You know us here, at Monochrome-Watches, when it comes to horology, we’re snobs. We love complications, hand-finished movements or anything that stands out of the crowd (meaning independent watchmaking). However, there’s a point where all these beauties will still be dreams attached on our teenagers’ walls. We have to be realistic and admit that only a few of us will potentially buy a 6-figure watch. For this reason, from time to time, we have to show something affordable – but that still have some extra-features (and that is still is mechanical of course). Here is the Don Kylne & Co watch, an elegant watch under 300 dollars.
In the case you’re searching for your first nice watch or if you want to extend your collection and you don’t have a huge budget, the easy solution is to look for a quartz-operated watch with a design that suits you. However, you’re reading at Monochrome-Watches, and a battery operated watch is no option (and be aware that paying more than $100 for a quartz watch is a rubbery). Clearly, if you are here today, it’s quite sure that you’re already aware of that and thus, you’ll probably expect a bit more from your watches. Thus, mechanical is THE only option. However, when having $300 – $400, the choice of a watch with a real movement is more difficult. A Seven Friday is priced over $1,000. Same goes for a Dietrich 1969.
If you ask us, we might have two serious options in mind (meaning watches with a good quality, a good design and no Chinese-made craps). The first one is the Seiko 5 – something that we called previously “The Cheapest High End watch“. The other one, that follows the same rules (mechanical in-house movement, produced, designed by a brand with undisputed pedigree) is the Swatch Sistem51 (that will cost you less than $200), a watch that has the advantages and the faults of being a Swatch… It’s not very elegant and it’s made of plastic. Regarding at the dozens of new comers, there’s one that might have a solution for you. The brand is called Don Kylne & Co and they come on the market with a vintage-inspired watch, with mechanical movement, a cool-looking dial – and all of that for $450 (and even $299 with pre-orders).
For once, there’s something we like behind the brand. New comers tend to have some kind of long and poetic stories about what hides behind the brand and their watches. Here, Don Kylne & Co simply stands “Basically we are just a bunch of guys who have been dealing in our own businesses away from our hometowns for a large part of our lives. We love classic designs because they never go out of style”. No fake heritage, no long speeches about the reasons why they launched a brand… No, just a bunch of guys that loves watches and wanted to make something nice.
The Don Kylne & Co watch is made of stainless steel (polished or gold plated) and shows a 40.5mm case. The design is clearly reminiscent of vintage military or officer watches, with the cushion-shaped central case and straight, thin lugs with screws to hold the strap – we can see inspirations from the Panerai Radiomir of course and also a bit of the Laurent Ferrier Galet Square and its unique Only Watch 2015 Edition (not the worst inspirations to be frank). Of course, we can’t compare here it in terms of quality – and clearly that’s not the point.
The dial is elegant and original at the same time. It’s not too usual or already seen – but not too bold either. The numerals are embossed and silver or gold plated (matching the case). The font participates to this design quite a lot (even if it could have been slightly smaller). The hands are thin and elegant and the small-second subsidiary-dial located at 5 gives a bit of eccentricity. Again, this Don Kylne & Co watch clearly comes with known inspirations but it remains unique enough, due to some nice little details.
Behind the sapphire caseback ticks a self-winding movement – and clearly, that’s what makes the difference with a $300 quartz watch. There’s something living in your watch, a mechanical heart. The Don Kylne & Co watch features a Japanese Miyota movement 8245 (no date, small second) that comes with a pleasant (industrial) finish and that boasts 40 hours of power reserve. It’s a simple but precise and reliable movement that will last for years.
The Don Kylne & Co watches will be delivered on leather strap with deployant buckle. Each watch will be individually numbered from 001-500. Official price will be $450, however, you can already pre-order the watch and enjoy a reduced price, at $299. Pre-Orders can be made on the official website here: www.donkylne.com.