When it comes to minimalist watches, I only look for a few simple things to base my decision. First, it has to tell time in a fluid way, that is, I don’t have to analyze and be distracted by trying to figure out which is which and secondly, the design should be clean and functional.
Having set the above preferences, I managed to appreciate the latest Kickstarter project that is Astoncain. Their philosophy is direct to the point, “to design the most beautiful minimalist watches using the the very best components! Simple!” That is easier said than done but like most startup companies, I give Astoncain credits for doing something novel because the best components are, err, expensive and they priced their watches at a discount for the time being. As much risks are involve, the rewards are really great.
Minimalist watches are mostly preferred by serious professionals who want nothing but simplicity in their appearance and having a watch that doesn’t scream for attention is certainly a big plus. I also loved the fact that the creator simply loved a clean dial that is free from branding. When you see logo and symbolic stuff, you immediately become their advertisement puppet. Since every time you look at it, you are reminded of the company that created it and somehow compelled to share your experiences to your friends. As a watch fan, this happens to me all the time, and there is nowhere in the horology world where someone is not taking credit for their marvelous creation until Astoncain.
I like minimalist watches because they offer elegance in its purist form. I like reading time as precise and as simple as looking at the sky and being able to tell the time right away. With this in mind, Astoncain passes my preferences for a minimalist watch.
In order to stay focused on their core philosophy, the design is simply fantastic and very clean. The 40mm case is made of stainless steel with high quality PVD coating. The case design is characterized by simple lines from the bezel up to the lugs. Honestly, I seem to have not noticed the crown at all. It’s as minimal as it could be because you would not find any groove on it which is intelligently designed. The sapphire crystal glass complements the simplicity of the case design.
The dial cuts through time like a sharp razor, I meant to say that it’s as precise as it could get. It comes in silk printed dial face and goes perfectly well with the multiple color straps. The hands look pure and very professional. The creator being an engineer, managed to tick all the right boxes on the minimalist checklist without letting go of the most important features such as the date dial at three o’clock. The hours are show in neat lines and there is not one “dirt” on the dial except what it’s built for, time.
The power comes from a Swiss Ronda 505 which is known to be a precise quartz movement. I also like the fact that the caseback offers discrete branding and there are screws to open the caseback for battery removal. The 2mm thick genuine leather straps are nice outfits ensuring a comfortable and professional wear. The watch is water resistant up to 50m.
Jovan Krstevski – Founder, Proprietor & Executive Editor
Watch collector, aficionado and an Event profile in the Swedish nightlife. He launched Watchgeek back in 2011, which is now known as WristReview and is one of the most widely read watch blogs on the Web. He quotes ’WristReview is a site to help people find, explore, discover and enjoy wristwatches.’ His passion jump started in his early teens, when he was given his first mid-range wristwatch which was an Omega Seamaster. Since then he has always been in love with wristwatches! Besides WristReview, he also writes for a number of publications. Read his articles here.