St. Dupont Hyperdome – A french extravaganza

By Frederik Drost
St. Dupont Hyperdome – A french extravaganza

As some of you may know, i have always been a fan of unique clothes and accessories, and in this review I will be taking a closer look at something rather unique. There are many “crazy” watches out there, and this is truly one of them! I didn’t even know St. Dupont made watches until recently since they are mostly famous for their luxurious lighters.

I present to you, the St. Dupont Hyperdome!

Packaging

The packaging is quite lovely and really fits the watch’s design. Like the dial, the watch itself is held in a big transparent dome. It’s more luxurious than a hard cardboard box, but still less luxurious than a hard polished plastic or wooden box. Considering the price of this watch, the packaging gets a 10/10.

Design and quality

St Dupont hyperdome watch

There are many crazy watch designs out there these days, but not that many using a transparent case design. Of course there are the classic transparent Swatch watches and some mid to high-end sapphire case watches from Aventi, Hublot and Richard Mille. But if your budget is more limited and you want something a little more refined, this is definitely the watch for you. 

The St. Dupont Hyperdome is definitely an acquired taste. Only 1 in 10 people that have seen this watch seems to like it, but those who do tend to really LOVE it! I must admit that the watch is much more lovable in the flesh than on the pictures available online. Hopefully my pictures can help settle any doubt about the watch and how it fits on the wrist.

The case 

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The case is one of the things that sets this watch apart from most watches. A big mineral glass dome is held on the watch between four hollowed out lugs, attached to the case back, that flanks the side of the dome. 

St Dupont hyperdome watch
The case back if also nicely finished!

Since the dome is made out of mineral glass, it reflects less light than a sapphire crystal, which is especially useful in this case. Yes, you don’t get the scratch resistance of sapphire, but this isn’t your regular beater watch you wear while doing your crossfit session, so the choice is justified (bear in mind that even sapphire crystal cases are very prone to shattering).

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The lugs are very well finished with a hollowed out design, but the interior of the lugs doesn’t have the best finish. It’s important to note that this kind of design is usually more expensive to accomplish than regular lugs. These lugs have a curved shape, but they don’t bend downwards to ensure the watch doesn’t look too tall on the wrist (see wrist shots later). 

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The screws on the side of the lugs are just for show, but still looks nice. The strap is held by normal quick release spring bars. Another nice detail is the polished case back, which is something many brands neglect.

The crown

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The crown is fully polished with big, soft rounded dents to help with the grip. The deeply engraved St. Dupont “S” on the side of the crown looks lovely, and is just perfect for a crown!

It’s interesting to follow the tube protecting the crown stem, going through a small metal “holder”, and into the side of the dial. 

BE AWARE! The crown that you can see on their website is not the one on the watch i received. But i prefer this design anyway, so no harm done, but worth noting.

The dial and hands

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The dial is quite like nothing i have ever seen. In order to “fit” the shape of the dome, the dial is curved upward like a hill, with the tip of the hands floating in the air above the base of the dial.

The are small polished domed metal hours markers, but that where the resemblance to a normal watch ends. The black base is covered by screwed in brushed metal plates going up the side of the “hyperdome” dial and underneath the top layer of the dial. They have very organic shapes and almost seem random. A circular brushed finish makes it look like they were always part of the dial, and just cut out later. 

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The top layer of the dial is a nice sunburst disc with a polished beveled edge and some crip blakc printing. Here is where the brand value is shown, as they have omitted the name of the watch in order to write “Paris”. I would have preferred the word “hyperdome” to be written there, but this is still a branded “fashion” watch, so i will forgive them for that.

The hands have a slightly rougher brushed finish than the rest of the watch, with the middle being painted black and a small bridge near the tip. The hands and dial match well thanks to the metal/black combo, and show that they thought out the design quite well.

The strap

St Dupont hyperdome watch

I was surprised to see how much I love the strap on this watch! 

The rubber strap is very soft and supple and hugs the wrist perfectly. The tire track pattern is deep and detailed, and reminds me of some Chopard rubber straps. It’s that perfect granular rubber that doesn’t stick to you skin or hairs too much, but still makes sure the watch sits comfortably on the wrist.

St Dupont hyperdome watch

The buckle is custom, and showcases how good St. Dupont is a finishing metal. It’s got a nice polished and rounded angular design with indents for the buckle pin and for the strap to fit better underneath (something too many buckles lack). 


On the wrist

St Dupont hyperdome watch

There is no lying here… This watch is rather tall, but the way the lugs go up the mineral dome does help giving it a more integrated look. It’s super comfortable to wear, but won’t slide under your dress shirt, but will fit under most jackets.

Watches like Aventi or Richard Mille are quite tall too, but the mineral dome helps the watch look less prominent on the wrist. It still gives off that extravagant, over the top millionaire vibe which is quite cool in certain situations. You definitely need some balls to wear this, but ironically it’s mostly girls who gave this watch compliments.


Price

You might think: “ well it’s a quartz movement from a lighter brand, for — EUROS”, but everything on this watch is original. That means you can’t source generic parts to create most of this watch. You also get a top notch strap with a great buckle, a domed mineral glass and a detailed dial with many different and unique elements. You might pay a little extra for the brand and the domed mineral case, but if you really love this watch, you won’t find anything like it anywhere else.


Conclusion

St. Dupont is showcasing how good they are at metal finishing on this over the top and extravagant watch! But a person who buys a 1000 Euro gold lighter is also the kind of person who would wear this watch! Unique is definitely the main keyword here and this is surely a watch that will turn heads and get a conversation started. 

If you have ever eyeballed a sapphire crystal case watch, but your budget is tighter, this watch could definitely be a fun alternative.

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