(4 / 5)
Today i will be taking a closer look at a manually wound watch, something that was slowly dying out after the rise of automatic mechanical watches. Today, i see a comeback for all things vintage, and even sneaker companies are bringing back older design in their new releases. This is no exception for the watch world, where smaller and more minimalistic watches are making a comeback. Unfortunately, bigger fashion watch brands have taken advantage of this and are selling cheap quartz watches wrapped in celebrity marketing to unsuspecting consumer sheep.
If you like anything vintage with a modern touch, keep reading this review, because will be reviewing the AEVIG Thor with the grey brushed dial.
The AEVIG Thor comes in a nice foldable leather pouch for traveling, that can hold 2 watches, an extra strap and a spring bar tool (the tool is included). A very nice packaging in my opinion.
When I first saw this watch, I wasn’t sure if I could call it a dress watch… But it’s true value lies in that grey zone between sporty and dressy, where something modern yet vintage inspired can enter the spotlight. The case, crystal, hour markers, second hand and the strap are definitely dressy, but the hour and minute hands, the crown and other elements are sporty. But all in all, they blend well together and offers a truly unique, yet minimalistic watch.
The watch feels solid and well built, but is relatively lightweight. The size of the watch is in the same grey zone as I mentioned earlier, making it perfect as a dress watch, but with the wrist presence of a sporty watch. A truly cool and versatile watch!
A closer look
The watch case
The case of the Thor is quite simple, with a mix of polished and brushed finish and a simple rounded bezel. Albeit its simplicity, it feels well built and the polished finish is well done. I really like the brushed finish on the top of the case, which really fits into the dressy/sporty look of the watch.
The back of the case feature an open display window so you can see the manually wound movement. Because the movement doesn’t have an oscillating weight, you get a great view into the different elements of the movement.
The double domed sapphire crystal features a anti-reflective coating on the underside and a rounded edge just like many vintage watches. It reflects some light, but nothing serious for a watch in this price range and the fact that it is domed box creates an interesting effect in the sunlight. A very acceptable crystal for this price range, considering that these kind of sapphire crystals are more expensive to make than the flat or simple domed ones.
The dial and hands
The dial features a very subtle brushed finish that plays well with sunlight and you can choose different colors and finishes. The white dial has a more pronounced texture while the blue and black dials are flat, yet shiny. The edge of the dial bends downwards which gives the watch a nice depth and subtle character.
The logo sits nicely on the dial and doesn’t feel out of place. It has depth and doesn’t feel cheap at all, but I do feel that the text underneath is a bit too close to the logo or too big. The “17 jewels” is a nice tribute to vintage watches and i love the font they used to write “Thor”
The minute markers are simple and crisp and follows the curve of the edge of the dial, which looks great. The hour markers are simple and polished, but plays very well with the light and the double markers every 3 hours gives a good contrast without being too sporty.
AEVIG has chosen to add small lume dots on the dial, which is another grey zone element that makes this watch feel slightly sportier. The lume works well and looks great in the dark thanks to the domed box crystal, which reflects the light in a very satisfying way.
The hands on this watch illustrates perfectly, by themselves, the dressy yet sporty nature of this watch. The seconds hand is very simple and vintage inspired while the hour and minute hands are sporty. The sharp tip is partly what makes them sporty, but it’s mostly due to the missing parts (skeleton hands) at the beginning of the hands. Pencil hands, as they are commonly called, can be very dressy, but this feature gives them a sportier look (as seen on many Omega divers).
Let’s talk about the crown jewel of this watch (sorry for the pun). This is undoubtedly one of the coolest elements of this watch. It’s quite sporty and features 2 types of brushed finishes and a deeply engraved logo, giving it a nice depth.
It is very important that the crown of a manually wound watch has a good grip, and this one couldn’t be better. Simply perfect for this kind of watch.
The leather strap is thick and looks and feels great. It was quite rigid at the beginning, but once you bend it a few times it becomes more comfortable to wear. The leather feels rugged and used which is a great look for this watch, and it doesn’t look or feel cheap at all (fake croco for example can feel really cheap). The added perforated holes underneath the leather strap are also worth mentioning since they add ventilation and makes it much more comfortable when it’s hot.
The straps buckle is far from a generic buckle and features the AEVIG logo welded on top of it like a coin. Great little detail that reminds me of the buckles that DUFA uses on their watches (perhaps the same manufacturer?). It is also nice to see a little notch so that the leather strap fits nicely into the buckle and that the pin is always centered and sits well in it’s notch.
What could have been better
The second strap
The AEVIG Thor comes with a second 2 piece Perlon strap, which I unfortunately don’t like. I am not a fan of the look, which is personal, but the strap itself is not comfortable to wear. I actually threw this watch on a blue/red/white nato strap, and because it’s slightly sporty, it looks dope as hell. The red also matches with the red of the logo on the dial, so perhaps this kind of nato strap would have been better to include (although quite affordable to buy) .
The lume dots
I won’t be criticizing the brightness or duration, because those factors are all within the reasonable standard of this watch’s price range. But the 2 dots at the 12 o’clock on my watch are not completely aligned, and it is quite noticeable up close.
I do however believe this is an isolated incident, since the pictures on their website doesn’t show this problem, and I assume that AEVIG is willing to exchange a watch with such problem without hesitation. I am merely pointing it out as i assume the people behind the brand will also read this review.
This watch is powered by a Myiota 8N33 hand-wound movement. I don’t feel the need to go into details about Myiota since there is plenty of detailed information about the brand. In my experience, they produce robust and well functioning movements and i have never had a problem with them yet.
This is however my first hand-wound movement from Myiota and i would assume these movements are built with that in mind (some automatic movement has weak parts for hand winding). I will update this review in 6 month or a year to see if the winding is still as crisp and flawless as now.
This is what AEVIG has to say about it:
“A first for Aevig is the see-through caseback to show off the detailed Miyota 8N33 manualwind movement. Hand winding a watch satisfies the connection to the marvel a mechanical watch is. About 40 turns winds up the movement completely for no less than 40 hours p0werreserve. Do not overwind for this movement does not have a slip like automatic winding movements do.”AEVIG
Another brand using this movement said this :
“For the Coniston we’ve decided to use Miyota again and this leads us to the bigger sibling of the Derwent movement, in what’s called the 8N33. We’ve had a number of these movements in our test-bed for the past 4 months now, checking reliability and accuracy to be absolutely sure this is the movement for the Coniston – and it’s performed brilliantly”
This movement is a skeletonized movement which gives a great view into the detailed workings of the movement thanks to the open display back of the Thor. Interestingly enough, it is rarely used in any watches, and never used with a skeleton dial. Perhaps this should be AEVIG’s next project?
I think the price is fair
For 579 Euros (645 USD) you can start wearing this watch. Considering all the elements of this watch and the average price of 60 USD for the movement, you can’t say it’s overpriced. But after doing some research online, I found other watches with the same movement, display case back and original crown, for approx. 200 euros less. But they didn’t have the box sapphire crystal, just a regular domed crystal! I was curious why there was such a price difference so i reached out the AEVIG and they responded with compelling arguments:
Parts that were expensive to make were the crown which needs at least 3 times more machining to create the shape vs off the shelve straight bar crowns with 12 slots.
The strap is handmade in Germany using a custom mold for the near straight shape and angled tip. Furthermore the strap is remborde (sides are folded) stitched which looks tons better but is more expensive to make than straight edge and painted edge straps.
The buckle was a custom item and the solid prong is also a more expensive detail than anything stamped and folded.
Then of course a box sapphire adds to the cost as well.
The AEVIG Thor is a perfect blend of sporty and dressy! It looks great with the leather strap under a shirt cuff, or with a Nato strap when wearing a t-shirt. If you’re a person who sees the necessity of having a dress watch, but is not a fan of the classic design of these, look no further.
This watch doesn’t try to be more than it is, yet it somehow accomplished just that. It doesn’t feel at home in any of the 2 categories, yet seems happy in either of them, just like a certain french / danish blogger (wink wink).
As for the feeling of the watch, i completely agree with AEVIG. Hand winding you watch everyday does create a stronger and more intimate connection with the watch. I will be looking into more hand-wound watches from now on.