudly displaying, closed or open with the watch sitting inside of it!
The first things that i noticed when glancing at the watch was the very appropriate size, the case finishing and the very lovely hands. After a closer look, i immediately fell in love with the leather strap which has a slightly used look to it, which really suits the watch. The case feels nice to the touch, with sharp (but not to sharp) edges, and the domed sapphire glass looks great when turning the watch.
Simply a great feeling to hold this watch for the first time.
When putting on the watch, i was even more satisfied with the size and the thickness of the watch. It sits really well on the wrist and hugs it nicely thanks to the lugs bending downwards. There is almost no space between the case and the leather strap, which some lower end watches tend to have. They even have a small part of the case brushed away so that the strap doesn’t rub against the case. The strap itself also feels and smells great! I really enjoy the smell of new leather 🙂
The first impressions of a watch are often positive, but it takes time to start appreciating the smaller details of a watch or to find flaws or something you don’t like. This watch has so many great elements that overshadow the few flaws i found, but perfection requires criticism…
What i love about this watch
There are so many things i love about this watch, so i am making a list to give you a better overview of what makes this watch unique and desirable.
The second hand
One of the things that made me choose this watch over their other models was the second hand! I have just reviewed a DUFA watch with the same kind of design for the hour hand, but i believe that About Vintage took this design a step up! These hands are called Breguet hands (seen on Breguet watches), lollipop hands or moon hands, and the dark blue color really makes the second stand out as the first thing you notice on this watch.
Combined with the fact that the second markers on the dial sits beneath the circle of the hand, this design is by far one of the the coolest i have ever seen on a dress watch. To visually balance out the “weight” of this circle, the second hand has a thicker “tail” that finishes with a diamond shaped tip. It’s truly a joy to watch the second hand tick while revealing the numbers beneath it.
The hour and minute hands
My love for the second hand shouldn’t overshadow the fact the the hour and minute hands are stunning as well. You just notice them after the second hand, but quickly fall in love with them as well. These lozenge hands are made of rose gold and are really sharp (in every sense of the word). They are very thin at the base with a long “blade” that stretches out to a very pointy tip. The angle in the middle almost constantly gives them a two toned shine, and the minute hand stretches out to the very edge of the dial wich is necessary when having so thin hands. They seem almost to fragile, which kind of gives the watch a more luxurious feel.
The dial is creamy white, so not completely white, and with a very crispy minimalistic print. The fact that the numbers and markers are so small helps the beautiful hands stand out. The hour markers are small rose gold squares that are only noticeable because of the way the shape shine in the light, but quite lovely once you notice them. They have chosen to leave out their brand name and just print the logo on the top of the second markers, which i find to be a good choice since i am not a huge fan of their brand name. About Vintage sounds a bit cheap and i prefer family names because it signals that there is some sort of legacy and story. I also like the fact that they wrote “date” next to the date window. I have never seen that before.
I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that the case had a brushed finish, since i didn’t notice it on their website. The bezel ring polished and mixing those two finishes really makes the bezel ring pop out! As i mentioned earlier, the lugs bends downwards so to hug the wrist nicely. The case is well edged and i love the sharp angle at the end of the lugs, but other than that is a pretty standard case. The back of the case has a nice edging with the watche’s number and a silhouette of Copenhagen, which is nice but these kind of edging do tend to fade away over time.
The crown has a polished finish and has a very nice size for a dress watch. I really like how the logo is protruding from a small protruding disc. The logo really fits well on the crown, which is not always the case with some watch brand logos. It’s a little hard to push out to adjust the time and date, but i wouldn’t want the crown to be any bigger or further away from the watch case.
The strap that the watch comes with is a simple but great genuine leather strap. It’s quite rigid but if you bend it a few times it hugs the wrists instantly. It has a very slightly used look to it, wich i actually like a lot! It helps reinforce the vintage feel and most leather straps looks better after some wear and tear. The straps are all fitted with quick releases so they are easy to switch out.
What i don’t like
The are only two things i didn’t like on this watch, and the rest of the watch really does overshadow these “flaws”. One of them is more a matter of personal taste, but i will run through them here:
The date window
I didn’t really notice it at first, but after a longer glance at the watch, the date window stood out as the only thing that i wasn’t truly in love with on this watch. I am a big fan of the word “date” being printed next to it, but the window itself seems to small and the date itself seems to be crammed into the window. The date is also not completely in the middle, which is not uncommon for watches in this price range, but is a shame when you consider how great the rest of the watch is. A few of the dates also had some print flaws when looking at them up close (26), and i suspect this might be the standard Seiko date wheel. But then again, it could be a isolated flaw that this specific wheel has.
The strap buckle
The strap buckle does have a nice deeply engraved logo and the pin sits nicely on the buckle, but i am not a fan of the fact that it’s polished. The case is brushed and i would have loved to see a mix between brushed and polished, or fully brushed buckle (DUFA had a very cool mix of 2 finishes). But this is just a personal preference.
The About Vintage 1820 is powered by a Japanese Automatic Seiko movement, more specifically the NH35A, a very common movement used by watch brands. Seiko is known for creating low-cost, but reliable and tough movements. They are also easily serviced and to my knowledge, keeps time pretty well. Automatic means that time is kept by a spring that is wound using the movement of your arm. It has a 42 hrs. reserve, meaning it can tick for that amount of time when fully wound.
Seiko says this movement loses 20 seconds or gains 40 seconds a day. On the world wide web, the opinions vary: some say they quickly lose precision, some say it a matter of being unlucky and getting a bad movement, some say they only loose about a minute in a week to 10 days. I have had this watch for a while and it keeps time very well, and looses / gains about max 10 seconds a day. But this is a dress watch, so i don’t wear it very often which means i set the time when i take it for a spin.
This movements has a hack feature, meaning that the movement stops ticking when you set the time. This is quite a useful feature because it protects the movement if by any chance you happen to set the time backwards, and also helps set the watch more precisely.
Even if worn regularly and serviced every 5 to 10 years, this watch can last a lifetime, which is good since one of About Vintage’s statements is: take good care of your new timepiece, make moments, give it history – let it become vintage.
If you feel like stepping into the world of luxury automatic watches and you love minimalistic design and vintage watches, this is a GREAT place to start. About Vintage puts thought and care into the smaller details, and you can feel there is passion behind these watches. I cannot speak for their chronograph watches, but their automatic line of watches are unique , well built, and i proudly wear this watch, as proudly as my Breitling or other high-end watches.