Disclaimer: This review is an honest assessment and does not involve any payment or promise of positive feedback.
This is a review of the D1 Milano Chronografo NOX, and many of the qualities mentioned here may be found in their other models.
Pros & Cons
- – Case Size: 41.5mm x 10.7mm
- – Case Material: Brushed and polished 316L Stainless Steel
- – Strap: Blue Stainless Steel
- – Clasp: Hidden Butterfly Clasp
- – Bezel: Blue Stainless Steel
- – Caseback: Blue Stainless Steel
- – Dial: Sunray Blue with orange and silver accents
- – Hands & Indexes: Brass with silver plating and orange second hand
- – Glass: Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
- – Movement: Seiko VK63
- – Water Resistance: 5ATM
- – Weight: 172g
D1 Milano, established in Milan in 2013, has quickly gained recognition as one of the fastest-growing brands in the world of watchmaking. Founded by Dario Spallone, D1 Milano is committed to engineering watches with a distinctive design language.
With a strong emphasis on material finishing, D1 Milano creates timepieces that seamlessly bridge the gap between conventional and unconventional styles. Each dial and plating combination is deliberately chosen to provide a unique and unforgettable experience on the wrist.
The brand explores a diverse range of materials, from soft-touch polycarbonates to polished metallic alloys, often paired with natural leather or rubber variations, to achieve the perfect balance of style and functionality.
The Cronografo NOX, and likely other D1 Milano watches, comes in an aesthetically pleasing box made of sturdy cardboard. While not extravagant enough for display purposes, the box feels solid and delivers a satisfying unboxing experience. Considering the price range, I prefer to invest most of my money in the watch itself.
The entire D1 Milano watch line showcases a consistent design language, giving the brand a true identity. The bezel stands out as the most distinctive and recognizable feature of this design identity.
In my opinion, the D1 Milano Cronografo NOX offers the most enjoyable and exciting chronograph design among their collection. The tasteful and discreet dark blue coating, coupled with the matte finish, adds to the overall understated elegance.
While the overall shape of the watch and bracelet is familiar to the brand, this model stands out with its improved pusher chronographs. Compared to previous models, these pushers feel more solid and better integrated, with the orange start pusher complementing the orange chrono seconds hand perfectly. It’s a shame that the minute counter isn’t also orange, like the 24-hour hand.
The blue sunburst dial harmonizes perfectly with the dark blue coating, and I appreciate the unique color combinations on the sub-dials. This choice is seldom seen but reminds me of the Zenith Chronomaster.
Overall, D1 Milano has successfully crafted a sporty and discreet design with this model. The choice of coating color matching the dials, along with the playful touch of orange, adds a fun and charismatic personality to the watch.
Compared to my previous review, I’ve noticed an improvement in quality. The dials feature more depth and intricate details, while the bracelet finishing, machining, and build tolerances have also been enhanced.
Case & Crown
The entire case, crown, and strap feature a dark blue coating with a matte (almost sandblasted) finish, except for the polished sides of the bezel. It not only feels but also looks impressive. However,
TIP: It’s important to note that hard scratches may reveal the underside of the metal, so caution is advised.
Both the machining quality and tolerances are quite good, with sharp edges on the bezel but not too sharp. The bezel and case align perfectly on the side of the watch. The Chrono pushers have very little wiggle and feel solid.
The crown is of similar quality, and i actually like that they omitted the Logo that one usually see. Pulling it out is easy and there is no wiggle when it is in time-setting mode.
Dial & Hands
The dials on the Cronografo NOX exhibit more depth and detail compared to previous chronograph models, which is a delightful improvement. The raised and angled chapter ring, with cut-outs revealing the hour indices, adds visual interest.
The sunken chapter rings contribute to a greater sense of depth and are a commendable addition that could have been easily omitted to cut costs.
The sunburst dial is of good quality, with sharp lines that play beautifully in the light. It meets my expectations for this price range.
The hands and indices share the same sandblasted treatment as the watch’s exterior. While the hands may appear simple and flat, they serve their purpose well, and the cut-outs expose more of the splendid sub-dials.
The D1 Milano watches boast a delightful strap. Considering the price range, I have encountered far worse straps. Although it may rattle slightly, which is expected at this price point, the build quality and tolerances are good, and the links move smoothly. The strap’s comfort is noteworthy, as the edges are not overly sharp like those on the bezel and upper case.
The tension-locked clasp securely holds the watch and doesn’t feel flimsy.
The Seiko VK64 movement (read more about it here) powers this watch, which is an excellent choice for microbrand chronographs due to its synergistic nature. It offers the reliability and precision of a quartz movement while emulating the look and feel of a mechanical chronograph module. Consequently, the chronograph hands sweep smoothly, and the counters reset almost instantaneously, accompanied by a satisfying click feel from the pushers.
These movements typically keep time for an average of 3 years before requiring a battery replacement and maintain accuracy within approximately ±20 seconds per month.
On the wrist
The D1 Milano Cronografo NOX feels good on the wrist, which i can assume all their other models do. This is due to the soft edges and bevels on the strap.
In my opinion, the price is fair.
At $545.00 USD (approximately €467.02), one can acquire a well-crafted and aesthetically pleasing watch. While there may be watches with better specifications available, they often utilize generic parts and are assembled in third-world countries.
D1 Milano continues to produce watches that possess a distinctive brand identity, which is precisely what all watch brands should strive for. Embracing the integrated bracelet trend while standing out enough to avoid being a mere homage brand, D1 Milano has introduced a fantastic addition to their watch collection with the Cronografo NOX.
This model exhibits the most interesting and enjoyable design yet, and its quality matches its price point. The subtle colors and coating allow the vibrant orange accents to truly shine, resulting in a masculine, sporty, and fun timepiece.
I wholeheartedly recommend D1 Milano watches to anyone who appreciates their unique designs.