James McCabe (JM-1015-04) Watch Review

By Mark Wisdom Phillips

The Story

A talented watchmaker named Patrick McCabe had a son whom he named James in 1748. James McCabe was born in Country Lurgan, Ireland but found himself in London several years later. It was there where he began his own watchmaking business. James progressed through the ranks as a highly esteemed watchmaker and then died on July 8th, 1811. His legacy lives on: “The House of McCabe was renowned for the sheer variety of its designs and the creativity and prestige of manufacture was celebrated and revered by owners worldwide. These pieces remain highly collectable today and fetch increasingly higher prices at auction houses worldwide.”

Packaging and Presentation

“I’m always looking to see that watch companies send their watches to the customer with excellent presentation. I think it adds a great touch by showing they are grateful for their business and respect the customer.” James McCabe watches from Belfast, London do a good job at that by sending a shiny black watch box.

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Inside you will find your watch wrapped around a poorly fitting pillow that allows the watch to move around inside just a bit, which worries me a little. I’d much rather see them send a better quality pillow that snugly fits inside the watch box to ensure my timepiece arrives safely, but overall I’m pleased. By no means is a low quality pillow reason to turn your money away from McCabe watches.

Design and Specifications

• 38mm case diameter
• Exhibition case back
• Automatic movement
• Several complications
• Sun and moon
• Day of the week
• Month
• 24 hour time
• Stainless steel rose gold case and buckle
• White dial with black accents
• Water resistant 5ATM
• 20mm brown genuine leather strap

The Face

James McCabe makes a beautifully elegant watch face and this model is no exception. If someone told me they had a great watch to show me that is 38mm and uses Roman numerals…I would be hesitant. A 40mm case diameter is the smallest I typically wear and Roman numerals don’t suit me. Thankfully, I’m pleased with this face because it gives the illusion of being 40mm in diameter and the beautifully elongated Roman numerals compliment the gold and brown
tones. These elongated indications of the time are pointed at by dainty gold toned hands that I quite enjoy. I love the added circular detail about 3/4 down the length of the minute and hour hands to make them a tad bit easier to see. The sub dials are beautifully crafted with grooved circular patterns surrounding the base of the tiny hands.

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The three complications found inside these sundials are welcomed by me because they add to the elegance of the piece, whether they are actively used by the wearer or not. More practical, perhaps, is the tiny date indication found between three and four. I think I look at date functions more than the actual time on a daily basis, so I’m quite scrupulous with these and I do have one complaint. The date is two to three millimeters below the opening in the face, which is only a problem because of the already tiny window that you must peer through. If you are looking at the wrong angle it could be tough to see due to this combination. My final comment on the face is not a great one, so please do not forget the praise I gave above. Unfortunately, I do not think it is being protected by glass. I think it’s plastic because it doesn’t sound quite right when I tap on it, it almost squeaks when I wipe it off, and there is no information to be found on their website regarding it. Not the greatest shortcut to have taken, in my opinion.


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