LAB Copenhagen is featured in my guide to the best custom watches! Discover it here.
In this review I will be taking a closer look at dress watches from LAB Copenhagen. I find myself more attracted to sport watches in general, but every man needs at least one dress watch, and LAB Copenhagen offers a different approach to acquiring this kind of watch. You can customize it!
Now i do know that customizable watches is nothing new, but they are usually customizable sports watches. And even though i would put these watches in the minimalistic “dressy” category, there is something sporty about them that caught my attention.
So without further ado, I present to you LAB Copenhagen!
- Slightly domed sapphire crystal
- Seiko VD78 quartz movement
- Rose gold PVD coating
- Screwed down caseback with custom engraving
|– Affordable||– Hands are too small|
|– Rose gold elements|
|– Unique design|
|– Sapphire crystal|
The watch came in a quite unique “box”, more specifically it was suspended in a see-through plastic cylinder. A fun and original way of securing and presenting the watch.
The watch is very light and thin, which are good attributes when talking about dress watches. The watch sizes well because it’s not as small as many vintage dress watches, but not as big as many other newer ones.
The watch plays well with the light, the strap is nice and soft and bends to your wrist relatively easy. The crystal reflects an acceptable amount of light and you really try to look for the logo on the black part of the dial. It’s there, but very inconspicuously, which i really like!
All in all, a nice unboxing with no dissapointements.
A closer look
The dial and hands
You can customize the dial of this watch and hands of this watch, but the design of the dial remains the same. It consists of 2 layers showcased under a slightly domed sapphire crystal. The first top layer (mat black) fills most of the center of the dial, with small “arms” extending out to the edge of the dial to serve as indices. The rest of the dial consists of a rose gold PVD coated metal surface.
The dial has a unique contrast because of this layering. The top layer is very thing, but you can still tell it’s there when you turn the watch in the light. The mat black works very well with the rose gold because of the beat blasted finish they chose to go with. Up close, it looks like snow glistening in the sun.
As with the dial and pretty much the rest of the watch, you can choose what color or PVD coating you want the hands to have.
The seconds is a nice little straight sword hand and the hour and minute hands are very thin leaf hands. They are well finished and sits close to the dial, so nothing wrong there.
The case and crown
The case consists of one round solid piece of metal, with a round bezel attached to it and welded lugs that are nicely finished to hide this fact. I like how the bezels curve doesn’t align with the case under it. It gives the watch a slight “art deco” feel.
The entire case is polished and I really recommend the rose gold PVD option! It well done and looks great under any light ! I Also recommend getting the caseback engraved, for free, with something to really make the watch yours (great option if you are buying one as a gift).
The crown is the one thing that kind of stick out on this watch, no pun intended. By that, I mean it sticks out too far from the case in my opinion (although it does help with setting the time, but on a quartz watch that seems overengineered). It is however a nice crown with a clean triangular grip and a laser engraved logo on the side.
The straps feels and looks great! The suede is a more modern option compared to the classic leather strap, and works well with this watch. The suede is very fine and soft to the touch, and the same color vintage effect stitches is a nice understated touch.
I also think that suede is much better for colorful straps, since they reflect less light than leather and gives the color and inconspicuous look.
Of course, they come with the quick release spring bars and a classic generic rose gold PVD coated buckle with a surface laser engraved LAB Copenhagen logo.
Unlike some overpriced fashion brands, the LAB Copenhagen watches are equipped with VD78 quartz movements from Seiko. Seiko know their trade, so I have complete faith in the quality of this movement.
I normally tend to avoid quartz watches myself, as many watch enthusiasts do, but with rare exceptions. My exception is dress watches, because I rarely wear them, but when I do it’s nice to just throw it on without having to set the time. Quartz watches are also thinner than automatic watches in the below 1000 USD price range, giving them much more luxurious and classy look to match the suit of the evening.
What could have been better
The crown, in my opinion, sits a little too far from the case. In my world, dress watch has a crown that sits right up against the case without any intentional space.
The top layer of the dial (the black part) also has some residue on the edges. This is of course not noticeable unless you get really close the watch. But I do think it’s worth mentioning if not at least for the LAB Copenhagen people reading this review. It is however also worth noting that this watch is very affordable. If you want a flawless dial up close, consider looking up the price of a Patek Phillipe, and see how willing you are to live with such flaws 🙂
The proportions of the dial
The hands, in my opinion, are also too short… The minute hand only reaches out to the edge of the black inner circle, which throws off the proportions of the watch. The minute should extend out to the edge of the dial, or at least the middle of the outer ring with the indices, and the hour hand should be where the minute hand currently is. Perhaps this is a matter of taste, but I felt the need to be honest about how I feel.
Disagree? Comment why you think i am way off the charts!
I think the price is very fair
Considering this watch has a sapphire crystal, free caseback engraving, rose gold PVD application and nice sued straps, you can only accept the price of 210 USD (190 Euros).
For about the same price you can get a generic looking Daniel Wellington without a sapphire crystal, and unknown movement and a questionable metal coating.
If you are the type who thinks that dress watches are too boring and all look the same, then LAB Copenhagen is for you! I you are looking for a fun watch for you friend who is already wearing a Daniel Wellington, and you just can’t wait to see him wearing another watch, then LAB Copenhagen is for you.
They are a fun, original and colorful alternative to Daniel Wellington and many other fashion watch brands that offers dress watches. And this is by all means a very good everyday watch. I recommend this watch as a gift for a person who doesn’t care too much about watches, apart from the effect it has on an entire outfit.
This is probably not the watch enthusiasts fantasy, but it reaches a broader audience while remaining original and true to itself. How many entry level dress watch brands can say they do that?