Being a friend of the brand, and the brand being a friend of Monochrome, Jeff Kuo (CEO and founder of Xetum) contacted us about his latest release, the Xetum Kendrick. We were more than happy to pay some attention to this latest timepiece coming from the San Francisco based company. And what other place would suit better than Baselworld? This paints the perfect scene for any quick review, having journalists, watchmakers, sales rep’s all around. No matter what your role in the industry is, people come from the far corners of the world to attend the fair, not shy to share their thoughts on all the products to be seen.
Our contributor Robin met up with Jeff on a very sunny day. Running around at the fair all day, it actually was a blessing to be able to sit down in the sunshine, have a nice cold drink and go over the new Kendrick. Having the pleasure of reviewing the Tyndall up close and personal before, the new model will not be a huge shock to people. It features the same case, this time in a slightly more frivolous rendition, however.
Case and movement
Just as a reminder, the case measures a modest (compared to other humongous creations out there) 40mm in diameter. The shape and size of the case is exactly the same as with the Stinson and the Tyndall, even down to the trademark polished rings around the otherwise brushed steel case.
Inside is housed the all too familiar ETA 2824-2 movement. Packing 25 jewels, 38 hours of power reserve and operating at 28,800 vibrations per hour, this movement is known for being a work-horse, nothing more and nothing less. There is no shame in choosing a basically fail-safe movement. Setting the time is done via the screw-down crown with a hexagonal shape. The case is fitted with a sapphire crystal on the front, and a hardened mineral crystal on the back. Due to the embedded lugs on the case the mineral crystal is somewhat sandwiched in between, but still allows for a view of the movement.
Dial and hands
The bits that set the Kendrick apart from the previously introduced models are the dial and strap selection. The model we got to review during Baselworld is the black-and-teal dialed Kendrick which has the look of summertime to it. Funny thing was, when we attended one of the many brand-parties during the fair, it was quickly snatched off Robin’s wrist and passed around simply because people wanted a closer look. The general conclusion was that it has great value for the money and delivers what it should deliver, so kudos to Xetum for that.
The dial of the Kendrick is done in matte-black with teal-coloured numerals and hands. The blue-greenish colour is quite pleasing to look at. It has a certain playful aura about it, without losing its credibility as a serious product. The numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock have a Superluminova coating on them, increasing readability during the night or in dark places.
Besides this matte-black and teal layout, the Kendrick is available in two other colour combinations, black dial with white numerals or the other way around, white dial with black numerals.
Strap and buckle
Purchasing a Xetum Kendrick, you actually have two options: a rubber or nylon strap. So no cork lined leather strap or bracelet with this one, like on the other two models. The nylon straps are available in black and grey or black and red, which only add to the summery feeling that the Kendrick already has.
As the pictures will show you, our version came on the rubber strap with a nicely finished folding clasp. The strap is comfortable, measuring 20mm in width at the case. The fact that the case features hidden lugs makes for a comfortable fit on any wrist (small or big). The smooth texture of the rubber really feels good on the wrist as well, even in warm weather and/or hurried situations such as one would endure running from appointment to appointment at Baselworld.
The Xetum Kendrick is a nice, colourful addition to the collection and allows for some summer on the wrist. Undoubtedly it will appeal to people who already have a Stinson or Tyndall, but would also like something a bit less serious. Although the finishing on the case is excellent, as we expected from our earlier hands-on review, the crown still feels slippery and is not easy to grip. The hexagonal shape does help, but the smoothed edges make it easy to slip off while trying to work the crown.
When it comes down to comfort, the Kendrick is an easy to wear watch, with a lugless design aiding the fit and a smooth-to-the-skin rubber strap. The nylon straps will not compromise the comfort of wearing the Kendrick; they perhaps even aid it a bit due to their flexibility.
The Xetum Kendrick packs the same values into a watch as the previous models did. It is a great value for the money coming in at just under a thousand dollars, but still packing a Swiss ETA movement. Everyone knows that ETA is cutting down the supplies to third parties which forces brands like Xetum to look for other suppliers. We can only hope that the affected “third parties” will find a suitable supplier, but there are some suitable alternatives.
During Baselwolrd the entire Monochrome team took one day off from the hectic fair. We visited the Swiss town of Gruyere (you know, where the Gruyere cheese comes from) and there we stumbled upon a H.R. Giger museum, featuring some pretty wild artwork outside. H.R. Giger is probably most known for designing the creature from the Science Fiction-franchise “Alien.” Perhaps some of you already recognised his style; we used one of the sculptures outside of the museum for the photos.